End of the road for under-18 championships at Weston Park

  • The British Eventing (BE) national under-18 championships are moving away from Weston Park after this year’s competitions.

    The decision follows a recommendation from the BE sport committee that BE has a responsibility to provide these championships at a time that does not compromise the members’ education, which was ratified by the board.

    Weston Park’s autumn fixture (8-11 October this year) falls during term time.

    The event has hosted the KBIS British under-18 novice regional championships — previously known as the JRN (junior regional novice) series and championships — since 1997. In addition, the National Saddle Centre BE100u18 national championships have been held at Weston since they were launched in 2013.

    Paul Hodgson, BE’s recently appointed chairman of the board, said: “I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Janet Plant and her fiercely loyal army of sponsors, supporters and volunteers for relentlessly providing young competitors with a fantastic experience at Weston Park.

    “Thanks must also go to the trustees of Weston Park for their ongoing generous support of the BE horse trials that take place at this stunning location. We continue to support the fixtures that take place at Weston Park and wish the Plant family every success in the future.”

    BE under-18 chair Jane Peters added: “Weston Park has been the pinnacle of the career for many up-and-coming riders. For lots of riders it is their first taste of an international competition and a team experience and has also been a launching point for participation on future British teams.

    “We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Plant family for all their support during the time the championships have been held at Weston Park. We look forward to starting afresh in 2016 at a new venue for the championship in the school holidays.”

    Janet Plant said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed the 19 years of running the under-18 championships and wish the new venue every success. This decision has come as a huge blow to our loyal supporters; we have flown the flag for the youth teams for many years.”

    BE will aim to announce the replacement fixture for the under-18 championships by the end of August 2015.

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