JumpCross competition attracts leading eventers

A new equestrian sport made its debut recently, amid hopes that it could grow to become an international discipline.

Jumpcross, a spectator-friendly timed team competition over knock-down cross country fences, had its premiere at Grange Farm Equestrian Centre, Peterborough, with a £2000-to-the winner class.

This was contested by invited event riders,including Vere Phillips and Clea Hoeg-Mudd who collected £1,500 in prize-money, and is due to be screened by Sky Sports on8 November.

The concept, brainchild of three directors including Grange Farm owner Robin Dunlop, had a trial run in May, when a full range of traditional cross country fences was built, using knock-down poles.

However, for the inaugural competition, adverse weather and concerns about spectator facilities led to a 16-fence course of rustic show jumps being built into the terrain in a natural amphitheatre.

Safety is a prime concern, and the jumps even feature new, patented cups.

Seconds were added for poles down, and Julian Trevor-Roper and Polly Jackson were the only pair to complete without penalty, netting the winners’ purse. Their mounts, All the Way and Purdys High Days, are both advanced eventers.