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Grassroots three-day event with steeplechase to be piloted next year

A new three-day event aimed at grassroots British Eventing (BE) riders including roads and tracks and steeplechase will be piloted in 2021 and 2022.

A BE spokesman said the plans come as part of the organisation’s commitment to continue the development of its grassroots offering, and follows member feedback.

Dates have yet to be announced, but the pilot will run a BE90 and a BE90open section, with a dressage test in a 60m x 20m arena, plus roads and tracks and steeplechase phases prior to cross-country, as in the traditional long-format version of the sport. The format includes a one-minute break between the first roads and tracks and the steeplechase, a zero, five- or 10-minute compulsory halt during the second roads and tracks phase, and a 10-minute compulsory halt before the cross-country.

“The process to secure a venue to host the two-year pilot started at the beginning of the year, with expressions of interest welcomed from existing BE venues, these venues were then invited to formally apply to host the exciting new competition,” said a BE spokesman.

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Three venues; Bicton Arena, Devon, Great Witchingham, Norfolk, and Keysoe, Bedfordshire, will move forward to the next stage of the application process and be inspected by the venue assessment panel in due course.

The spokesman said the final stage of the application process will involve the venues presenting to a panel of the sport’s key stakeholders, including an independent chair, the British Event Organisers Association, the Event Horse Owners Association, a member of the Event Riders Association or rider representative, and a member of the BE performance team.

“The successful venue and further details of the pilot competition will then be shared with the membership,” said the BE spokesman.

In this week’s magazine, on sale Thursday, 2 April, don’t miss part two of our “Sport horse special” including stud visits, our feature on veteran dams and more. Read the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic – owners urged not to panic-buy horse feed, plus more on the rescheduled Olympics. Don’t miss this week’s “Vet clinic” on coping with your horses during the outbreak. We also visit top point-to-point trainer Rose Loxton at her Somerset yard, plus check out our hunting content – including our tribute to recently retired huntsman Nigel Peel, H&H goes hunting in the USA and more.

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