In yet another exciting move for equestrian sport, the organisers of the South of England Show have announced the 2023 event will host, for the first time in recent history, equine showing and showjumping classes for unaffiliated competitors.
Taking place on Friday 9th-Sunday 11th June 2023, the South of England show will host the classes that form part of the qualification for the London International Horse Show (LIHS) new series of showing classes, as well as showjumping qualifiers by the Sunshine Tour Championship. It aims to host a full programme of qualifiers for unaffiliated competitors in a bid to make both showing and jumping competitions accessible to all and allow more riders to compete at a show as prestigious as the South of England Show, with a chance to get to the celebrated finals later in the year.
The LIHS has worked in partnership with the British Show Pony Society (BSPS), the British Show Horse Association (BSHA) and the Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations (ASAO) to produce the new series to bring showing to a wider audience.
Showing classes featured at the South of England Show, which will enable riders to qualify for the London International Horse Show (held at London’s Excel from 14th to 18th December 2023), are:
- Rising Star Small & Lightweight Hunter
- Rising Star Middle & Heavyweight Hunter
- Rising Star Lightweight Cob
- Rising Star Heavyweight Cob
- Rising Star Maxi Cob
- Rising Star Small Riding Horse
- Rising Star Large Riding Horse
- Rising Star Hack
- Rising Star Racehorse to Show Horse
- Rising Star Ladies Show Horse
- BSPS Junior Performance Pony
- BSPS Performance Pony not ex 148cm
- BSPS Performance Pony not ex 158cm
- BSPS Performance Coloured Native/Cob/Traditional Horse/Pony Class
- BSPS Performance Coloured Non-Native Horse/Pony Class
- BSPS Heritage Lead Rein Working Sports Pony
The Sunshine Tour offers unaffiliated and amateur competitors the chance to qualify to compete at their championships at the All-England Jumping Course at Hickstead. Showjumping classes featured at the South of England Show to qualify for the Sunshine Tour (held at Hickstead from 14th to 17th September 2023) are:
- Sunshine Tour Qualifier 60cm
- Sunshine Tour Qualifier 70cm
- Sunshine Tour Qualifier 80cm
Corrie Ince, Show Director for the South of England Show, said:
The South of England Show is attended by tens of thousands of people every year. In addition to a packed programme of agricultural displays, country pursuits, live entertainment, rural crafts, horticulture, and a variety of food, drink, and shopping opportunities, the show features many competitions and displays for equestrians, including international showjumping, heavy horses, the Shetland Grand National and an Inter Hunt Relay. By introducing these qualifiers, we’re hoping that competing at our show will become more accessible and give those who would never normally have the chance, the opportunity to ride in a professional ring, encouraging a new generation of equine enthusiasts and competitors. In addition, it gives amateur and grassroots horses and riders a great platform to compete at a major show against other similar competitors, with the added bonus of possibly qualifying to compete on a world stage at the London International Horse Show or Hickstead, the home of British showjumping”
To enter any qualifying classes at the South of England Show, please visit Seas – Competing at the South England Show. Entries fees start from £15.