EVENTING Ireland announced a new collaboration with British Eventing which sees a Youth Eventing Exchange between the UK and Ireland. The competition will take the form of a two-leg friendly starting at Millstreet International in August and a return trip with travelling teams heading to Bicton Arena International in October. Bicton Arena is recognised as the leading equestrian venue in the Southwest of England, situated in the majestic setting of rolling Devon parkland.

Derrell Scaife, British Eventing High-Performance Manager, will bring pony, junior and young rider youth teams to compete against the equivalent Irish teams at Millstreet. This exciting new initiative is designed to develop the sport through the next generation and will hopefully grow in strength over the years to come. The programme will not only promote team comradery but build international friendships and encourage standards in eventing to rise. Previously, the experience of riding for your country was privileged to six of the top athletes lucky enough to compete at the European Championships each year, whereas now there will be more opportunities.

Each leg represents a friendly competition in its own right. Sponsorship is being sought for the prizes which provides an excellent opportunity for exposure both in the UK and Ireland.

Welcoming all

Andrew Fell, manager of Bicton Arena, said: “Bicton Arena is delighted to host British and Irish Youth Teams at our October Horse Trials; Lord Clinton and the Estate look forward to welcoming all to the End of Year Finale to the Eventing season.”

This is an exciting opportunity for Pony, Junior, and Young Athletes to gain team experience and represent their country. The level of interest already recorded has been overwhelming. In addition, Bicton allows ponies to compete at 100cm level and young athletes at a CCI2*, which is essential to develop the sport. This is the first significant initiative organised by Eventing Ireland’s Parent Youth Committee (PYC). The focus of this committee, which is in its first year, is to nurture and support the younger athletes from the grassroots level up to the High-Performance level, giving every athlete an opportunity to compete on an international stage.

Over the winter of 2022/23, the PYC will roll out their training programme. Fundraising has already commenced. Support is being sought with a raffle which has many great prizes. A draw will take place at The National Championships at Lisgarvan (September 10th-11th).