Could you be a rider or handler of the year? New championships to encourage people into sport

  • Showing society The Showing Register (TSR) has expanded its amateur of the year competitions in an attempt to encourage more amateur and grassroots showing competitors into the sport.

    As well as the popular amateur rider of the year, the TSR has added amateur handler of the year and lead rein rider of the year competitions.

    “The TSR stands strongly for the amateur exhibitor through both training, competitions and lobbying where we feel it will be effective,” said TSR chair Gail Chapman. “Over the past few seasons, we, like everyone, experienced a lull but this year we are roaring back strong with plenty of fresh enthusiasm. The ethos of both new finals is to encourage good riding and performance through training.”

    Amateurs are talent-spotted at TSR clinics and are eligible to enter the finals, which are held at the TSR summer show on the 16 and 17 July at Onley Grounds, Warwickshire.

    The finals will be split into three ability groups; new stars, rising stars and stellar stars, and within the ability groups there will be four age categories so everyone can “compete on a level playing field through ability and age”.

    Gail added: “This year we have extended the amount of clinics and talent spotters to be more inclusive and cover the whole country. There will be over 60 clinics taking part in the talent-spotting series and we estimate 1,200-plus riders will take part. A total of 120 riders and handlers will qualify for the final. Conformation and type is not taken into consideration at the final.

    “Lead-rein riders will have to ride without a handler and perform rising trot. We feel this new competition will help to improve young riders’ abilities and will encourage them to keep trying.

    “The handler of the year will be judged on handling, presentation and turnout, while in the ridden section competitors will perform an in-hand/turnout section and an individual ridden show.”

    “We really want to encourage grassroots riders to step up through the levels of showing and give them support on their journey.”

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