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New grassroots eventing team competition introduced

British Eventing (BE) is introducing a new-format adult team competition this season for competitors at BE80(T) and BE90open.

The series will consist of 10 team challenge qualifiers where squads will compete to secure a slot in the final at Weston Park in October.

The qualifiers will take place between June and August at venues around the country. Teams of three or four members can take part, with the winning team from each of the 10 events going forward to the championship.

The new-look series builds on the regional BE90 team challenge that was successfully piloted last year. The adaptations — including removing the selection process to allow riders to choose their own teams — have been prompted by feedback from rider working groups.

Other changes include introducing BE80(T) level, swapping BE90 to BE90open, and introducing qualifiers.

“Last year’s regional team competition, supported by Rowen Barbary, was brilliant and the riders that took part thoroughly enjoyed the competition at Weston Park,” said Olivia Szajna, BE’s head of marketing, communications and commercial.

“The overwhelming feedback last year from our eventing community was that they would love the opportunity to take part with their friends in self-selected teams, and that the eligibility criteria should be relaxed. We have taken this feedback on board with the aim of giving more members the chance to experience this new team competition opportunity.

“Our sport is all about community,” she added, “so we are really excited about bringing this opportunity to our members. We hope that this will not only give riders at BE80(T) and BE90open level a real aim for the season and the opportunity to compete with their friends, but encourage new people into the sport with a fun, friendly and supportive competition.”

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BE said the pilot series would be a “learning curve” and that they would be taking on feedback to evolve the competition, including the introduction of BE100 sections in future.

Riders need to be members of BE to compete, but can take part in qualifiers on a horse and rider day pass. All competitors in the final will need to be full members and their horses will need to have a valid full or half season ticket.

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