Everything Else

Championship Entitlement?

The one thing which currently annoys me intensely is the emerging theme of championship entitlement. Where has this come from? Personally, I blame the introduction of the Mitsubishi Cup. Before that nobody gave a hoot about championships with Gatcombe remaining the big championship for everyone to aim for.  But with the arrival of a BE90 and BE100 championship there has arrived this sense that everyone who events should have something to aim for.

The biggest debate I see is about the whole amateur vs professional debate. Amateurs are loudly asking for more championships etc. The main issue is that British Eventing refuses to define what an amateur is. I recently was involved in a discussion on this with someone who I did not know but who had a daughter competing at advanced. Their view was it was easy to monitor who was an amateur because ‘everyone knows who they are’. Well that’s a really great way to define a rule with hearsay. They then went on to say the Pippa’s and William’s of the world. Rules need to be fair and clearly thought about and both of those sweeping statements luckily have not been bought in and I think highlights how clearly rider definitions need to be thought about.

In my view, I don’t think it’s hard to define an amateur but it will have unintended consequences and it will mean people fall into the category who are currently eligible for Grassroots etc.

The beauty of the grassroots rules is that you are either eligible or you are not and it’s easy to check. This is

Heidi Coy 3rd

a fair rule. I can hear the moaning now from those who rode in an Intermediate 8 years ago and now find that they are not eligible but frankly we are not talking about being wiped out of a whole category of competition, just being eligible for a championship. Rules have to be set at some place and however much people moan, by having reached Intermediate those riders have ridden/trained to a higher level that will give them an advantage over someone who has not.

This brings me to my next thought and this is that at the moment amateurs seem to think there should be a championship for everything and everyone. If you have a one eyed, grey horse which is ridden by a 44 year, then they appear to want a championship for it. At the moment these are the options.

Level Championship Restriction
BE80 None N/A
BE90 Mitsubishi Cup Horses must be Grade 4 at the ballot date for the Regional Final.

Riders must not have completed an Intermediate or higher level competition during the current or preceding ten calendar seasons and must never have competed in a 4* competition.

BE90 4 Year Old Champs 4 Year Old horses are placed in a ratio of 1 for every 10 starters in a qualifying class (a class nominated by BE as a qualifying class).
BE90 Scottish BE90 Any combination placed first to fifth in a BE90 section in Scotland between

1st July of the preceding year and 30th June of current year is qualified to compete at the Scottish BE90 Championship.

BE100 Mitsubishi Cup Horses must be Grade 4 at the ballot date for the Regional Final.

Riders must not have completed an Intermediate or higher level competition during the current or preceding ten calendar seasons and must never have competed in a 4* competition.

BE100 Scottish BE100 Any eligible combination placed first to fifth in a BE100 or BE100 Open section in Scotland between 1st July of the preceding year and 30th June of current year is qualified to compete at the Scottish BE100 Championship. All eligible Horses must be Grade 4 at the ballot date of the event at which they qualify for the Scottish BE100 Championship.
BE100 5 Year Old Champs 5 Year Old horses are placed in a ratio of 1 for every 10 starters in a qualifying class (a class nominated by BE as a qualifying class).
BE100 BE100u18 In summary there is a list of rules but basically you need to be 12-18 years old!
Novice Restricted Corinthian Cup Horses, when Grade 2, 3, or 4 ridden by competitors who in 2016 are in the

year of their 19th birthday or older who finish in the top 10 per cent in any

Novice, Open Novice, Intermediate Novice, CIC1* or CCI1* (excluding

ONU18 and Pony Trials) held at BE events from 1st July 2015 to 30th June 2016 will qualify for the National Restricted Novice Championship.

In order to be eligible for the National Restricted Novice Championship, a rider must not have completed an Intermediate class in the current or preceding five years and must not have completed an Advanced class in the current or preceding 10 years.

Novice Novice Champs Horse/rider must be qualified as for Open Intermediate classes and must have completed one Intermediate level class, clear cross country and with fewer than 16 show jumping penalties which must be obtained by 27th July 2016 OR one CCI1* with an FEI MER. A horse must start the season in which it competes at a Novice Regional Final and qualifies for the Novice Championship Final either Grade 2, 3 or 4.
Novice Scottish and Northern Regional Novice Championship This Championship will be run in accordance with the Rules for an Intermediate

Novice Class, but confined to: Horses that from 1st July of the previous season to 30th June of the current season that have been placed in the first 10 of a CCI1* or in the first 6 of a CIC1* or 1st, 2nd or 3rd in an IN, ON or Nov including ONu18 one day event in the Scottish & Northern Region or elsewhere in GB if ridden by a resident in the Region. Grade 2 and 3 horses ridden by a resident in the Region that have completed in the previous 6 months to the championships with no more than 20 XC jumping penalties and 16 SJ penalties at Intermediate, CIC 2* or CCI2*. No Grade 1 horses at Ballot Date.

Novice Welsh Novice Championship The Welsh Novice Championship will run as a Championship Class at

Intermediate Novice level during the 2016 Chepstow Horse Trials (or, should

the need arise and with the approval of British Eventing, at an alternative venue). This Championship shall be open to horse and riders that (as a combination)

have, between 1st June 2015 and 31st May 2016, either: Been placed first to tenth at any BE Novice, Open Novice, Intermediate Novice or CIC1* in Wales, Or Where the horse is owned or ridden by a resident of Wales and has been placed first to tenth at any Open Novice, Intermediate Novice or CIC1*. Where the horse is owned or ridden by a resident of Wales and has completed in the top 20 per cent at any CCI1*.Exclusions: Horses with Grade 1 points gained by the ballot date of Chepstow Horse Trials 2016 will not be eligible to compete in the Welsh National

Championship.

Novice National Pony Championships Riders in the year of their 14th birthday until the end of the year of their 16th

birthday; Ponies must be between 142cm (14hh) and 148cm (14.2hh) without shoes; Ponies must be at least six years old; As a combination riders and ponies must have achieved in the current and

preceding year, 3 clear rounds cross country with no more than 16 SJ penalties

in any of the following classes; PT or ONu18, N, ON;

Novice ONU18 Championship Riders must be in the year of their 12th-18th birthday to compete in ONu18

classes. However, riders must be in the year of their 14th – 18th birthday

year in order to compete in the Under 18 Regional Team Championships

(CCI1*) as per FEI rules. ONu18 classes are open to all grades of horses and ponies aged 6 years old and above. In order to be eligible for the Regional Team Championships horses and

ponies must not have completed an Advanced, CIC3*, CCI3*, CCI4* in the current year.

Novice National Under 18 Championships Held on an annual basis and run as a CCI1*; British Under 18 Championships qualification: in addition to being qualified for CCI1* horses and riders, as a combination, must have completed 1

Intermediate level competition with no more than 20 xc jumping penalties in the current or preceding year;

Novice 6 Year Old Champs 6 Year Old horses are qualified for CIC1* level (no qualifying classes will be held) and have a minimum of 1 BE point at the time of entry.
Intermediate Intermediate Champs Horses that when graded 2, 3 or 4 at the event ballot date, finish 1st, 2nd or

3rd in any Intermediate section held at BE events between 1st June of the previous season and 31st May of the current season inclusive will qualify to compete at the Championship Final. Horses that when graded 2, 3 or 4 at the event ballot date, are placed 1st to 4th in any Open Intermediate, Advanced Intermediate or CIC2* section held at BE events will qualify to compete at the Championship Final. Horses placed 1st to 10th in a CCI2* held within the qualifying period, and

graded 2, 3 or 4 at the start of that competition, will qualify directly for the

Championship Final.

Intermediate Scottish Intermediate Championship The Intermediate Championship will be run in accordance with the Rules for a

CIC2* class, and is open to all those qualified to compete at that level.

Intermediate National Under 21 Championships Held on an annual basis and run as a CCI2*;To be eligible horses and riders must be qualified as per the FEI qualifications for CCI2* as laid out in the BE Members’ Handbook and be in the year of their 16th to the year of 21st Birthday;
Intermediate 7 Year Old Champs 7 Year Old horses are qualified for CIC2* level (no qualifying classes will

be held)

Advanced Open Champs Both horse and rider, not necessarily as a combination, that during the period

of 1st June of the previous season and 31st May of the current season (unless specified below), have been placed: 1st-6th in an Advanced section held at a BE event or: 1st -10th at any CIC3* or CCI3* or: in the top 25 per cent of the individual classification at a CCI4* at any time or: have been long listed or represented Great Britain at senior level for a European, World Championship or Olympic Games, or represented Great Britain at a Young Rider European Championships and be qualified as for a CIC3*

Advanced Scottish Open Championship The Open Championship will be run in accordance with the Rules for a CIC3*

class, and is open to all those qualified to compete at that level.

Advanced National Under 25 Championships Held on an annual basis and run as a CCI3*; To be eligible horses and riders must be qualified as per the FEI qualifications for CI3* as laid out in the BE Members’ Handbook and be in the year of their 18th to the year of 25th Birthday;

 

I think that is a fair amount of championship options for all those who moan. I appreciate some championships are restricted because of horse age or rider eligibility but I really do not get this argument that ‘I have nothing to aim for’. Should British Eventing be providing something for everyone to aim for? And the answer is no.

There should not be a championship for every single person and I believe the balance is now almost right with the introduction of the Corinthian Cup. The one level that is completely missed is BE80 and actually I believe this is a miss. It used to be a very popular championship and it should be reintroduced.

_Q9A4466I refer back to the mother whose daughter who is competing at advanced and said there should be a championship for amateurs competing at advanced. Now this is where I start to feel sorry for organisers. Not only has BE not defined amateur but I expect the number of people eligible for this would be slim. There is a championship available for this person, so why should a special one be created to make it easier to do well? This rider is competing at a professional level; they are choosing to compete at this level. It’s not forced. The simple thing would be for BE to give a prize to best amateur at the British Championships even though I appreciate BE has never defined amateur!

Riders have to make choices every day and I appreciate it’s a dilemma when you have one good horse to go for Intermediate and lose the chance of going to the Grassroots Championships for ten years but it is a choice. Nobody is forcing you. Riders at this level also have the additional option of going FEI and some pretty amazing locations which those who are not at CCI1* and above cannot do. You can still be an ambitious amateur and have plenty of options, it might be a tough option like having to go to the Novice Championships vs the Corinthian Cup but it is still an option.

About the author

Lucy

An amateur rider who produces all her own horses. I have competed at novice level and sadly never got further due to bad luck with horses but I am still ambitious to achieve a lot more. I have a riding qualification in UKCC2 and a diploma in NLP. Sports science and particularly the mental game fascinates me. For a day job I work for a large multinational brand.