Determined young riders between the ages of 18-30 can now apply to become part of the 2008/2009 Blaze Academy and receive a training bursary worth £500.

Six young riders will receive the £500 bursary, as well as Blaze clothing and other prizes.

The scheme was introduced last year by the clothing company to give young up and coming riders more of a chance to make it in the show jumping, dressage and eventing industries.

Founder Gary Yates told H&H: “The vast majority of companies sponsor the top name riders and I thought that was unfair, and so decided to set up an academy for young riders. The training bursary enables them to go to a trainer, perhaps slightly better than they could afford before and the marketing side gives them publicity.”

The selection day takes place on Thursday 20 November at Richmond Equestrian Centre in North Yorkshire.

Twelve finalists will be chosen across the three disciplines of show jumping, dressage and eventing. A panel of professional judges including Tina Fletcher and Judy Harvey will assess them, and six riders will be selected to become members of the Blaze Academy.

Last year 3,500 riders applied for the bursary.

The current Blaze Academy dressage riders are Holly Bates (winner of the under-21s British Dressage Talent Spotting finals) and Ashleigh Hill (second in the National Young Rider Derby U25 championships at Sheepgate).

Chloe Reynard and Tracy Holder are the current Blaze Academy show jumpers and Emily Phillips and Abbie Hughes won the bursaries for eventing.

For more information visit: www.blazeclothing.co.uk