The NEXGEN Young Horse Series has been gratefully received by riders and owners following the first four qualifiers, with excitement about the final growing.
The inaugural series is the first of its kind in the UK and recognises the talents of four, five and six year olds across all three disciplines. With qualifiers at Keysoe, Richmond Equestrian Centre, Windmill Farm and Coombelands Equestrian Centre the series is set to culminate in an exciting final at Hickstead on 15/16 September 2020.
NEXGEN judge, Richard Jones commented, “The courses are testing but fair and highly educational for young horses. It’s great to watch the horses grow in confidence from start to finish.”
Internationally renowned competition horse producers, Tim and Antonia Brown added, “This really is a series for riders, run by riders and to bring all three Olympic disciplines together for the first time is a great initiative.”
With qualifiers for Hickstead being hugely popular with both professional and amateur young horse producers, new qualifying dates have been added at Field House Equestrian, Cockshot Dressage and Sparsholt Equestrian. The events have been complimented as being efficiently run with a live scoring system straight after each individual round, which is set to be even more of a spectacle during the final.
Uptown Eventing’s Rachel Wakefield, one of the founding Directors behind NEXGEN said, “We are delighted at how well the qualifiers has been received and have huge plans for the future of this series, which will continue to follow a very continental format.”
The series which are partnered by Elite Stallions, Coldstream Equestrian, Baileys Horse Feeds, Equestriana and Custom Saddlery, introduces a list of additional prizes for riders, breeders and owners and is changing the pathway for all young horses in the UK for the future.
“The horses have to grow in confidence from when they set foot in the arena”, NEXGEN’s Victoria Wright added, “we want to give them the best foundations to enable them to progress to the top levels of sport.”
For more information go to www.nexgenhorses.com.
David Howden and his family taken in front of Cornbury House
29 July 2020
Launching a brand-new sporting event in 2020 may seem like an unusual thing to do, but one man’s passion for horses and his determination to see an historic equestrian venue spring into life again means that Cornbury House Horse Trials (11-13 September) is set to become a highlight of the eventing calendar.
Event President David Howden moved to Cornbury House in Oxfordshire in 2017, and discovered that its beautiful surroundings had been the site of a major horse trials in the 1990s. Given his family’s love of and deep connection with horses, he was inspired to make it so once again.
With the help of experienced organisers Richard Clapham and Pattie Biden, cross-country course-designer David Evans and course-builder Adrian Ditcham and their teams, David Howden has brought this exciting dream to fruition. Cornbury House Horse Trials’ inaugural running will take place between 11 and 13 September 2020, and will feature the best possible facilities and conditions for the world-class equestrian athletes expected to compete there – and substantial prize-money for the senior international classes.
“It has been quite a challenge; first last winter’s weather held up our plans, and then along comes Covid-19,” said David. “For me, Cornbury House Horse Trials has always been about three things: the riders, the horses and their owners. I really wanted to focus on the sport, and to do that, we needed to be able to produce exactly the right conditions for them, which has meant considerable investment.
“We are delighted to be able to offer high levels of prize-money - £2,500 to the winner of the CCI3*-S and £1,250 to the winner of the CCI2*-S - in our first year, and we can’t wait to welcome riders and owners to this spectacular setting in September.”
The event site has the ancient woodlands of the Wychwood Forest as a backdrop and looks down on Cornbury House and the town of Charlbury. Although this year’s horse trials is likely to be held without spectators, in accordance with government guidelines regarding sporting events, the event will be filmed and broadcast so that fans and those connections to the participants who are unable to be there don’t miss out. David Howden plans that in future years, the event will reflect his passion for sustainability and the importance of the local community, with locally-produced food and goods available to visitors in an intimate setting but with all the technology and innovation of a major sporting occasion.
“We want to offer a lovely day out with thrilling sport in a magnificent setting,” he said. “We are determined to put Cornbury House Horse Trials on in 2020 with the very high standards that we always envisaged.”
Cornbury House Horse Trials will stage international classes at CCI3*-S and CCI2*-S level, and national novice and intermediate classes. It will also host two NAF-sponsored Youth Performance sections at CCI3*-S and CCI2*-S, offering opportunities for the country’s best under-21 riders in a year in which many of their principal targets have been lost.
Jude Matthews, CEO of British Eventing, said: “NAF are wonderful supporters of up-and-coming young event riders and we are very grateful to them for their support of these extra classes at Cornbury House. We are also grateful to Cornbury House Horse Trials’ President, David Howden, for providing this brilliant opportunity for our under-21 competitors.”
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Mid July British and Dutch top dressage riders will perform their Grand Prix tests in the online GP Dressage Challenge organized by CDIO Hickstead and CHIO Rotterdam. From each country up to 20 top Grand Prix dressage combinations will ride the official Olympic Grand Prix test for the camera in the dressage arenas of the venues in Hickstead and Rotterdam. International judges Stephen Clarke and Mariette Sanders - van Gansenwinkel give their live comments and online spectators will be able to score the tests. Dates and channels for the broadcast with live commentary of the online GP Dressage Challenge will be announced shortly.
Grand Prix riders in both countries including Charlotte Dujardin (GBR), Emile Faurie (GBR) and Dutch chef d'equipe Alex van Silfhout responded positively on this initiative. The complete line up will follow.
"The whole equestrian world was so much looking forward to this Olympic year. COVID-19 has not only resulted in cancellation of the Olympics and our events in Rotterdam and Hickstead, it was also a great disappointment for the fans that will not see their favorite dressage riders and horses in action probably most of this year", says Patrick van der Meer, sports director Dressage at CHIO Rotterdam. "Together with CDIO Hickstead we now show them how dressage has progressed during lock down."
"We're excited about this online challenge between these two top dressage nations", says Dane Rawlins, show director CDIO Hickstead. "For the riders this is a unique measuring moment on their way to Tokyo 2021 and an opportunity to feel the competition pressure which they lack completely this year. And of course for all dressage lovers to get a glimpse from their favorite GP dressage combination."
The tests will be filmed prior under FEI rules but with no public. More details on competitors, broadcasting, sponsors, starting orders, etc. will follow and will be published on chio.nl and dressageathickstead.com and on social media (#rotterdamhicksteadgpc).