New Horse of the Year Show final for junior riders introduced for 2024

  • The organisers of the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) have announced the addition of a new showing class for the junior riders of coloured horses and ponies to the 2024 schedule.

    Grandstand Media announced the news of a brand new HOYS 2024 showing final, to run on Sunday, 13 October.

    “Following the ever-growing popularity of the coloured ridden horse and pony of the year, we are delighted to announce the introduction of a new section, the ‘junior coloured ridden native/cob/traditional pony and coloured ridden non-native pony of the year’,” Grandstand said in a statement.

    “The class aims to recognise and support the younger riders within the Coloured Horse and Pony Society (CHAPS) classes. The final will replicate that of the qualifying season and see 10 combinations coming forward from the qualifiers.

    The geographic distribution of the qualifiers ensures that junior competitors have great opportunities throughout the country to qualify for the new final.”

    To compete in the junior ridden coloured pony of the year final, riders must not have attained their 18th birthday before 1 January in the current year.

    Animals eligible are native, cob or traditional ponies up to and including 148cm, and non-native ponies up to and including 153cm.

    More changes to HOYS 2024 showing finals

    Alongside this, Grandstand Media announced a rule stating that all animals competing in ridden height-restricted classes will not need to have a Joint Measurement Board (JMB) height certificate to enter qualifiers. Instead, qualifying animals will be required to obtain a valid JMB certificate within 28 days of the notification of qualification from HOYS or by the closing date of HOYS entries, whichever is sooner.

    The entry requirements for the M&M ridden pony of the year finals have also been altered. Now, riders will no longer be eligible to compete in both the mini M&M finals (lead rein and first ridden) as well as the open M&M ridden-only finals.

    To “safeguard the future and nurture the development of these young jockeys within the sport”, the minimum age requirement for riders in the junior M&M ridden small breeds pony of the year class has been abolished.

    Grandstand stated: “The decision has been made to change the entry requirements for the M&M ridden pony classes. The ruling has been implemented in response to safety concerns raised by various societies, and it is hoped that this will encourage riders to compete in the class that best aligns with their riding ability.”

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