Britain to host record number of international showjumping shows this year [H&H VIP]

  • Showjumping fans can look forward to a record 11 international shows in Britain this year, with three new dates in the FEI calendar.

    Organisers have told H&H that they are continuing to feel the effects of Team GBR’s Olympic gold medal, which is helping to secure interest and sponsorship.

    This year Royal Windsor Horse Show will have CSI3* status for the first time while Bolesworth, in Cheshire, will host a CSI3* in June and Keysoe, Beds, an indoor CSI2* in November.

    The Global Champions Tour (GCT) returns to London in August in a new venue, Horseguards. Peter Phillips, who is helping Jan Tops to organise the show, has again secured terrestrial TV coverage on BBC2.

    “Success breeds success,” Peter told H&H.

    “Winning that first Olympic gold medal for 60 years means the sport has received wider media attention and a willingness from the authorities to look at incorporating it into their calendars.

    “We received support at London government level to do this,” he added.

    Nina Barbour of Bolesworth agreed that 2012 was a factor, saying she was “still running off the back of London”.

    Ms Barbour hopes to run a CSI4* next year and a CSI5* in 2016 in the run-up to Rio.

    “With Scott Brash and Ben Maher in the [rankings] positions they’re in, there will never be a better time,” she told H&H.

    She has installed an all-weather surface at Bolesworth, on the advice of 2012 gold medallist Nick Skelton, who plans to ride at the show along with his partner, Laura Kraut.

    British Showjumping (BS) chief executive Iain Graham said the success of the British Masters CSI3* at South View, Cheshire had shown that more intimate venues could also put on a successful international show.

    “Charles and Linda Britton had the vision — and because others have seen that you can do it, that’s certainly helped the Chepstows and Keysoes come on board,” he told H&H.

    Mr Graham added that Bury Farm was also hoping to host a CSI3*.

    The international shows are as follows: 1-5 May: Chepstow CSI1*, CSI2*, 14-18 May: Windsor CSI3* (new for 2014), 12-15 June: Bolesworth CSI3* (new for 2014), 26-29 June: Hickstead (Derby meeting) CSI4*, 4-6 July: South View (British Masters) CSI3*, 14-17 July: Keysoe (outdoor), CSI2*, 31 July-3 Aug: Hickstead (RIHS)                  CSIO5*, 15-17 Aug: London (GCT) CSI5*, 8-12 Oct: HOYS                                           CSI3*, 28-11 Nov: Keysoe (indoor) CSI2* (new for 2014) 16-22 Dec:         Olympia CSI5*