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Top-class sport promised at new championships this autumn

A host of national championships and finals will run at a centre “synonymous with top-class equestrian sport”.

British Showjumping (BS) has announced today (29 July) that Aintree Equestrian Centre will host the new indoor championship show from 7 to 11 October. BS had said it would look to hold such a show after the announcement Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) would not run this year owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

The event will stage the junior and senior British novice and discovery finals, which would have run at the national championships at Stoneleigh, as well as those finals that would have run at HOYS and the B&C championship, which would have run at the Royal International Horse Show.

Aintree Equestrian Centre manager Carly Sage told H&H the team is “absolutely thrilled” to be hosting the event.

“Even before we thought about tendering for it, we thought it was brilliant BS had not just drawn the line; but had taken the initiative to say ‘we can still do this’,” she said. “We’re very excited they’ve chosen us.”

The Aintree team is experienced in running major events, including the Dodson & Horrell amateur and veteran championships, which are due to be staged there for their 12th year this November, and Ms Sage said she wants to provide the same championship feel for October’s show.

“We really try to make it special for competitors and they get behind it and love it; that’s something I really want to replicate,” she said.

There may of course be restrictions on numbers attending, but Ms Sage the team has ideas on how to enhance the experience.

The event will be live-streamed, and it may be possible for people to watch this in Aintree function rooms on big screens.

“It would be great to get people watching showjumping more,” she said. “We’re in a position where we can hopefully reach out to the public and people will watch.”

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Full details of qualification routes are available on the BS website, as well as changes to the numbers of double clears required.

BS chief executive Iain Graham said: “In awarding the championship show to Aintree Equestrian Centre, we trust our members will be pleased at the prospect of attending a show within an environment that is synonymous with top-class equestrian sport.

“The team at Aintree are fully committed to ensure they deliver a showcase for the sport while also giving members and their horses access to their superb facilities that they have on site. We have full confidence in the team at Aintree and look forward to working with them on delivering this unique show”.

More information on the show and schedule will be published on the BS website as it becomes available.

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