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BHS British Riding Clubs
BHS Riding Club European Championship achieves FEI status

The British Horse Society Riding Club European Eventing Championship, also known as 'Rural Riders', has been accepted by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) as an FEI event. The event is set at CIC** level and riders who complete the event will be able to count it as a qualification towards CCI** and CIC*** events. British Riding Clubs (BRC) have been at the forefront pushing for Rural Riders to become an FEI event.

In 2002, the event was hosted by British Riding Clubs at Hartpury College, Gloucester, when Great Britain won the Bronze medal. Peter Buist, Vice-Chairman of BRC and organiser of the 2002 event, said, "This is great news for the riders and an extra incentive for people to take part. It will also make life easier for organisers and officials as for the first time we will be able to operate with a fully defined set of rules."

Preparations are now underway for the next championship, scheduled to take place at Minderhout, Belgium from 15 - 20 July 2003. BRC are currently accepting CVs from members and anyone who wishes to be considered should telephone or email Hilary McKenna urgently (Tel: 0191 420 6921 or The first of a number of training and selection trials will take place at Brooksby College, Melton Mowbray, on 14 & 15 February. The 2003 team will retain the same management as in 2002 with Captain Richard Waygood again taking on the responsibility of Chef d'Equipe and team trainer.

The championship is for national teams of six riders, in addition each nation is allowed to take two reserve riders to the event who will also be able to compete as individuals. In the team competition there are four phases, a team dressage test, individual dressage, cross country and show jumping.

BRC are also planning to run a 'Home International' event based on the Rural Riders format at its own Eventing Championship to be held at Offchurch Bury in August 2003. The competition will run over the 'Special Open' cross country course closely equivalent to British Eventing Intermediate level.


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