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Showing societies: which one should you join for 2021?


  • If you’re into showing then you might be considering which society to join to ensure you’re able to compete in the classes you want when the season kicks off.

    With a wealth of options out there, choosing the right one can seem daunting, particular for first-timers, so we are here to help by explaining what some of the most popular showing societies are offering their members this term…

    National Pony Society (NPS)

    Why join?

    If you want to compete in the following qualifiers and respective finals:

    • Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) Mountain and Moorland (M&M), Lead Rein (LR), First Ridden (FR), Junior Ridden, Open Ridden and Working Hunter Pony (WHP)
    • HOYS Show Pony (SP) LR, FR and height sections.
    • HOYS intermediate show hunter (ISH) /show riding type (ISRT) /working hunter (IWH)
    • HOYS Partbred
    • HOYS lead rein of hunter type (LRHT)
    • HOYS Show Hunter Pony (SHP)
    • HOYS WHP
    • Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) M&M WHP

    What do they offer?

    There are 18 NPS areas, which cover the length of the UK, and most commit to hosting various shows throughout the year.

    The NPS holds seasonal shows including the Spring Festival held at the Royal Three Counties Show Ground (24 April 2021). The annual summer championships will take place at the Three Counties Show Ground, Malvern (3 — 5 August 2021).

    NPS members have the opportunity to compete for the silver medal rosette at certain affiliated shows and subsequently quality for the silver medal championship finals, to be held at the summer championship show in August.

    The NPS runs its own dressage series.

    Reduced passport applications and transfer fees for ponies in the British Riding Pony Studbook are offered to NPS members.

    Included in the membership is public liability and accident insurance.

    What will it cost me?

    The cost of a qualifying membership for one person is £80, while a non-qualifying membership costs £69. This membership covers all ponies eligible for the listed qualifying classes. There is £5 discount for membership applications completed before 31 January.

    Details on: nationalponysociety.com

    British Show Pony Society (BSPS)

    Why join?

    If you want to compete in the following qualifiers and respective finals:

    • HOYS M&M LR, FR and open ridden classes
    • HOYS IHT/ISRT/IWH
    • HOYS SP (LR/FR and height sections)
    • HOYS SHP
    • HOYS LRHT
    • HOYS plaited and M&M WHP classes
    • All RIHS pony classes (including Anglo and Part Bred Arab, Heritage and Pretty Polly finals)
    • M&M supreme ridden championship qualifiers and final, to be held at Liverpool Horse Show.
    • Burghley Gold Cup qualifiers and final

    What can they offer?

    There are 17 BSPS areas covering England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, each holding annual shows with discounted entry fees to society members.

    Three BSPS championship shows are held at Arena UK, Grantham, including the BSPS winter championships (17 — 18 April 2021), the summer championships (24 — 28 August 2021) and the Heritage championships (16 — 17 October 2021), which is solely for native ponies.

    BSPS offers members the chance to qualify for the Blue Riband Pony of the Year, BSPS Challenge, BSPS Premier League and Champions of Champions finals held at the summer championships and the Heritage championships (Blue Riband).

    BSPS holds qualifying shows for the Land Rover Burghley Gold Cup sports pony final.

    The BSPS hosts the M&M supreme ridden championship, to be held at Liverpool Horse Show in the new year for the first time.

    What will it cost me?

    An adult showing membership costs £53. BSPS also requires separate pony registrations, which costs £36 per animal.

    Details on: bsps.com

    Northern Counties Pony Association (NCPA)

    What can they offer me?

    The NCPA has 10 branches spanning from Cumbria to Shropshire areas, with each holding a number of shows during the course of the year where members are offered discounted entry fees.

    The NCPA Pony of the Year Show will be held on 5 September 2021.

    Members are given the opportunity to win a bursary to be used for an equestrian training course at any approved NCPA establishment.

    NCPA members can win the Star Rosette at affiliated shows.

    What will it cost me?

    A single adult membership is £32 per person (£30 online).

    Details on: thencpa.co.uk

    Continued below…


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    UK Ponies & Horses (UKPH)

    Why join?

    If you want to compete in the following qualifiers and respective finals:

    • RIHS M&M young riders
    • RIHS M&M amateur riders

    What can they offer?

    The UKHP Spring Classic (2 May 2021) is held at Onley Grounds Equestrian Centre, Warwickshire.

    What will it cost me?

    An annual adult membership is £45 per person. Horse and pony registrations cost £25 per animal.

    Details on: poniesuk.org

    British Show Horse Association (BSHA)

    Why join?

    If you want to compete in the following qualifiers and respective finals:

    • HOYS cobs (including maxi cobs)
    • HOYS riding horses
    • HOYS ridden hunters
    • HOYS hacks

    What can they offer?

    The BSHA holds several shows throughout the year, including the BSHA Southern spring show (17 April 2021), the BSHA Northern spring show (4 July 2021). The season culminates in the BSHA hunter championships (TBC) the BSHA national championship show (TBC).

    The Martin Wood supreme in-hand breeding championship has qualifiers throughout the year and culminates in the supreme championship at the BSHA national championships, with £1,000 being awarded to the winner.

    The BSHA amateur points award scheme is offered to members who fit the criteria.

    For young riders there is a “Rising Stars” series, with a final held at the national championships.

    What will it cost me?

    An adult membership is £50. Horses must also be registered with the society. Those looking to compete in HOYS classes will pay between £35-50 per horse, while non-qualifying horses can register for £35.

    Details on: britishshowhorse.org

    Sports Horse Breeding of GB (SHB(GB))

    Why join?

    If you want to compete in the following qualifiers and respective finals:

    • RIHS ridden hunter qualifiers.
    • The Blue Chip ridden sport horse series and The Polly Coles four and five year old ridden hunter championship.
    • All ridden hunter and sport horse classes run under SHB(GB) rules.

    What can they offer?

    SHB(GB) is the governing body for hunter and sport horse classes, which are held at major shows throughout the country.

    Grading system for stallions and mares registered in the society. There is also an annual stallion parade which takes place at Badminton Horse Trials and showcases stallions graded within the society.

    The National Hunter Supreme Championship Show is held annually at Addington (Dates TBC).

    Membership will give reduced entry fees for in-hand classes at the National Hunter supreme championships show.

    What will it cost me?

    A membership costs £77 per person per year.

    Details on: sporthorsegb.co.uk

    The Showing Register (TSR)

    Why join?

    If you want to compete in the following qualifiers and respective finals:

    • HOYS M&M qualifying classes
    • HOYS coloured horse and pony classes
    • HOYS plaited pony classes (SP, SHP, LR/FR, INT, PB, WHP)

    What can they offer?

    TSR offers discounted training clinics as well as eligibility to the TSR training pathway, which allows amateur members to be ‘scouted’ for the master class to be held at HOYS.

    The TSR summer show will take place at Onley EC, on 17 — 18 July 2021.

    Eight showing finals are held across the UK, and competitors can qualify at selected local shows.

    What will it cost me?

    A TSR membership for horse/pony and rider is £24.

    Details on: theshowingregister.co.uk

    British Skewbald and Piebald Association (BSPA)

    Why join?

    If you want to compete in the following qualifiers and respective finals:

    • RIHS coloured horse and pony classes

    What can they offer?

    The BSPA has 13 regional areas, which offer support and assistance to members.

    Grading system for stallions and mares registered in the society.

    The BSPA hosts the Festival of Showing winter championships at College EC, Keysoe (cancelled in 2021) and the BSPA World of Colour show (TBC) at the same venue.

    What will it cost me?

    An adult membership costs £45 per person, while a RIHS qualifying card costs £23 per horse/pony.

    Details on: bspaonline.com

    Coloured Horse and Pony Society (CHAPS)

    Why join?

    If you want to compete in the following qualifiers and respective finals:

    • HOYS coloured horse and pony series
    • CHAPS area and championship shows

    What can they offer?

    The CHAPS summer championship show takes place at Arena UK, Grantham (5 – 6 September 2021).

    CHAPS offers grading opportunities for registered stallions and mares.

    What will it cost me?

    An adult showing membership costs £40 per person.

    Details on: chapsuk.com

    Veteran Horse Society (VHS)

    Why join?

    If you want to compete a horse or pony, 15-years-old or over, in showing or dressage.

    What can they offer?

    The VHS championship show takes place at Arena UK, Grantham (1 — 3 October 2021).

    What will it cost me?

    A VHS showing membership costs £35 per person. Showing and dressage cards cost between £12.50 and £17.50.

    Details on: veteran-horse-society.co.uk

    For all the latest showing news and reports, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday.

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