NEWs

Project Pony to support British Eventing Pony Observation Trials

British Eventing is delighted to announce that Project Pony will be generously sponsoring a series of Pony Observation Trials throughout the 2024 season.

The Pony Observation Trials will be specifically designed to ensure that youth members on ponies are given the best opportunity to confidently develop and challenge their skills. The Pony European Championships are often the first aspiration that many youth members will have, and by creating observation trials that are designed explicitly for them, we can be assured that we are doing all we can to both assist and prepare riders hoping to fulfil their ambitions.

Darrell Scaife, Head of Youth at British Eventing said: “One challenge we have in producing ponies for the Pony European Eventing Championships each year is that our current observation trials do not match the experience on the field-of-play in Europe. We very much wanted to find a solution to this, which saw us approach Project Pony to ask if they would support the concept of creating a series of Pony Observation Trials that would allow for a hybrid cross-country course. The hybrid novice class observation trials will run the cross-country phase with reduced top spread on fences, and additional jumping elements at combination fences to ensure the technicality reflects the questions posed at a Pony Championship. The concept has, I am pleased to say, equally been endorsed by Project Pony which has resulted in them generously offering to support the trials at the venues suggested.”

Connie Villani from Project Pony said of their support: “It has been highlighted to us the need for the Pony Observation Trials to increase their technicality in the cross-country phase, in order to give pony riders the best preparation and education for what they will encounter when competing Internationally and at Pony European level. It is with this in mind that we were pleased to be able to offer our support and work in partnership with British Eventing. We feel this initiative will assist the entire pony membership with a structure for them to both aim for and develop within. “Giving talent a chance” is something we believe in and are pleased these changes could be implemented in time for the 2024 season, giving these talented young riders and ponies, competing at the very highest level for their age group, the chance to be the very best they can be and highlight their talent on the international scene.”

The seven Pony Observation Trials that Project Pony will be sponsoring are listed below:

  • Lincoln PT Novice (15-17th March)
  • Larkhill PT Novice (6-7 April)
  • Cirencester PT Novice (27-28 April)
  • Aston Le Walls Final Trial (5-7 July)
  • Bishop Burton PT 105 (26-28 July)
  • Cornbury Horse Trials PT105 (12-15 September)
  • Norton Disney PT Novice (25-27 October)

This is alongside other important events in the pony eventing calendar which Project Pony will continue to support, including:

  • Osberton International CCIP2*S (3-5 May)
  • Belsay International CCIP2*L, incorporating the British Pony Championship (29 May-2 June)
  • Osberton International CCIP2*S (3-6 October)

Rosie Williams, Chief Executive at British Eventing said: “The youth programme is important to British Eventing, and it is great to be working with Project Pony, who are already investing in eventing for young people, on this initiative. There is no better time for younger riders wishing to event to be joining British Eventing and I look forward to watching our pony riders of today develop into potential senior team riders of the future as a result of the training, education and competition structure available to them.”

The British Eventing Pony Observation Trials, supported by Project Pony, form part of the Youth Eventing framework which offers access to age-specific training, education and competition opportunities across all ages and levels of experience. Further information on the British Eventing Youth Offer can be found here.

Further information on Project Pony and the support that they provide to young talented event riders can be found by visiting www.projectpony.co.uk.

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