Fancy trying affiliated showjumping? Here’s what you need to know…

  • If you’re competing successfully at unaffiliated shows and are interested in taking on a new challenge, then you may want to know how to get started in affiliated showjumping competitions, which are run by British Showjumping (BS), the governing body of showjumping in Britain.

    What is the difference between affiliated and unaffiliated showjumping? Many riders start their showjumping careers at unaffiliated shows and there are no rules to prevent riders from swapping between the two levels of competition. However, affiliated shows have to comply with BS rules and you can be confident that they are structured to promote fair competition. You can also build up a record of results at BS shows which will enable you to qualify for championships.

    What to expect: Although some unaffiliated showjumping competitions are run under BS rules, with a registered course builder/designer and judge, if you affiliate you’ll be getting consistency across all the competitions you enter. Note that you may face extra rules which don’t apply at unaffiliated level, so it is worth spending time familiarising yourself with the BS rule book before you start competing.

    How much does it cost? There are a range of annual membership options available, starting at £30 for BS club membership. It costs £148 to be a full senior jumping member, while horse registration starts from £59 for six months for a single horse. In addition you will have to pay entry fees for each class you wish to jump.

    How high do I need to jump? British Showjumping’s club membership is designed for riders who are jumping between 60cm and 1m, who have no registered results at national amateur 85cm, British novice, stepping stones, pony British novice or above during the past three years. Club competitions are run for league points rather than prize money, and there is no age limit on riders competing ponies at club shows. Alternatively, if you are a national member, then you can compete to win prize money in national BS shows, starting at 85cm.

    Can I compete in affiliated showjumping without British Showjumping membership? Non-members of BS can purchase a day ticket from the British Showjumping website that makes them eligible to compete. Each Day Ticket to Ride is applicable to only one horse/rider combination per day and will allow for either a registered or non-registered rider to compete the non-registered horse or pony for the day. However, you won’t receive any prize money if you’re placed.

    Affiliated showjumping competition structure: Classes you can expect to see at most affiliated national shows include British novice, discovery, newcomers and Foxhunter. These classes offer the chance to qualify for second rounds, then a final, with horses progressing from one class to the next, based on their points record. The emphasis is on combinations jumping consistently rather than racing against the clock, and you need to achieve four double clears in each category to qualify. You then earn three chances to compete at a second round competition and try for a place in the final. Open classes typically run alongside these classes, allowing horse that are not eligible on points to compete at the various heights. There are also classes for amateur riders, starting at 85cm, with a national amateur championships, plus other championships such as the Blue Chips and the bronze and silver league finals at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) to aim for.

    Horse grading: Affiliated horses are classed under three categories, depending on how many points they have won:

    • Grade C: 0-999 points
    • Grade B: 1,000-1,999 points
    • Grade A: 2,000 points or more

    Guide to British showjumping competition levels

    • British novice: Aimed at the novice horse, this class is open to Grade C horses who have won less than 125 points. The start height is a maximum height of 0.90m (2ft 11in) in a British novice class. If you qualify for the second round, the start height goes up to 1m (3ft 3in).
    • Discovery: Open to registered horses who have won less than 225 points. The maximum start height is 1m (3ft 3in), going up to 1.05m (3ft 5in) in second round classes.
    • Newcomers: For horses who have won less than 375 points. The start height in the first round will be a maximum of 1.10m (3ft 7in) and 1.25m (4ft 1in) in second round competitions.
    • Foxhunter: To be eligible for this prestigious competition, horses must have won less than 700 points. Maximum start height in the first round is 1.20m (3ft 11in), while you’ll be jumping 1.30m (4ft 3in) if you qualify for the second round.

    The British novice and discovery finals take place at the BS national championships, the newcomer and Foxhunter finals at HOYS.

    Find out more: Contact BS – email: office@britishshowjumping.co.uk, phone: 0247669 8800) or visit: www.britishshowjumping.co.uk

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