In conjunction with The Pony Club, British Showjumping have joined forces with schools across the country to launch a National Schools Team & Individual Championship series.
Show venues have already started committing themselves to the Championships with all regions having booked British Showjumping – just for schools show dates in their competition calendar for 2016. This exciting new Championships will allow for schools and colleges to submit teams of three or four riders and individuals within a specific height category of either 70cm, 80cm, 90cm, 1.00m or 1.10m.
A league table underpins each of the height categories with an objective of qualifying for the National Schools Team and Individual Championship Finals which will take place at the British Showjumping National Championships at Stoneleigh Park next summer.
The ten Championship Finals (five team and five individual) will take place at the British Showjumping National Championships at Stoneleigh Park next summer. There are two routes to qualifying for the Final; either by being within the top eight of the British Showjumping – just for schools team league, top ten of the individual league table or via one of two direct qualifiers.
Justine Naylor, National Director of Sport for British Showjumping commented “The feedback from the parents, schools, show organisers and junior riders that we have spoken to so far has been really encouraging. This in addition to the way that many of our existing show organisers have embraced the competition structure and already committed themselves to running specific National Schools show days is extremely positive and I am delighted that we, alongside the Pony Club, are in a position to now roll this out at a national level.”
James Loffet on behalf of The Pony Club furthered “The Pony Club is primarily a training organisation so we know the importance of a progressive competition structure within a safe, well managed environment. Our experience is that representing your Pony Club Branch or Centre in competitions boosts self-confidence and teaches teamwork and good sportsmanship; representing your school will have the same benefits and Just For Schools will showcase equestrianism as a serious sport to the schools community. We think Pony Club members will benefit hugely from being involved in this new series and are very grateful to British Showjumping for coming up with the idea!”
Eligibility couldn’t be easier making the Championships accessible to all. Schools can register their team of three or four riders for just £30 per year. For riders who wish to compete as an Individual outside of the teams, as long as they are a member of British Showjumping or The Pony Club already there is no need to pay another registration fee. If not a member of either, then they can join directly with British Showjumping for just £30 which covers both themselves and their horse/pony for a full 12 months.
Charles Britton and Matthew Broome, both of whom sit on the British Showjumping National Sport Committee, feel that this is a great opportunity for riders and show venues alike and have already booked dates into their competition diaries. Charles Britton commented “We have hired out our venue to school competitions in the past and are delighted that we can now run them in-line with the rest of our events giving competitors the best experience possible. I honestly believe that this is a great step forward for all concerned and that we will see many younger riders come through the British Showjumping structure as a result of it.”
Matthew Broome furthered “We see many younger riders come through the gates at our Showground and I feel quite strongly about the fact that we need to provide a safe, structured and knowledgeable environment for them to start competing in. It is only by doing so that we can develop our membership and hopefully identify championship riders of the future. We hope to run our first show early next year and I speak for both myself and everyone here at Wales & West when I say that I am thrilled British Showjumping are progressing with this new initiative.”
For further information on the National Schools Team and Individual Championships please visit http://www.britishshowjumping.co.uk/membership/National-Schools-Membership.