County and Agricultural Show organisers have responded “extremely positively” to the recent announcement of a new showing series with finals at The London International Horse Show.

There have been a significant number of organisers requesting permission to run classes from the series at their shows in 2023, after organisers of the Christmas London show worked with the British Show Pony Society (BSPS), the British Show Horse Association (BSHA) and the Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations (ASAO), to create the series.

Consisting of 20 different classes, which cover everything from hacks and cobs, to cradle stakes and coloured ponies, the new series is aimed to bring showing to a wider audience. Its emphasis is to be inclusive, with a focus on the amateur home-produced competitor, encouraging them to compete at their local agricultural and county show.

Entrants for the classes will not have to be an association/society member to compete in the qualifying classes but would have to join the relevant association/society if they reach the final. It is hoped that this will encourage many more competitors to ‘have a go’ at their local show.

“Showing is an intrinsic part of our member shows and we look forward to working with LIHS this year to expand this fantastic new series across the UK,” said Paul Hooper OBE, Secretary of the ASAO and President of the Mid Somerset Show. “We hope all competitors enjoy competing at our member shows throughout the summer and wish them all the very best of luck at reaching the finals of all the equine competitions on offer.”

Paul Cook of BSPS said it was “very exciting” that so many show organisers had come forward to request permission to run these classes.

“We are sure that this new format will make the classes more interesting for the public to watch as commentators will be encouraged to be much more informative for the watching public, describing what is required of the competitor and what the public should be looking out for,” he said. “The finals in London at Christmas time are going to be an event not to be missed.”

Nigel Hollings, of BSHA was also delighted with the response from show organisers.

“It will be a great experience for finalists to compete at The London International Horse Show in December – Showing started in the capital with The International Horse Show at Olympia, holding many classes when it started in 1907, so the circle is now complete with Showing coming home,” he added. “This is such an exciting development for the showing world.”

Planned classes

The showing classes planned for The London International Horse Show under the new series are as follows:

Day One
Rising Star of  Small & Lightweight Hunter Type BSHA
Rising Star of Middlewight & Heavyweight Hunter Type
Rising Star of Hunter Type Championship
Rising Star of Lightweight Cob Type
Rising Star of Heavyweight Cob Type
Rising Star of Maxi Cob Type
Rising Star of Cob Type Championship
Day Two
Rising Star of Small Riding Horse Type BSHA
Rising Star of Large Riding Horse Type
Rising Star of Riding Horses Type Championship
Rising Star of Hack Type
Rising Star of Hack Type Championship
Day Three
Rising Star Racehorse to Show Horse BSHA
Rising Star Ladies Show Horse
Rising Star Working Show Horse
Rising Star of Working Hunter Type
Rising Star Workers Championship
Day Four
BSPS Junior Performance Pony BSPS
BSPS Performance Pony not exc 148cm
BSPS Performance Pony not exc 158cm
BSPS Performance Pony Championship
Day Five
BSPS Performance Coloured Native/Cob/Traditional Horse/Pony Class BSPS
BSPS Performance Coloured Non Native Horse/Pony Class
BSPS Performance Coloured Championship
BSPS Heritage Lead Rein Working Sports Pony
Open Cradle Stakes Class 
Open Nursery Stakes Class 

All the BSHA classes are aimed at amateurs, whilst the BSPS classes are not restricted to amateurs. The final list of shows that will host classes for the series will be released mid-February.

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