Enthusiasts of showjumping unite! There's a major change happening. The esteemed Showjumping British Young Horse Championships is making a sophisticated leap from its former locale to a more prestigious stepping-stone for young UK horses. Pack your bags, we're heading to Hickstead!

The Move to Hickstead

A welcome development for British breeders, the British Young Horse Championships’ transfer to the iconic West Sussex showground is already creating positive ripples in the equestrian community. Scheduled to run from the 9th to the 12th of August, this event will feature qualifiers and finals for four-, five-, six- and seven-year-olds. The cherry on top? An alluring prize fund of nearly £80,000.

Hickstead's director, Lizzie Bunn, captures the excitement:

We are really pleased to be the new hosts of this prestigious championships, which will be a showcase for the very best of young showjumping horses in this country. While there are a few other open classes at this show, ranging from 1.10m up to a 1.40m grand prix, the focus is very much on our young horse classes and celebrating the up-and-coming equine talent in this country."

The Championships' Significance

The event represents more than just a contest. The age finals will stay in the UK as qualifiers for the World Breeding Championship for Young Horses, set to take place in Lanaken, Belgium, in September. Now that's a big leap, from local to global!

Furthermore, riders in the Prestige Italia six-year-old championship will compete for the Big Star Trophy, awarded in honour of Nick Skelton’s 2016 Olympic champion. Any horse that jumps triple clear in one of the four Big Star qualifiers between May and July will be eligible for the £1,000 Big Star bonus.

Bright Spotlights on Breeding Excellence

Such key Championships event reminds us that nurturing young equines is crucial for the equestrian industry's future. It's the perfect stage to unveil the stars of tomorrow. As Hickstead hero William Funnell noted, these events are "invaluable for producing young horses and highlighting their abilities". He is sponsoring the Billy Stud Auction five-year-old championship and will award £5,000 prizes for the highest-placed horse bought in a Billy Stud auction in the four- and five-year-old finals. Yes, you read that correctly, £5,000 prizes!

Broadening Support for Young Horses

The support for this championship isn't limited to just one or two sponsors. Title sponsor of the Hickstead Derby, Al Shira’aa, has naming rights for the four-year-old final. Alicia MacDonald, director of Al Shira’aa Farms, confirmed their commitment stating, "We at Al Shira’aa thoroughly enjoy the production of young horses and look forward to being a part of this event".

Breen Equestrian, which is sponsoring the seven-year-old final, is also optimistic about the event's potential. As Chloe Breen added, “Breeding future superstars has always been the goal of Breen Equestrian, and as such we are delighted to sponsor the British Seven Year Old Championship at its new home, here at Hickstead.

Join the Celebration of Young Equine Talent

Adding to the excitement is the fact that admission and parking for this event is free! So why not immerse yourself in the exhilarating spirit of the championships and savour the incredible display of young equine talent? Mark the dates in your equestrian calendar: Entries open in July.

The move of the British Young Horse Championships to Hickstead is a fresh and promising development for our young talents and their breeders. It's time to saddle up, showjumping fans, the countdown to August begins!

Source: Horse & Hound