New initiatives including £1,500 prize-pot championship to promote future showing stars

  • Leading showing society the British Show Pony Society (BSPS) has added two new initiatives to its 2022 summer championship show schedule to promote and encourage young riders and ponies.

    The Grangebank Stud awards is for children competing in lead rein, first pony and cradle stakes classes at the summer championships.

    Sashes will be awarded in 40 classes to the highest-placed eligible riders not to have in 2021 or the current year won the same class at the BSPS summer championships, have ridden for a professional producer or been placed in the same class at Royal International (RIHS), excluding Pretty Polly, or Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

    Champion and reserves from each section will go forward to the Grangebank Stud awards supreme championship, which is to be judged in the Saturday evening performance. The champion will receive a trophy and flower sash, and medals will be awarded to all riders in the championships.

    Malcolm Holland, who owns Grangebank Stud with his granddaughter Renee Holland, said: “We are thrilled to sponsor and support these new awards that will encourage and support our youngest riders, giving them the excitement of having a supreme championship.”

    BSPS national chairman Paul Cook added: “We hope these awards will give our youngest and least experienced riders recognition as they start out their showing careers.

    “These classes are always extremely well filled and supported and it is wonderful that children can have a great experience in showing and enjoy the fun of being at our championship show with their family and friends. These awards are the icing on the cake.”

    The BSPS has also announced the introduction of the Gribbin Family Future Stars Young Pony of the Year for four, five and six-year-old ponies championship. There will be four classes for show ponies, show hunter ponies, intermediates and mountain and moorland mixed breeds, and there will also be sashes for the best four, five and six-year-old in each class, and prizes will be awarded to riders under a certain age in each class. The champion pony will win £1,000 and the reserve champion £500.

    Mr Cook said: “We are indebted to Antony Gribbin and his family for sponsoring these new classes and the championship with tremendous prize money. Members have been asking for a new class and championship for young ponies without age restrictions, providing the rider is suitably mounted, for some time and this new competition achieves that objective.”

    Mr Gribbin added: “We are delighted to support this new initiative, putting something back into the sport from which we take so much enjoyment. The BSPS are promoting a number of new initiatives this year and we were pleased to play our part.”

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