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Royal International costs go up

Exhibitors asked to pay £5 levy on all qualifying classes for the Royal International Horse Show as running costs escalate

Exhibitors entering qualifying classes for this year’s RoyalInternational Horse Show (RIHS) are being asked to pay a £5 levy, in addition to their normal entry fees.

The organisers said they have followed the example of the Horse of theYear Show to help cover the increasing costs associated with the show, which takes place at Hickstead on 24-28 July.

“It is something we do with deep regret,” said show secretary Lizzie Bunn.”The costs of maintaining and servicing, such a comprehensive schedule continue to escalate. The show is increasingly popular, but we also face the day-to-day expenses of running the showground all year round.

“It has become obvious that something had to be done and we felt this was one of the fairest ways of approaching what was becoming a serious shortfall.”

British Show Pony Society (BSPS) chairman Jim McTiffin said: “Showing is a costly business and although I can’t say we like the idea of a levy, Hickstead is facing increased costs the same as everyone else. I believe that the people who really want to compete there will pay the levy.”

Jennifer Williams, chairman of the British Show Hack, Cob and Riding HorseAssociation, shared a similar viewpoint: “It is hard on the exhibitor, but we need the big shows and if we have to pay more to keep them, we have to go along with it.”

The RIHS has been held at the All England Jumping Course since 1992 and now includes classes for most British breeds of horses and ponies in nearly 150 classes held over six days.

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