The list of qualifiers for Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) 2016 has been released.
Grandstand Media, which runs the event, published the dates on the HOYS website today (Wednesday, 23 December).
The 2016 show features two new showing championships — the junior mountain and moorland (M&M) ridden pony of the year and also the British ridden heavy horse championship.
The new junior M&M class has qualifiers at eight shows next year.
These are: the National Pony Society (NPS) Spring Festival, the Showing Register (TSR) Spring Show, South of England Show, Derbyshire Festival, NPS Area 25 Summer Show, TSR Summer Show, NPS Summer Championships and Stoneleigh Horse Show.
Most of the dates for these qualifying shows fall on weekends or during the school holidays.
Some qualifier dates for other classes are still yet to be confirmed.
The search for a star class and the new British ridden heavy horse of the year do not yet have a list of confirmed qualifying shows.
“[The heavy horse] championship makes for an exciting addition to the HOYS 2016 programme, celebrating the indigenous heavy horse breeds as a ridden show horse, some of which are now endangered and others on the rare breeds list,” said a grandstand media spokesman.
The judges for these new classes — plus a number of others — are also still yet to be revealed.
HOYS qualifiers are also returning to Ireland this year.
The Northern Ireland Festival, held at Cavan Equestrian Centre, has been granted qualifiers for the Cuddy working hunter of the year championship (horses) as well as the 133cm, 143cm, 153cm and intermediate working hunter pony of the year as well as the Cuddy in-hand.
As in previous years, all results from HOYS qualifiers will be entered into the league tables for the HOYS awards series — The Tagg La Liga — which recognises those who perform consistently well throughout the qualifying season.
For the full list of showing and showjumping qualifing shows, visit: www.hoys.co.uk/competitor-zone/horse-of-the-year-show-awards