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Want to compete in the showing classes at London International Horse Show? Here’s how to qualify...

london international showing classes
Lotuspoint Cassius and Lily Ahern Lee at the London International Horse Show in 2021

Always dreamed of riding at a prestigious show like London International Horse Show? Then find out here if you’re eligible for the London International showing classes and learn how you can try to qualify for next year’s show:

If you own a veteran horse or pony or a pure-bred mountain and moorland (M&M) then the opportunity to ride at London International Horse Show could be within reach.

Which showing classes are held at London International Horse Show?

The British Show Pony Society (BSPS) Heritage supreme ridden M&M final and the Senior Showing and Dressage Ltd (SSADL) in-hand and ridden championships are held at London International Horse Show.

About the BSPS Heritage supreme ridden championship

How to qualify:

The BSPS Heritage supreme ridden championship is open to all pure-bred natives who are registered with the correct stud book.

Throughout the season, there are a handful of direct qualifiers held at select shows, where the overall champion of the section qualifies for the final at London International.

There are also many opportunities to qualify for the London International semi-finals which are held at the BSPS Heritage championships in October. The semi-finals offer tickets to the top two placed animals in each class.

The classes run as follows; Dartmoor, Exmoor, Shetland; Welsh section A and B; Welsh section C; Welsh section D; Connemara and New Forest; Highland, Fells, Dales.

The semi-finals held at the BSPS Heritage championships follow the same class split. The BSPS offer a free entry to the semi-finals at the championships and the top three animals in each semi-final qualify for London International.

There are also 12 breed classes held at the BSPS Heritage championships which competitors can enter. The winner of each breed class books a place at London International.

Competitors must be a member of the BSPS to win a direct ticket to London International via the direct qualifier or best of breed class, or to win a semi-final ticket.

Format of the final:

There are four judges at the London International Horse Show final; two for performance/ride and two for conformation. The total number of marks on offer is 200, which each judge awarding a 50/50 score.

Combinations enter the ring to perform a go-round before they each ride individual shows of their own choice. The two ride judges then each award a mark out of 50 after each performance is complete. The two marks are revealed to the competitors and spectators.

Each animal is then assessed in-hand and each conformation judge awards a mark out of 50. These marks are kept secret until the final results are announced in the afternoon performance.

During the prize giving, 12 best of breed awards are presented to the highest placed animal of each breed. Then, the top 10 highest scoring ponies from across the championship are called out in reverse order. The highest placed junior rider is also awarded a prize.

About the SSADL championships

How to qualify:

The SSADL championships also require pre-qualification. There are separate finals for both in-hand and ridden exhibits. Animals must be aged 15 years old or over to compete and they must be home-produced.

There are three age categories in qualifiers; pre-senior (15 to 18 years), senior (19 t0 23 years) and senior-plus (24 years and over).

There are two routes you can take to qualify for the final at London International; direct route and first/second round route.

In a direct qualifier, the overall champion from both the ridden and in-hand section qualifies for the grand finals at London International. A direct class is open to all non-members and members, but only the highest placed SSADL member qualifies for London.

First rounds run at Pony Club, riding club and local shows and you do not need to be a member of the SSADL to compete. First to sixth place qualify for the second rounds. Non-members have 10 days to join SSADL to keep the qualification.

Second round and direct qualifiers run at area, county and other major shows across the UK. Prestigious shows such as Royal Windsor and Three Counties hold both direct and second round qualifiers. The second rounds are only open to members who have qualified in the first rounds and the champion of the second round wins the London International ticket.

Format of the final:

It must be the same registered pony/horse, rider/handler combination from first and second round/direct route qualifiers that go forward to compete at London International.

The grand final holds two separate classes to find the supreme senior in-hand champion and the supreme senior ridden champions.

There are two judges at the final, who score using a three-way marking system. The combination who receives the highest total marks wins the respective class.

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