British Eventing’s jumping and style (JAS) series runs in January and February, offering riders the chance to practise showjumping and indoor cross-country from BE90 up to open novice level. There are also lots of unaffiliated competitions out there, which offer a more or less similar format.
Here are 11 reasons to give JAS a go if you can make it to one of the last few competitions this season…
1. Get your showjumping eye in — the first part of a round at a JAS competition is over showjumps, so it’s a great chance to practise that phase.
2. It’s a fun way to give older horses, who may be retired from “proper eventing”, a spin without the rigours of a full horse trials or any worries about ground conditions.
3. Lots of skinny practice — JAS offers the chance to jump arrowheads and corners in a knockdown format, so it’s a fabulous way to tune up your accuracy for the season ahead.
4. There is a style element, so a British Eventing (BE) accredited coach or elite rider will be marking your performance and you can get a feel for whether you need to work on your position or technique.
5. Brain workout. JAS tends to feature lots and lots of fences in a small space and they come up seriously fast. So you need all your Mensa capabilities to make sure you tackle the jumps in the right order.
6. Classes range from 90cm up to 1.15m so there is something for many levels of capability.
7. Fun. JAS is a wonderful way to blow away any winter cobwebs and get you and your horse revved up for the season ahead. See your friends, become reacquainted with burger vans and get excited about what’s coming up.
8. Your results are recorded on your BE record, so it’s easy to keep track of your performance.
9. You get to wear your cross-country colours and the cross-country follows straight on from the showjumping. No changing or hanging about getting nervous between phases! And you receive a time, so you know when you’ll be performing and can plan your day.
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10. There is a final at Hartpury on 19 February with great training voucher prizes — the value is £500 for the winner of each class. And first prize in each qualifier class is £50.
11. Non-BE members can compete too (by paying an extra £5 on their entry fee). Riders need an associate registration and horses an equine registration, which are free.