Two British riders have secured a wildcard qualification to compete in the international classes at the forthcoming Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), which takes place at Birmingham’s NEC (7-11 October).

Scott Brash from Peebles, Scotland and Tina Fletcher from Faringdon, Oxfordshire emerged victorious from two fiercely contested wildcard-qualifying competitions that took place at Unex Towerlands in Essex last weekend (11-13 September)

Over the weekend, results for horse and rider combinations were converted into points. The top two combinations at the end of the weekend were rewarded with qualification for HOYS, one of the world’s most famous horse shows.

Tina Fletcher, who has already qualified to compete in Birmingham on the ten-year-old Saillant D, was thrilled to secure a HOYS wildcard on the 14-year-old Promised Land.

She praised the points system, stating: “I’ve got two good horses, and although Promised Land is more difficult indoors than out, he was really consistent here.

“Our results show you don’t have to win or even finish second as long as you pick up points each day.”

Scott Brash (pictured above with H&H deputy editor Jaki Bell at HOYS 2008), riding the nine-year-old Intertoy Z, occupied the top spot on the leader board by an impressive eight points.

“This system gives the one-rider horse a fighting chance. It rewards consistency,” said Scott.

“This was the first show for Intertoy Z for four weeks. He felt a little rusty at first, but soon got back into it.”

“This will certainly make the eight-and-a-half-hour journey home to Scotland feel shorter!”

The international classes at HOYS kick off on Thursday 8 October, finishing with the prestigious Leading Show Jumper of the Year Grand Prix, which features as part of Sunday’s gala performance.

As well as ten of the leading British riders who are automatically eligible to compete, two additional wildcard qualifications will be contested at Arena UK (23 – 25 September).

For information on tickets to HOYS, see: www.hoys.co.uk