Grassroots eventing series to return in January

  • Arena eventing will return for a second season in 2016.

    Launched by British Eventing (BE) in January this year, the two-phase competition is run at BE90 and BE100 level.

    Competitors ride over a course of showjumps and cross-country fences, set against an optimum time.

    Championships are held at Blair Castle in August and Blenheim Palace in September.

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    The series is open to both members and non-members of BE and the first competition of the year is at Washbrook Farm, Aston-Le-Walls, on 9 January.

    Points will be awarded to the highest-placed finishers at each competition.

    The top 40 from each league table at the end of June, plus the top three from the BE90 and BE100 jumping and style (JAS) final, will be invited to compete at the championships.

    “Arena eventing provides the perfect setting for riders at BE90 and BE100 levels to experience the thrill of eventing at some of the most iconic locations in our sport,” said David Holmes from BE.

    “We very much look forward to seeing competitors enjoying this brilliant series in 2016.”

    Kent & Masters saddlers are continuing to sponsor the series.

    Saddles, training vouchers and membership prizes are on offer for combinations that reach the top placings at the championships.

    Last year, Lynda Cockrill on Amoreal and Holly Cowley on Five Boys took the respective BE100 and BE90 championship titles at Blenheim, with Kimberley Fraser on Beau Jade JJS and Sarah Finlayson on Barrow Castle Cool winning at Blair.

    Five Boys, a 23-year-old ex-racehorse, competed at four-star level with Kitty King. He was also the horse that she made her senior championship debut on in 2005.

    Kitty gave him to Holly on his retirement from top-level competition seven years ago.

    “This class is ideal for a horse like him — he doesn’t like to do the dressage part of eventing any more but really lights up when he is in the arena environment,” said Kitty. “He was amazing in there.”

    For more information, visit: www.britisheventing.com/arenaeventing

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