Summer Competition Roundup 2023

Wednesday, 15 November 2023

Over the summer, a number of equestrian sports held exciting fixtures in their annual calendar. We’ve put together a roundup of some of the events you might have missed:

British Horseball Fall Festival

The British Horseball Fall Festival 2023 was the second in the series of Open Horseball events in 2023, inviting new and returning players from across the UK to compete in non-league horseball matches over a two-day competition, hosted at Onley Grounds Equestrian Centre in Warwickshire.

Over the course of the competition, players and teams from Derby, Melton, Hampshire, Bedford and North London played head-to-head in horseball matches.

Derby topped the winner’s podium in the First division and Under 16s division, while new team Melton topped the podium in the Second division.

Find out more about British Horseball:

Image credit: John Waine

British Reining Championship

The British Reining Championship took place at the Bodiam International Arena for a weekend of action-packed Western reining. 

Competitors were given the opportunity to compete against the very best reiners in the UK and show some incredible performance horses at the peak of their profession.

The quality of riders and horses at this competition improves year on year, and this time round was no exception. Riders pushed their horses and rode on a knife-edge to produce some incredible scores, with many riders achieving new personal bests. 

It was impressive to see a number of ‘green reiners' had entered the classes, keen to show that just because they are new to the sport, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t capable of hitting scores that will see them give genuine competition to some of the more seasoned riders next season.

Find out more about British Reining:

Polocrosse Nationals

The UK Polocrosse Association (UKPA) Annual Club Nationals took place on 9-10 September 2023 at Admington, Warwickshire with kind permission of landowners Mark and Antonia Davies.

The UKPA Nationals often take place on the August Bank Holiday but with a busy event calendar that included a number of international tours (both in the UK and out to Zambia and the USA) the decision was made in early 2024 to hold them in mid-September.

Despite hopes that September might offer cooler weather, the Nationals ended up taking place on one of the hottest weekends of the year, but with a number of changes made to ensure that horse welfare was top priority.  Organisers worked closely with onsite vetinary cover, the UKPA Horse Welfare Office and club horse welfare officers to continually monitor all horses and ponies.- The annual club parade was cancelled, play was bought forward to begin at 7am, length of games were reduced and the amount of rest time between chukkas was increased.  Additional water supplies and wash downs were brought in and the ice cream van helped keep the players happy!

Over 180 players took part in the Nationals, with play from young lead rein players to top international players.  A number of clubs have hosted overseas players during the season and it was great to see them bring their skill and experience to the UK game.

Find out more about UK Polocrosse Association:

Image credit: Izzy Baker Creswell

Endurance Home International

The British Horse Feeds & Golden Paste Company Red Dragon Festival of Endurance took place from 29 September - 1 October. Teams from England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland gathered at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells for this highly anticipated event, which featured over 400 horses competing across the levels over four days.

The Home International Championships, an annual rotating event among the host countries, was established in 1989 by the Scottish Endurance Riding Club (SERC). Each nation presents a team of twelve riders alongside two reserve riders.

Despite some challenging weather, Scotland secured an impressive 10 out of 12 horses completing the course, with standout performances from Ashley Close on THF Maya and Denise Murrow on Copshawholm Opal, both conquering the gruelling two-day 160km ride after riding together the whole way round.

Wales secured second place with eight successful combinations, while England claimed the third spot with five combinations, highlighted by Linda Cowperthwaite's incredible victory with Newberry’s Ditto. Linda and her horse also earned the prestigious Best Condition Award! 

England's success didn't stop there:

  • Saffron Bishop rode Hia Zimbabwe to triumph in the 80km CER.
  • Jess Lethbridge rode Mountedhcumbe Velveteen to victory in the 66km GER.
  • Katie Merritt rode El Mucci to claim the 55km under 25 title.

Find out more about Endurance GB:

Image credit: Jon Stroud