Grassroots riders competing in British Eventing competitions have been rewarded for their riding skills through a new technical merit award introduced at the start of the year.

In addition to Airowear being announced as the title sponsors of the BE80(T) series, the brand also added the ‘Airowear BE80 Cross Country Technical Merit’ to recognise good cross country riding in BE80(T) classes.

A key area of British Eventing is to provide good training for riders to ride positively and safely. In order to achieve the Technical Merit, competitors must have finished cross country in the time closest to the Optimum Cross Country time set and achieved a double clear.

Ellie Luffman with Midnight Robbery

BE80(T) was introduced to the British Eventing Calendar in 2008, with 14 fixtures in the 2009 season, with the aim of attracting new members to eventing and to help develop a riders skills and confidence. This year, there were 79 affiliated competitions running BE80(T) sections – which are open to both members and none members of British Eventing – with the numbers of riders participating in the class growing year on year.

Throughout the year, 189 riders have been awarded the Airowear BE80 Cross Country Technical Merit. South Gloucestershire-based event rider Ellie Luffman achieved the BE80 Cross Country Technical Merit with Midnight Robbery at Chepstow Horse Trials in July. She commented: “When I found out, it was a great feeling to receive recognition from British Eventing, especially for my cross country riding. I have evented at BE90 and above but this was my first BE80. At this level I think it’s a great idea that give’s people a sense of achievement even if they haven’t landed a placing.”

Names of the riders awarded the Airowear Technical Merit throughout the 2015 season were added to a prize draw to win a voucher to use to purchase Charles Owen hats up to the value £350. The winner of the prize was Tereza Urbanove who is originally from the Czech Republic. She was awarded the TM at Borde Hill at Borde Hill (2) in July whilst riding Jenny Curtis’ Rocky VIII. She has been working and riding for Jenny over the past four years.

This season was Tereza’s first year competing in British Eventing affiliated competitions and she said: “BE80(T) was a really good, quite challenging but a great way for me to get back into Eventing, I used to Event at home but the courses here are really nice. We competed on Day Pass Membership this season but will definitely buy a Full BE Membership next year and compete in some 90 classes. It’s been so much fun I was thrilled to have been awarded the Merit in the first place but I am so excited to have won a hat too.”

Roy Burek, Managing Director of Charles Owen and Airowear, commented: “It extremely important to us to provide support the entry level riders in Eventing – this series not only offers a great step into the sport but also gives excellent opportunities to gain training and ultimately create good and competitive riders. We have really enjoyed our first year of sponsorship of this level of Eventing in the UK. I am so proud to be associated with a competition that equips entry level riders and horses with the tools they need to go on to be as safe and well equipped as possible. I am delighted that the BE80 competitions have grown from strength to strength and am looking forward to seeing the growth of this level of the sport increasing even more. Well done to Tereza on winning the Charles Owen voucher in our BE80(T) TM prize draw – we wish her and all BE80(T) participants this season the best of luck in 2016.”

For a full list of riders who were awarded the Technical Merit in 2015 visit:

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