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Tailcoats at the ready – an ‘achievable new goal’ for British Eventing members

A new series for adults competing at British Eventing (BE) novice level will be held at five venues across the UK next year.

The novice masters, developed by the BE rider working group representing riders at novice level and above, in conjunction with the Eventing Riders Association of Great Britain, will run at novice intermediate level and aims to give members an “achievable new goal”, with consistent performance being rewarded.

“As well as riding a bespoke dressage test designed especially for this class, in an international 20m x 60m arena with two dressage judges, competitors can choose to ride their test in a tailcoat, adding to the special feel of this occasion,” said a BE spokesman.

The series will take place at Glamis Castle, Angus, in May, Catton Park, Derbyshire, in June, Barbury, Wiltshire, in July, Little Downham (2), Cambridgeshire, in August and Allerton Park, North Yorkshire, in September.

The spokesman added that the classes will create a new regional goal for riders, with the well-established venues selected with a broad geographic spread in mind.

BE chief executive Jude Matthews said the series is a “fantastic” addition to the BE calendar and an “exciting new opportunity”.

“We believe it is important that members at every level should have an achievable goal to aim for and the novice masters will provide a valuable new aim for those riders,” she said.

“The rider working group has really championed this new concept and we have worked closely together to shape this into a product that fits their objectives. Their feedback highlighted a desire for a new series specifically aimed at adult riders competing at novice, which we hope will provide many with a new competition opportunity.”

Ms Matthews added that data analysis company EquiRatings had provided BE with useful insight around eligibility and it was clear from the statistics there is a demand for the new series.

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“We look forward to welcoming riders to the novice masters next year,” she said.

Combinations will qualify for the series by achieving two double clears at any novice, CCI2*-S, or CCI2*-L within the qualifying period (2020 season and up to the ballot date of the novice masters class in 2021) – or by finishing once in the top 25% of dressage starters in each section

There is no restriction on the grade of horse but combinations must be eligible to compete at intermediate novice level. The top 150 BE riders of the previous two calendar years, those who have competed at five-star in the past 10 years, and anyone who has finished in the top 25% of a four-star in the past five years are ineligible.

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