New international home for grassroots eventing champs, and new membership structure

  • The national British Eventing BE80(T) championships will run at the Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse Trials (7-12 June) next year.

    BE and the event organisers have confirmed that the event will run alongside the four-star classes from 2022, with a direct qualification route this year.

    BE chief executive Helen West said: “I am absolutely delighted to be in a position of announcing this and I can’t thank Nicholas Prichard, event director at Bramham, enough for his enthusiasm and commitment to delivering such a fantastic championship opportunity at this iconic venue for our members.

    “Bramham Park is synonymous with eventing, with their first event having run nearly 50 years ago, and it has run as an international event for over four decades. The cross-country is always a proper test at Bramham and I can’t wait to see what designer Ian Stark and builder David Evans have in store for our competitors.

    “To have the opportunity to contest a BE80(T) national championship in such a spectacular setting which is so intrinsically linked with the top end of our sport is something that we feel extremely fortunate to be able to offer our membership.”

    BE has also told members of a “restructure” of membership for 2022, which introduces a “significantly reduced membership cost at BE80(T) and BE90 levels to allow a much more affordable entry point into the sport for those competing at the grassroots levels”.

    Ms West said: “I have always believed that there was a deep-seated need to create an affordable entry point into the sport accompanied by a clear pathway to culminate at a prestigious championship. In making the changes to the membership structure and by introducing this exciting new finale at Bramham it has allowed exactly this to happen. I’m confident that by introducing the two together for next season we can be assured of an increase in membership at the entry level which will help provide a solid and progressive future for the sport going forward.”

    A spokesman for Bramham said the team was “delighted” to be hosting the BE80(T) championships.

    “Already one of the country’s most diverse equestrian fixtures, the addition of this new grassroots showcase at Bramham gives leading talented amateurs the chance to compete alongside the world’s elite in glorious Yorkshire parkland,” she said.

    The dressage for the BE80(T) championships will run on the Tuesday and Wednesday, 7 and 8 June, and the showjumping and cross-country the following day, when the four-star sections will also start.

    “The British Eventing BE80 Championship is something every rider aspires to, and the 2022 edition should give competitors a taste of the big time,” the spokesman said. “The competition will have a dedicated area in Bramham Park for the action but will still be an integral part of the event.”

    Plans for the 80cm cross-country track are under way, and will “reflect the standards of the four-star fences, with the route taking in the features of the park”.

    Mr Pritchard said: “Bramham promises one of the best days out of the year and we’ll be striving to be back better than ever in 2022.

    “We’re honoured to be asked by British Eventing to host the BE80(T) and will certainly work hard to give the competitors a world-class experience alongside our established classes. It also adds a great dimension for our loyal audience who come to Bramham year on year as it’s an inspirational competition and highlights the diverse range of competitors in eventing – aspirational for anyone who wants to take up the sport. There’s so much planning going on at present in our office and we can’t wait to share more in the new year.”

    The qualification process for the championships will be announced shortly, with that for 2023 and beyond.

    “This is an extremely exciting time for us, and it brings a much-needed boost for this level of the sport combined with the confirmation that the BE90 and BE100 national championships are secure at Badminton,” Ms West added. “Having these national championships within just a few weeks of each other will provide a much clearer pathway for our grassroots riders.”

    More details on the new membership structure will also be announced in the near future.

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