The release of the British Eventing (BE) fixtures list is always a momentous occasion for any event rider. It represents high excitement, the time to start looking forward to next year, to remember that the cold and wet of winter is only temporary and soon we’ll all be back out flying over cross-country fences, trying to impress dressage judges and hoping to leave all those pesky coloured poles up.
Here are eight questions we all ask ourselves as we look at the list…
1. Tell me it’s not true that my favourite event is scheduled for the same weekend as my brother/sister/best friend’s wedding?
2. What on earth is a CCI-L3*? Oh, that will be BE using the new FEI codes instead of old CCI and CIC…
3. What? Badminton and Burghley are going five-star? How exciting! Is it too late to book the week off work? Ah no, the new FEI codes also take everything up a level, although they are still at the same level as before… time to book the week off anyway.
4. Where can I start my season? Will I be balloted if I set my heart on that local, but really popular event? Will my horse be fit enough to run by early March? Should I start his canter work now? Quick, get him in, start clipping…
5. Are there any new fixtures in my area? I do love trying out a new event…
6. Is this the year to aim for my first international event/to try to step up a level/throw everything at it to qualify for the grassroots championships?
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7. Am I brave enough to go back to that event where I had a horrible fall 10 years ago?
8. I finished the season with two events at a higher level — how many events do I need to do at the level below before I step back up? Will I have gotten scared again over the winter? Will my horse remember how to jump that extra 5cm?
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