Riders frustrated after further showjumping changes

  • There has been widespread irritation from members after British Showjumping (BS) has made further changes to its controversial new grading restructure.

    The alteration means that 5-, 6- and 7-year-old horses will now be eligible to compete in discovery, newcomers or Foxhunter championships — regardless of their points — until the end of the year.

    There was outrage from members when notional prize-money winnings were scrapped in favour of a new points system in April, without any consultation or warning.

    One of the main concerns when the restructure was introduced was that young horses would progress too quickly up the ranks.

    A statement from BS said last week: “This change will allow all young horses an extended period to gain both experience and confidence across courses specifically designed for this purpose.”

    However, some members are still frustrated about the way the changes have been implemented and by the constant alterations.

    “Losing interest now, contradictions daily,” said Steve Pullan. “The rules should not be changed after the rulebook is published; it just leads to confusion, frustration and thousands of pounds spent on printing that is out of date already.”

    Rose Neave added: “I have not jumped since and will not again until this whole sorry little saga is sorted out. British Eventing has been getting my money instead — well organised and well run.”

    This article was first published in Horse & Hound on 19 June 2014.

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