At the Annual Conference of the Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations (ASAO), organisers of The London International Horse Show announced an exciting new Showing Series to run in 2023 with finals taking place at the renowned annual Christmas horse show in London in December. 

The organisers have worked with the British Show Pony Society (BSPS), the British Show Horse Association (BSHA) and ASAO, to create a joint series that consists of 23 different classes which will be held at ASAO member shows including BSHA Rising Star classes for Hunters, Hacks, Cobs, Riding Horses and Show Horses and BSPS classes for Performance Ponies including Coloured Ponies, Mountain and Moorland Lead Rein, Working Sports Ponies, and Cradle and Nursery Stakes Working Hunter Pony classes which give the youngest riders the chance to qualify for the first time for a major indoor final.

The emphasis on this new series is to be inclusive with a focus on the amateur 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 expected that this open invitation will encourage many more competitors to ‘have a go’ at their local show.

The BSHA classes are Rising Stars classes and are performance led with all participants completing a timed freestyle show on the day. The classes are open to amateur BSHA members and non-members.

The BSPS classes are not restricted to amateurs however the majority of the classes are performance classes. For example, the Lead Rein Class will have obstacles and small jumps.

As well as making the classes more inclusive, the ambition is to make the classes more interesting and informative for the public. Commentators will be encouraged to explain the classes to the watching public, describing what is required of the competitor and what the public should be looking out for.  The intention being to engender a higher level of interest in Showing.

The full list of classes is below, and Agricultural and County Show organisers have until early January 2023 to apply to run classes.

Simon Brooks-Ward, Event Director for London International Horse Show said; “It has been a long-held ambition to add more Showing to London International Horse Show and we are very excited to be launching this Showing Series. The space that the ExCeL London venue offers means that we are able to put a new arena alongside our existing arena which allows us to accommodate this series.  We are delighted to be working with the ASAO, BSHA and BSPS, as many will know, the BSPS already successfully hold the Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championships at the London Show.”

Paul Cook of BSPS said; “We are convinced that there is going to be a great appetite for these classes. We are determined to introduce a new style of showing which is much more inclusive for the competitor and educational and entertaining for the audience. Having the Mountain and Moorland Championships already at London means that we know that this venue will work brilliantly for this new Showing Series, and it will give a great day out for the competitors and their families who reach the final.”

Nigel Hollings of BSHA said; “We are very excited by the new Rising Stars series and the finals taking place at The London International Horse Show. We know this will be very well received by our existing members and the wider showing community, with the series very much focusing on making competing easy and educational, encouraging more to join in and have a go.”

David Tite Chairman of the ASAO said; “This is a great opportunity for our members to have a new showing series at their event.  We are encouraged that this series has emphasis on inclusion and entertainment and will mean that local competitors can enjoy entering their local agricultural and county shows and it will prove entertaining for the watching crowds”.