Britain’s top ridden native ponies move from Olympia to new venue

  • The British Show Pony Society’s (BSPS) Le Mieux Mountain and Moorland Supreme Championship will not take place at Olympia, the London International Horse Show this year.

    In a statement today (5 February) BSPS confirmed the final will be held at Liverpool International Horse Show, on 1 January 2022.

    “We are saddened not to be able to hold our Le Mieux Mountain and Moorland Supreme Championship at Olympia, due to development work [at the venue] and our thanks go to that committee for all their support,” said a spokesman.

    The championship has taken place at Olympia since 2011, and BSPS executive council member Simon Richardson told H&H the organisation had had a “super time” there.

    “We had to look for an alternative venue and it’s very hard to emulate Olympia so we had to put our thinking caps on,” he said.

    “We had discussions with Nina Barbour, managing director of Liverpool International Horse Show. There have never been showing classes at Liverpool but they were keen to host us, the show has a great reputation and we’re looking forward to it.”

    Simon said the format for the championship will remain the same, with individual shows in the morning followed by a presentation in the afternoon.

    “We will still have 40 ponies to qualify, but we did have four qualify in 2020 so they will automatically be going,“ he said.

    “We will have a mix of direct qualifiers, our heritage show in October where we will have six classes, and our 12 separate breed classes, so it means we will get a minimum of one of each of the 12 native breeds qualifying.”

    Simon added that a direct qualifier will also be held at Bolesworth International Horse Show (20-23 May).

    “It’s all quite exciting,” he said. “People who have never been to Bolesworth will have a great experience, the facilities there are absolutely second to none.

    “The Bolesworth mission statement is ‘to be brave, be different and be passionate’, and I think that is exactly what the BSPS is doing by linking up with Bolesworth.”

    Nina Barbour said: “We are delighted to be working with the BSPS team behind the mountain and moorland supreme championship to host the final at this year’s Liverpool International Horse Show.

    “We are looking forward to celebrating Britain’s native pony breeds and providing a special experience for their riders and breeders at the Bolesworth International Horse Show qualifier and the final.”

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