Britain’s Nations Cup leg at Hickstead’s Royal International Horse Show is to move from the Friday to the show’s final day (Sunday), in line with the other events in the series.
Of all of the CSI5* Nations Cup competitions, only Dublin’s Aga Khan trophy will retain its original slot on the Friday of the host show.
The move to a weekend day is one of a number of changes aimed to make the series “extra-special” this year. It follows the assertion at last year’s FEI Sports Forum that the showjumping Nations Cup is the FEI’s most valuable team series and “every effort should be made to keep it the best possible product”.
Hickstead’s five-star international showjumping event — which also features the coveted Queen Elizabeth II cup and King George V Gold Cup — takes place from 25-29 July 2018.
The re-jigging of the schedule comes as the show also takes on a new name, the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Great Britain at the BHS Royal International Horse Show.
The show said the move reflects “the importance of this showcase class and the long-term relationship with series title partner Longines”.
“The Hickstead leg gives showjumping fans their only opportunity to watch the Brits compete as a team on home turf, and we hope the move of this historic competition from Friday to Sunday will give even more people the chance to cheer on their home nation,” said Hickstead director Lizzie Bunn.
While the Royal International traditionally culminates with the King’s Cup, this historic major grand prix will now take place on the Friday.
The Longines showjumping Nations Cup series is hosted at venues all around the world, with countries fielding teams of four riders who jump two rounds at each leg.
The British edition of this global series forms part of the top tier of nations cups — European division one.
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After a year of being relegated to division two, the Brits have been promoted back to the top league and will be campaigning this year to retain their place in this division, as well as to qualify for the Nations Cup Final in Barcelona in October.
This year will mark the 111th running of the Royal International Horse Show, which took place at several British venues before finding a home at Hickstead in 1992.
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