Confirmation of dates for the FEI Dressage and Eventing European Championships for Young Riders and Juniors 2022 at Hartpury

The dates for the FEI Dressage and Eventing European Championships for Young Riders and Juniors 2022 at Hartpury have been confirmed.

The high-profile equestrian event will take place at Hartpury on 23-31 July 2022 following confirmation from both British Equestrian (BEF) and the FEI Dressage and FEI Eventing Committee.

Expect exciting action at Hartpury

Phillip Cheetham, Equine Director at Hartpury, said: “It’s extremely exciting that the dates for the 2022 FEI Dressage and Eventing European Championships for Young Riders and Juniors have been confirmed.

“We were disappointed that the championships couldn’t go ahead as we hoped last year, but having the 2022 dates is fantastic news. We’re excited about welcoming the most talented young riders in Europe to Hartpury and providing the stage on which they can produce their very best.

“We’re very grateful to the FEI for allowing us to host the event next year and we thank the BEF, British Dressage and British Eventing for their continued support,” he concluded.

Hartpury hosted a European Championships in 1997 when they had the Pony disciplines of dressage, showjumping and eventing and again in 2000 for Young Riders. 

“It’s fantastic news to have a date in the calendar confirmed for the team at Hartpury who worked so hard to secure the four FEI Championships only to be frustrated by COVID-19 last year,” said Jim Eyre, British Equestrian Chief Executive.

“We know they have a strong track record for running competitions of the highest calibre and we look forward to welcoming Europe’s elite Junior and Young Riders to the campus next July,” he added.

Annually, Hartpury hosts the NAF Five Star Hartpury Festival of Dressage, NAF Five Star Hartpury Showjumping Spectacular and NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials. All are scheduled to run in 2021. 

For more information about equestrian events at Hartpury, visit

British Eventing’s 2020 fixtures announced

British Eventing (BE) has released its 2020 fixtures list, with new events, and some losses, plus welcoming CCI1*-S events next year.

The CCI1*-S level was rolled out this year to encourage developing eventing nations to get their riders on the international pathway. The old one-star level has stepped up to two-star, the new one-star is effectively a BE100 (US Training level) international.

Three competitions will be trialled at this new level from 2020-2022.

The first will take place at Brand Hall in Staffordshire (May 30-31 ), the second at Chilham Castle in Kent (July 25-26 ), and the third and final one will be at Blair Castle International in Scotland (Augusr27-30). This will give one-star debutants the chance to rub shoulders with fellow international competitors through the CCI4*-L level.

Sussex event rider Gemma Tattersall and Chico Bella Haras competing at Burghley  Photo  courtesy of British Eventing

“Led by the BE Board, the BE Fixtures Team were tasked with developing a framework for this pilot,” explained BE on its website.

“From this framework, the venues have been carefully selected based on various factors, including location, the current event set up, infrastructure and organisers with experience of presenting International competition. The class will run at these selected venues as a pilot from 2020 for three years to provide an opportunity to trial the popularity, viability and value to the BE membership.”

The 2020 fixtures list also sees the addition of three new or returning venues: Cirencester Park returns to the calendar after 47 years, replacing the spring fixture previously held at Gatcombe, and will offer classes from Novice-Advanced on March 21-22.

Thoresby Park in Nottinghamshire makes its BE and FEI debut, filling the hole left by the loss of Belton, and will run classes from Novice-Advanced as well as CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S, and CCI4*-S sections on March 27-29.

Finally, Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire makes a welcome return, running Novice and Intermediate sections alongside a CCI2*-S and a CCI3*-S on September 11-13.

There are other changes afoot, too, particularly to championship and regional final classes. Perhaps the biggest is that the British Open Championship, held at the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing (August 8-9), will no longer run as a CCI4*-S. Instead, it will run as a national Advanced class, meaning that the prestigious summer fixture will now no longer host any international classes.

The structure of the four-year-old championship at the Osberton International Horse Trials and Young Horse Championships (October 8-11) has been slightly revised, too. Instead of relying on specific qualifiers, the class – now rebranded as a ‘Showcase’ – will require horses to contest regular BE80(T) and /or BE90 classes in the latter part of the year. Full qualification details will be revealed soon.

2019’s BE80(T) championship, which was unfortunately abandoned, will be rescheduled for April 4 at Norton Disney (1), while the 2020 edition will be held for the first time at its new home at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials

Hickstead’s new cross country schooling facilities swing into action

HICKSTEAD has fine new cross-country schooling facilities, which opened last month, and are available for use at  £36 per horse per hour. They are in two vast all-weather arenas connected with a surfaced track and have brought the largest facility of its kind to the South of England.

There is also a large water complex with a range of combinations jumping in, out and through the lake.

New eventing facilities were unveiled at Hickstead by top event riders Gemma Tattersall, Francis Whittington and Emily King.

The obstacles range from 80 cm to advanced and are all marked – with purple for fences up to 80cm, orange for those up to 90cm,  pink for fences up to 100cm.

Fences up to  105cm will have a yellow marker, and those over 105cm, a green marker.

Top event rider Gemma Tattersall (pictured above) in action

Opening hours are: For the remainder of November: 0800 – 1500; December: 0900 – 1500.

CLOSED December 24th 25th 26th

January: 0900 – 1500; February: 0800 – 1600; March 1st – 30th: 0800 – 1700;        March 31st: 0800 – 1800 (Clocks change) April 0800 – 1800

Andrews Bowen 2012 mix, the most scientifically researched surface, was developed specifically for the London 2012 Olympics and is used at these facilities.

The surface is proven for the full range of Olympic and Paralympic disciplines and endorsed by the FEI. The 2012 mix is a very hard wearing surface and capable of supporting the highest levels of equestrian competition indoors and out.

Hickstead has strict schooling rules for the Cross-country obstacles from 80cm to Advanced, which are all clearly marked with different coloured markers.

80 cm  – Fences up to 80cm will have a purple marker; Fences up to 90cm will have an orange marker; Fences up to 100cm will have a pink marker; Fences up to 105cm will have a Yellow marker aND ADVANCED FENCES OVER 105CM, A GREEN MARKER.

Opening hours: November: 0800 – 1500; December: 0900 – 1500;

CLOSED December 24, 25, 26;  January: 0900 – 1500;February: 0800 – 1600; March 1st – 30th: 0800 – 1700; March 31st: 0800 – 1800 (Clocks change); April 0800 – 1800.The surface

The  Andrew Bowens syrface 2012 mix is made from multi-washed silica sand, three types of polypropylene fibre and a synthetic binder, delivering a huge step forward in performance surface technology.


Riding hats that adhere to the current BE safety standards, with no fixed peak must be worn.

  • Body protectors that adhere to the current BE safety standards must be worn.
  • Failure to wear correct safety equipment will void any insurance and result in the rider being ejected from the facility.
  • Each booking is for one hour, starting at the time stated in your booking confirmation.
  • Pre-paid advanced bookings only. NO cash on the day.
  • Riders must be accompanied by an adult over 18, either on foot or mounted.
  • No dogs in the arena.
  • Dogs must be kept on leads at all times when on the showground.
  • Users must thoroughly poo pick after using the facilities, tools and skips are provided.
  • Parking is on the hard standing car park only. NO parking on the grass.
  • No mucking out lorries or trailers anywhere on site.
  • Car parks must be poo-picked.
  • Riders and their companions must co-operate with other riders sharing the facility.
  • Any bad behaviour or language towards other users or staff will not be tolerated and will result in an immediate suspension or ban.
  • Damage to fences must be reported, you will not be charged.
  • Fences must be checked before they are jumped, to check they are safe and the rider understands the obstacle.
  • Flags must be replaced when knocked out.
  • Do not jump a flagged obstacle in the wrong direction.
  • Do not jump a fence with crossed flags.
  • Do not jump a fence that is beyond your capability.
  • Hickstead Ltd reserves the right to close the facility with no notice and stop any current hire, for reasons including, (but not restricted to): Health and safety, adverse weather conditions, emergency circumstances.
  • Hickstead Ltd has taken all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of the horse and rider. It is your responsibility to take precautions to prevent accidents. Hickstead Ltd reserves the right to remove riders from the facilities. Money will not be refunded. Hickstead Ltd does not accept any liability for any loss, damage, accident, injury or illness to horses, riders or any other persons or property whatsoever. No rider will be allowed on to the course unless these terms and conditions are accepted.

Dramatic finish at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials

By Wendy Nix

It was drama all the way to the finish line at this year’s Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (September 5 – 8 ) as Pippa Funnell regained the trophy she last won in 2003 by the tightest of margins, 0.1 penalties.

Hot on her heels was Piggy French on her 2019 Badminton winner, Vanir Kamira, who finished 0.4 of a penalty ahead of third-placed Oliver Townend riding his 2017 Burghley winner, Ballaghmor Class.

Burghley Winner Pippa Funnell
Photo: Kingswood Associates

Show jumping in reverse order, with literally nothing in hand, Oliver toppled the second fence to add four penalties to his score. Piggy also had a fence down which was just as well for Pippa as MGH Grafton Street – at his first 5* event – took out fence 8, an upright of rails, by the roots. He was clearly unsettled after that, and it took all of Pippa’s horsemanship to bring him home clear over the rest of the course to a tumultuous cheer from the crowds.

Piggy French and Vanir Kamkira in action
Photo: Kingswood Associates

Thursday and Friday saw the dressage taking place with Pippa, Piggy and Oliver all coming near the end although Pippa also rode Billy Walk On on Thursday.

Overnight on Friday, Pippa was in the lead on MGH Grafton Street with 22.8, Oliver lay second with a score of 25.3 with Piggy close at hand in equal fifth (26.9). Gemma Tattersall’s test on Arctic Soul gave her 32.7 while her second ride, Santiago Bay, fared better for 29.9.

Gemma Tattersall and Santiago Bay clearing an obstacle well
Photo: Kingswood Associates

Also from West Sussex were Nana Dalton on Absolut Opposition (35.4), Francis Whittington on Evento (35.3), Australian Isabel English, based at Billingshurst, with Feldale Mouse (34.0) and American Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp, based in North Chailey, riding Deniro Z. Elisabeth lay in equal seventh place after dressage on 28.4.

Oliver Townend and Ballaghmore Class at one of the obstacles Photo: Kingswood Associates

With 22 first timers taking part at Burghley, including Isobel and Elisabeth, it was clear that the cross-country course would take some riding. As ever, course designer Capt. Mark Phillips had offered several options for the not so brave but not even he anticipated the problems caused, particularly at the Rolex Triple Brush (Fence 6) and Joules at the Maltings (Fence 13).

This latter, with three elements for the short route or five for the longer, accounted for no less than 10 retirements or eliminations and three lots of added penalties. The crash team were kept busy replacing rails that had dropped thanks to frangible pins – causing Mark Phillips to comment later that the course had probably set a world record for frangible pins in action.

The scene was set early in the day at the Maltings when the usually very reliable Arctic Soul tipped Gemma out the plate. Isobel knocked a frangible pin to add 11 penalties to her score before also being tipped out the saddle for elimination. Nana retired here after a run-out while Francis, having got through the Maltings unscathed, was eliminated at Fence 20, Clarence Court at the Dairy Mound.

Those who rode forward on committed strides made it all look easy, which it was not, and determination was etched across the faces of Elisabeth who jumped within her limits to go clear, adding 34.4 time penalties to her dressage,

Gemma, who was very pleased to put the Maltings behind her on Santiago Bay, and Pippa who had faith in her ‘lucky number 77’ which she was wearing. Unfortunately, at some stage on the course she lost her much-loved 30-year-old blue hat silk.

“I hate the nerves on Friday night and Saturday morning,” she said afterwards. “I had to stay focused, be brave and committed on ‘Squirrel’ who’s not very experienced. It was a fair course and rode every bit as big as it walked.”

Piggy agreed, “The course felt enormous when walked, the oxers rode as big as they looked and the gates [Fence 16, Land Rover at the Lake, a double on a bending line of two strides or straight on one] were hideous. But I have faith in [Mark Phillips]. The course was as hard as its ever felt and I’ve never made the time before, my horse is a real trier.” Piggy was the sole clear across country inside the time; Pippa added four time penalties while Oliver added just two.

At the end of Saturday, Pippa was in the lead on 26.8, Piggy lay second on 26.9 with Oliver in third on 27.3. Gemma was in sixth on 41.1 and Elisabeth was in fifteenth with 62.8.

The Trot Up on Sunday morning saw four horses sent to the holding box for further inspection, including Santiago Bay. Thankfully, he and two of the others passed on representation to go forward to the show jumping phase. Clear rounds were quite hard to come by, Elisabeth dropping one pole to retain her place while Gemma also had one down which left her in seventh.

And so the weekend ended with thrills to the last second and it was perhaps appropriate that the first three, along with West Sussex’s Tina Cook, had returned from Germany just the week before as European Team Silver Medallists.

Hickstead unveils top class eventing facilities


Hickstead may be known as the home of British showjumping, but now it is set to diversify into the sport of eventing with the launch of extensive new all-weather cross-country facilities.

Top event riders Gemma Tattersall, Francis Whittington and Emily King were on hand to mark the launch of the facilities, yesterday, September 1 for the Arena Eventing classes at the Science Supplements All England Jumping Championships.

From left: Emily King, Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn, Francis Whittington and Gemma Tattersall Photo (c) Spidge Photography

The £500,000 project comprises two vast arenas, connected with an all-weather track. Equine America Ring Three has been transformed from a grass ring to a state-of-the-art Andrews Bowen surfaced arena, while the adjoining Airowear Ring Four has been extended and now features a vast water complex.

The facilities boast around 60 cross-country type obstacles, ranging from 80cm in height to 1.10m, making it ideal for grassroots riders, young and novice horses, and those competing up to British Eventing Novice level.

“This is just the start – we’ll be creating a large stock of additional fences that can be rotated in and out of the arena, allowing us to refresh the design and build new combinations according to the riders’ demands, as well as increasing the height of some fences when event riders begin preparations for their spring events,” explained showground manager William Bunn.

The course will include a wide range of single fences and combinations, with plenty of skinnies, corners and arrowheads. The water complex is expected to be a huge draw, with several jumping options into the water and within the lake.

“We’re delighted to be opening this new winter training facility, which will be open each year from October to May,” added William.

“We believe it’s going to be the biggest and best facility of its kind in the South East, and it is going to be of huge benefit for local riders. Not only will it draw event riders, it will also be a boost for riders from all disciplines and levels, who want to vary their horses’ routines, try something new or just come and have some fun.”

A number of leading eventing experts have assisted with the creation of these exciting new facilities, including Badminton course designer Eric Winter, who oversaw the plans for the initial project, and Olympic course designer David Evans, who was consulted on the design of the course.

Pre-booking for these new facilities is essential via the online booking system which is now live. One-hour sessions will cost £36 per horse, and if you book three sessions you get the fourth one free. The facilities are also available for hire for trainers, Riding Clubs and Branches of the Pony Club who may wish to hold clinics and competitions.

Olympic and World Equestrian Games gold medal-winning event rider Gemma Tattersall, who is based near the showground, said: “I am extremely excited about the new cross-country schooling facility at Hickstead. It’s so close to us, so to have the option of coming here in the winter to train on an all-weather surface is beyond brilliant – what a great opportunity for all of us that live in the South.”

For more information, visit or email


Eventing team for fourth leg of FEI Nations Cup

AFTER two strong performances in the first and third legs, Great Britain will head to Camphire in Ireland from July 27-30 for the next points winning opportunity of the 2019 FEI Nations Cup Series.

The team in alphabetical order is:

David Doel on Gillian Jonas’ 14 year old bay gelding Shannondale Quest

Flora Harris on Caroline Harris’ 15 year old grey mare Amazing VIII

Tom McEwen on Vicky Bates and David Myers’ nine year old chestnut mare CHF Cooliser

Rosa Onslow on Cindy Onslow’s 12 year old bay gelding RLE Limbo Kaiser

With three legs complete in the 2019 series, Sweden lead the way with a total of 215 points, closely followed by Italy on 210.  Team GBR sit in 6th position having contested in two legs of the series.

Event rider David Doel
Photo: British Eventing

The six best results of the seven legs count towards the overall total and the series will next head to France in August:

  • 23-26 May: Houghton International, Great Britain (GB 3rd)
  • 5-8 June: Pratoni Del Vivaro, Italy
  • 27-30 June: Strzegom, Poland, (GB 2nd)
  • 24-29 July: Camphire Cappoquin, Ireland
  • 7-13 August: Le Pin au Haras, France
  • 19-22 September: Waregem, Belgium
  • 10-13 October: Boekelo, Netherlands


Could you represent GB on an Eventing Nations Cup squad?

British Eventing invites riders who meet the criteria below to apply for the British FEI Nations Cups squad in 2019.

The team of four will be chosen from those who have expressed an interest; it is hoped that at least one senior team member will be on the squad and at least two less experienced riders, as it is considered necessary for more riders to have international team experience. Some funding will be provided, depending on the event.

If you meet the following criteria please apply via the details below:

  • Horse/rider combinations from past and present form in CCI4*-S, CCI4*-L and CCI5*-L who have had recent good form.
  • Hold a current and valid British Passport.
  • Are qualified for the forthcoming Nations Cups, horses can be owned by any nationality as they take on the nationality of the rider for a Nations Cup.
  • Neither horses nor athletes are for any reason not allowed to take part in the forthcoming Nations Cups under BE, BEF, or FEI rules.
  • Horse/Rider must be eligible according to the minimum eligibility criteria as defined in the FEI Regulations (Annex 2 BE Members’ Handbook).

If you would like to be considered please fill out the overseas application form HERE and send back via email to Gemma Harriss on Please also send any questions to Gemma.

Event rider Paul Tapner aims for Hickstead treble

Australian event rider Paul Tapner returns to Hickstead next week with the aim of becoming the first person to win the new format MS Amlin Eventers’ Challenge three times in a row.

Paul was victorious in both 2017 and 2018 with the grey Bonza Ring of Rouges, and he hopes he can make it third time lucky with another victory in the Longines International Arena on Thursday July 25.

Paul Tapner, winner of the 2017 and 2018 MS Amlin Eventers’ Challenge
Photo: Nigel Goddard

But there will be plenty of rivals hoping to bring Paul’s winning streak to an end, including talented Gemma Tattersall, based locally in West Sussex. Gemma was part of Britain’s gold medal-winning team at last year’s FEI World Equestrian Games.

She rides Chico Bella P, a mare who has been consistently placed on the Event Rider Masters series.

Gemma competing with Chico Bella   Photo:British Eventing

Other big names taking part in the MS Amlin Eventers’ Challenge include New Zealand’s Lucy Jackson, Ireland’s Joseph Murphy and Brits Alex Bragg, Jeanette Brakewell, Matthew Wright and Nick Gauntlett.

Last year’s runner up Georgie Strang returns for another crack at the title, having finished second to Paul 12 months ago with Cooley Earl.

“The Thursday of the Longines Royal International Horse Show is always an exciting day as we welcome the event riders to Hickstead,” says Lizzie Bunn, Director of the All England Jumping Course.

“We can’t wait to see if Paul Tapner can set a new record, having become the first back-to-back winner of this class already. He was a man on a mission last year, and we’re expecting him to be even quicker this year!”

Tickets for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Great Britain at the Longines Royal International Horse Show (23-28 July) are on sale now from

The MS Amlin Eventers Challenge course has 18 fences, including a number of Hickstead’s famous obstacles such as the Devil’s Dyke, the Road Crossing, the less steep side of the Al Shira’aa Bank and the MS Amlin Irish Bank. Horses also have to jump through the Al Shira’aa Mirage – the lake in the centre of the Longines International Arena – and the course finishes with the Privet Oxer.

Hickstead’s original Eventing Grand Prix was the first of its kind – it was the brainchild of Douglas Bunn, showjumper Paul Schockemöhle and event rider Robert Lemieux. Since then it has inspired countless other similar classes around the world.

The format originally included a dressage test, but this was dropped after a couple of years to make it more of a level playing field. Big names to win the class included Michael Whitaker, Trevor Breen, Andrew Nicholson, Pippa Funnell and Lucinda Fredericks.

A change in TV scheduling meant the class ended in 2014, but it was brought back by popular demand as the MS Amlin Eventers’ Challenge in 2015. The new format is open to event riders only, and is held within the Longines International Arena, with the course staying the same year on year.

Gemma wins Bolesworth International Grand Prix

SUSSEX event rider Gemma Tattersall continues to achieve outstanding results in eventing. She has just won the Cazenove Capital Eventing Grand Prix at the Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show.

She competed with Santiago Bay, reaping £2,000 prize  money with an eight second margin over the showjumping and cross-country obstacles in show’s International Arena.

This top performance has earned her a place in the final at the Theraplate UK Liverpool International Horse Show later this year. She put in a memorable round, in which she tackled the final jump, a joker fence flawlessly and in impressive style.

This difficult fence had subtracted five seconds from many other competitors’ times when they failed to clear it.

Gemma Tattersall

Jay Halim and Abrisco finished second, with long-time leader Bill Levett taking third on Athleet V. The remaining two Liverpool places were filled by Emma Hyslop-Webb and Hannah Bate.

“It was a fantastic class,” said Gemma, who helped Britain to eventing team gold at the World Equestrian Games last September.

“It is my first time here at Bolesworth – I aim to be back for the young horse championship in August – and Santiago Bay is a very special horse. We have a great partnership. She always says yes to every question, and I had a fantastic time in there. She gave me a great ride.”

Santiago Bay

Gemma told reporters: “It is my first time here at Bolesworth – I aim to be back for the young horse championship in August – and Santiago Bay is a very special horse. We have a great partnership. She always says yes to every question, and I had a fantastic time in there. She gave me a great ride.”




Borde Hill Horse Trials at the weekend

Borde Hill Horse Trials take place from Saturday May 25 to Monday May 27 inclusive. The event is sponsored by JH Builders and Bill Kear Arenas and Gallops and will support Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.

The venue is located near Haywards Heath, West Sussex at RH16  1XP and all tracks make good use of the parkland and woodland settings.

Fences are well presented and dressed, with a mix of permanent fences and sturdy portables.

Howard Newitt pictured competing at a previous Borde Hill Horse Trials Photo: British Eventing

New changes will be introduced in all classes this year, providing fair and inviting challenges at all levels.

All areas of the event are meticulously prepared according to the ground conditions and
the course is preserved for the events only and is not open for schooling.

Officials at the event will be:

Joint Organiser – Ms Lucy Cunliffe
Contact Ms Lucy Cunliffe
Phone: 01732 750568
Mobile: 07881 581124

Joint Organiser – Mr John Hill
Contact Mr John Hill
Mobile: 07831 499593

Joint Organiser – Mr Bill Kear
Contact Mr Bill Kear
Phone: 01293 862666
Mobile: 07786 375800

Entries Secretary – Mrs Ann Allen
Contact Mrs Ann Allen
Mobile: 07802 534837 NO CALLS AFTER 7.00PM

Horse trials Nations Cup Squad announced

The selected British squad for the Saracen Horse Feeds Houghton International Horse Trials from May 23-26, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Richard Coney (20) riding his own and Wendy Coney’s 11 year old bay gelding Kananaskis
  • Piggy French (38) on Jennifer Saunders’ 11 year old bay gelding Cooley Monsoon
  • Eliza Stoddart (26) and the Flint Syndicate’s 12 chestnut gelding Dick O Malley
  • Bubby Upton (20) and Amy O’Connor and Rachel Upton’s 16 year old gelding Fernhill Rock Star

The British squad of four, who will compete on home soil for the first leg of the seven leg CCIO4*-S series, sees three riders, and all four horses, receive their first senior team call up for Team GBR. Led by GB team stalwart and recent Badminton CCI5*-L and team World Championship gold medalist, Piggy French is joined by Richard Coney, Eliza Stoddart and Bubby Upton, who will all make their first senior team appearance.

Gold medalist Piggy French will lead the team.
Photo courtesy of

Great Britain will head to the opening of the 2019 FEI Nations Cup series on home soil and as defending champions following their win on a total of 94 points last year. The 2019 series calendar is as follows:

  • 23-26 May: Houghton International, Great Britain
  • 5-8 June: Pratoni Del Vivaro, Italy
  • 27-30 June: Strzegom, Poland
  • 24-29 July: Camphire Cappoquin, Ireland
  • 7-13 August: Le Pin au Haras, France
  • 19-22 September: Waregem, Belgium
  • 10-13 October: Boekelo, Netherlands