Riders and owners of rare breed horses and ponies are encouraged to take part in a new competition highlighting the skills of these special equines.

Those looking to take part in The Rare Breeds Survival Trust’s (RBST) Versatility Showcase can log their wins and placings and judges will allocate points according to their results. The highest scoring horses and ponies will be crowned winners of their respective category.

The Showcase is open to all equine breeds listed on the RBST Watchlist, including the Welsh, Shetland, Irish Draught and Connemara and there is also a category for partbreds.

Categories are split into Junior and Senior sections and include showing, dressage, eventing, showjumping, driving, hacking/driving miles (a great option for those already taking part in out Hack 1000 Miles challenge), overall versatility, veteran, mares, geldings, stallion handlers, riders and breeders. Riders can also gain points by attending events such as Pony Club, hunting and public displays.

“We are excited to launch the RBST Versatility Showcase, and we’re really looking forward to celebrating the skills and abilities of the UK’s native equine breeds with handlers, riders and breeders from across the UK,” said Rare Breeds Survival Trust Chief Executive Christopher Price.

“It’s positive that many people are aware of how breeds such as the Clydesdale Horse, the Cleveland Bay and the Fell Pony have served our nation for centuries in our fields, forests, quarries and armies and on our roads. But it’s also really important for our native breeds’ future that we increase recognition of their suitability and versatility for modern needs, and the great joy they can bring today.

“The new RBST Versatility Showcase is a great platform for riders to demonstrate just how special and multi-talented the UK’s native breeds are, encouraging more people to choose a native horse or pony.”

The RBST Versatility Showcase will run throughout 2024. Points can be backdated to the 1 of January and can be submitted up until the 31 of December, with winners announced in January 2025.

RBST Versatility Showcase points will be awarded from 1st – 6th place, with additional points being awarded for Champion, Reserve Champion and Supreme. National and international level events will be worth double points. Results will need to be signed by the show secretary or committee member, or be verifiable via photos or online.

Entrants will submit the data for their horse or horses by 31 December 2024.

To find out more visit www.rbst.org.uk/news/the-rbst-versatility-showcase or email RBST at enquiries@rbst.org.uk

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