More young riders than ever will have the chance to compete at Hickstead’s famous All England Jumping Course, due to the expansion of the Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships.
The annual show jumping competition, now run over two days instead of one, starts today August 1, with a number of new championship classes added to the schedule.
The Hickstead Elite NSEA Individual Championship will take place in the International Arena, while the Hickstead 1.00m NSEA Team Championship will run concurrently in ring 4, with the best six teams going forward to the final deciding round in the International Arena later in the day.
The first day of the show will also include a new 80-85cm Individual Championship, which will be an ideal supporting class for those riders competing on the Wednesday, plus it will act as the perfect warm-up for Thursday’s Finals.
The second day of this ‘Schools Festival’ will once again include finals for Junior Schools, Senior Schools and Branches of the Pony Club. However, there can now be up to 4 riders per team in both Schools Divisions, meaning teams will have a ‘drop’ score for the first time in the 55-year history of the competition. In addition, the Junior Schools class will now be held over a 90cm course, following a successful trial in 2017.
As usual, the teams must qualify in the outer rings with the top 10 going through to a final in the International Arena (eight in the Pony Club Final), home to famous classes such as the Al Shira’aa Derby, the Longines BHS King George V Gold Cup and the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup of Great Britain.
“The Hurstpierpoint College National Schools and Pony Club Jumping Championships have been part of our annual fixture list since the 1960s, and past competitors have included Pippa Funnell, Jodie Kidd, Robert Whitaker and the Duchess of York,” said Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn.
“We wanted to expand this popular event and give more young equestrians the chance to gain experience round our International Arena. We also hope the new classes will encourage more schools and Branches of the Pony Club from around the country to make the journey to Hickstead.”