A bumper number of entries has been received for the first leg of the Blue Chip North West BE80(T) Challenge at this weekend’s Stafford Horse Trials
The Cooke Coachbuilders Stafford Horse Trials has received more than 150 entries with four sections of BE80(T) competition.
Organiser Vicky Plant comments: “This is one of the strongest entries at this level of competition we have had a Stafford. We believe we have had an increase in the number of competitors who enter since the challenge was launched. It shows the popularity of the challenge.”
Now in its third year, The Blue Chip Central North West BE80(T) Challenge was designed to enhance the education of BE80(T) competitors and attract new riders to British Eventing Competition as well as providing an exciting culmination to their season.
Vicky continued: “We set up the Central North West BE80(T) Challenge because we felt there were an increasing number of competitors at this level and they hadn’t got anything to aim for at the end of the season. We wanted to put something on for them; makes sense to offer grassroots eventers – who make up the mass of British Eventing membership a championship at the end of the year. We have a lot of friendly links with other events so we asked if they would be happy to run a qualifier for us and that’s how it all came about, with the championships being held at Weston Park. It’s been very popular. In the first year, nearly everybody who qualified ran at the championships – so we had to put two sections on. It’s nice to be supporting them and putting something like this on for them and the riders are very excited about it. – the atmosphere at the championships is amazing and it is great to be a part of it.”
The challenge is made up of eight qualifying competitions and riders placed first to fourth in the BE80(T) classes qualify for the final. If a combination has already qualified, the qualification is passed down the line opening up more opportunities combinations to qualify. At the final, the orgnisers try and give the event a grand feel without creating a pressured environment.
For the first time, Solihull (2) will be a qualifying venue, alongside Stafford (1), Kelsall Hill (1), Llanymynech (1), Somerford Park, Berriewood, Stafford (2) and Llanymynech (2). The Blue Chip BE80(T) Challenge Grand Final will take place at Weston Park on the 6th October 2018.
Blue Chip is once again generously supporting the Central North West BE80(T) Challenge, as it has done since its inception three years ago. The winner will receive a year’s sponsorship from Blue Chip, a year’s supply of feed balancer and supplement for one horse, Blue Chip clothing for the rider and their groom as well as the winning horse and the opportunity to star in Blue Chip promotions.
Vicky added: “Blue Chip has been absolutely amazing in their support of the challenge, providing a year’s sponsorship for the winner. They also provide small prizes for those who qualify at the qualifying events. They are a delight to work with and we thank them for their continued support.”
Cross country course walks for BE80(T) competitors at Stafford Horse Trials take place at 17.00 on Friday 16th March and 08.00am on Saturday 17th March, meeting at the start box.