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Hickstead To Stage New M&M Championship At RIHS

Hickstead, encouraged by the rapidly growing interest in Mountain and Moorland classes, is to introduced a new British Show Pony Society championship at next year's (subs - 2003) Royal International Horse Show.

It will be the culmination of a series with qualifying classes at up to 25 shows nationwide and will be held on the Thursday of the RIHS, provisionally scheduled for July 23-27.

Mountain and Moorland ridden classes are acknowledged as one of the fastest growth areas of the British showing calendar, alongside those for coloured horses and ponies. The RIHS successfully introduced coloured classes on to its schedule in 2002.

Hickstead saw the need for a mid-summer championship which will encourage early-season competitions around the country. It recognised that the BSPS, with its proven links with the RIHS, would be the ideal partner because of its large membership and high number of affiliated shows.

The new series will be called the BSPS Heritage Mountain and Moorland Championship and be made up of Open Leading Rein, Open First Ridden, Mini Championship, three Open Ridden classes and an Open Ridden Championship.

Jim McTiffin, chairman of the BSPS, said: "This Heritage championship is really something special. Mountain and Moorland is a growth side of the showing scene and these classes will be really popular with our members."

"I am delighted that Hickstead has been able to include them in the really busy schedule for the Royal International Horse Show."

And Hickstead owner Douglas Bunn commented: "The addition of these M&M classes to our schedule means that the Royal International Horse Show now caters for most British breeds of horse and ponies and confirms its position as the greatest outdoor show in the country."


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