BHS Riding School Qualifier

Qualifying competition for BHS Riding School Championships at Only Grounds next April


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BHS Approved Centres Riding School National Championships Rule book 2023

National Riding Schools Competition


 1. Introduction. This aim of this competition is to:


1.1 Recognise the importance of correct horsemanship and riding in promoting and


maintaining wellbeing and welfare of the horse.



1.2 Offer BHS Approved Riding Schools and their clients, a progressive pathway to

participate in a nationally recognised series of inclusive competitions catering for a

range of age and experience levels



1.3 Provide opportunities for riding school clients without their own horses/ponies, to


benefit from quality instruction in horse care and equitation.



1.4 Enable a pathway for BHS Approved Riding Centres and their clients to celebrate


achievement and success at both local and national levels


 2. The Competition

2.1 The National Championship competition is open to riders who have met the

eligibility requirements and have been successful in qualifying (within the

qualifying period) to compete at the Championship. This competition is managed

by and run under the auspices of the British Horse Society. It is the responsibility

of individual Centres to liaise with the BHS Approvals department upon

arrangements related to attendance and competitor entries at the National



2.2 The Championships will take place on Wednesday 5 th April 2022 at Onley Grounds


Equestrian Complex, Willoughby, Rugby, CV23 8AJ


2.3 The competition will be run across differing age groups. The rider age is taken as


on the date the qualification round took place


Class 1


12 years and under Prelim Equitation D1 (2020)

Showjumping 45cm

Stable Management Quiz


Class 2 13-17 years Prelim Equitation D1 (2020)

Showjumping 60cm

Stable Management Quiz

Class 3 18 years and over Prelim Equitation D1 (2020)

Showjumping 70cm

Stable Management Quiz


Class 4 Junior Equitation -

17 years and under


Prelim Equitation HT100Q (2020)



Class 5 Senior Equitation -

18 years and over


Prelim Equitation HT100Q (2020)


Class 6 Junior Equitation -

17 years and under


Walk & Trot Equitation 1 (2020)


Class 7 Senior Equitation -

18 years and over


Walk & Trot Equitation 1 (2020)


Class 8 Junior Equitation -

17 years and under


Novice Equitation D11 (2021)


Class 9 Senior Equitation -

18 years and over


Novice Equitation D11 (2021)


2.4 At the National Championship prizes will be in kind with rosettes being awarded to


10th place in each class.


2.5 For each class at the National Championships a ‘BHS Approved Riding Schools

Competition Coach Recognition Award’ is awarded to the Coach of the winning

horse/rider combination. Each competitor (Centre) must nominate one centre-

based Instructor/Coach on their entry form.


2.6 For each class at the National Championships a ‘BHS Approved Riding Schools

Centre Proprietor Recognition Award’ is awarded to the Proprietor of the winning

horse/rider combination.



2.7 A nominated centre representative must be present at the Championships. It is a

requirement that a nominated Centre Instructor/Coach should be present at the



2.8 Centre/Competitor Entry fees for the National Championship are currently funded


by the British Horse Society.


2.9 In the unlikely event of cancellation of postponement of either qualifying rounds or

the National Championships, the BHS will not be able to refund or reimburse any

expenses incurred to competitors, organisers or approved centres.


3. Regional Qualifying Competitions


3.1 Regional Qualifying Competitions will only be run at BHS Approved Centres (for


the purpose of this schedule, to be referred to as a ‘Host Centre’.


3.2 All Regional Qualifying Competitions must be held, and results returned to the


BHS office, before Sunday 26 th February 2023.



3.3 In each qualifying class, competitors placed 1 st to 3 rd will qualify to ride at the

National Championships. In the event of the winner of a qualifier class having

already qualified for 2023 then the next highest placed competitor will be eligible




to take part in the National Championship.


3.4 The British Horse Society will supply the host centre with:


 Regional Qualifier Entry Forms

 Rosettes for the qualifying competitors

 Equitation Test Score Sheets

 Show Jumping Score Sheets

 Stable Management Quiz Sheets

 Competition result sheets (to be returned to

within 5 days of date of qualifier, or before close of results, whichever is sooner)


4. Host Centres

4.1 Host Centres will need to complete and return a Riding Schools Championship

Qualifier Confirmation prior to their agreed competition date.

4.2 Host Centres will be responsible for all competition organisation and administration,

to include adherence to competition rules and horse/rider eligibility and risk

assessment requirements.

4.3 Host Centre organisers are responsible for provision of on the day requirements such

as appointment of judges, stewards (inc. for working-in/warm up arena), scorers,

nominated first aid coverage, safeguarding and person(s) responsible for safety.

4.4 Number of accepted competitors’ entries are limited at the discretion of the host

Centre, to those that can safely be accommodated on the day.

4.5 Minimum age requirements for competitors are at the discretion of the host Centre, to

those that can safely be accommodated on the day

4.6 The Approved Centre Welfare Officer (for the Host Centre) should ideally be in


4.7 Should a rider fall off it is recommended they will not be allowed to continue until they


have been seen and declared fit to continue by the designated first aider


4.8 Host Centre organisers of qualifiers can provide additional rosettes and prizes in kind

at their own expense

4.9 The Equitation and Jumping phases must be ridden in this order - Equitation phase

first then Show Jumping with the same horse and rider combinations

4.10 Entries must be made on the competition entry form and sent to the host competition

organiser. All regional qualifier entry fees are retained by the host centre. Entry fees

are set by the host centre and must not exceed £12 per competitor per class. Any

BHS supplied qualifying rosettes not awarded must be returned to The British Horse


4.11 Entries will close seven calendar days before the date of the competition. Late entries

may be taken at the discretion of the organiser.



5. Judging

5.1 The decisions of designated judges are final.

5.2 Appointment of the judge(s) will be the responsibility of the host Centre. It is a

requirement that the judge be qualified to a minimum of BHSAI/ Stage 3 Complete

Coach and be current on the BHS Accredited Professional Coach register.

5.3 At the discretion of the judge, a competitor can be asked to withdraw at any stage


of the competition.

6. Scoring

6.1 The decisions of the organisers are final.

6.2 The horse and rider combination with the Highest Overall Score wins the class

6.3 Classes 1 to 3


a. Equitation phase movement marks are totalled as an actual mark, e.g. 140 out

of 160 would present a provisional score (PS) of 140

b. Rider Style and Technique (RST) marks are awarded for the Show Jump round,

e.g. 38 out of 50 would present an additional score of 38. Thus the provisional

score would now be (D) 140 + (RST) 38 = provisional score (PS) of 178

c. The total marks gained from the Stable Management Quiz (SMQ) are added to

the provisional scores, eg (PS) 174 + (SMQ) 18 = Final Score of 192

In the event of equal placings:

If the final score gives equality of marks to two or more competitors, the

classification is decided in the following order:

- the least amount of Show Jumping faults

- the highest marks for the equitation test

- the highest total of collective marks in the equitation test

- the highest Rider Style and Technique marks

- the highest correct responses from the Stable Management Quiz

- the fastest show jumping round (with least faults)

If still equal after the above has been applied then equal placings should be


Classes 4 - 9:

e. Equitation phase movement marks are totalled as an actual mark, e.g. 140 out

of 160 would present a provisional score (PS) of 140

In the event of equal placings:

If the final score gives equality of marks to two or more competitors, the

classification is decided in the following order:

- the highest total of collective marks in the dressage

- the highest single mark within the collectives

- the highest number of repetitive collective marks at the highest level




7. Competitors and Eligibility


7.1 Competitor categories are per Competition details (ref 2.2)




7.2 a. Riders must be clients of BHS Approved Centre at the time of qualifying

and be considered a representative of the centre should they qualify for the National



b. The competition is only open to riders who are genuine non

horse/pony owners. Having a horse/pony on lease/loan excludes competitors from

this competition.


c. A competitor who has competed in any affiliated competition is not


eligible to enter.

d. Riders who have won a Championship class within the last three years (excluding

virtual championships) may only compete in Classes 8 or 9.

e. Riders entering Class 6 and 7 may not compete in any other class.

f. Riders may not enter more than two classes.

7.3 Any horse/pony used in competitions must be on the representative Centre’s Local

Authority Riding School License.

7.4 It is recommended that a horse/pony does not compete more than twice in one day

but this is at the discretion of the representative Centre Proprietor. Horses may not

compete in more than three classes.

7.5 On the day of the competition, no competing horse/pony may be ridden other than


by a competitor who is entered for that competition on that horse/pony


8. Dress Code


8.1 A riding hat to current standards must be worn at all times while mounted.

Hats may be checked at the Championships to ensure they are the correct

standard. Please allow extra time for this. There will not be spare hats available on

the day. If a correct standard hat cannot be found that competitor will forfeit their



8.2 There is no formal dress code. Preferred dress will, however, be jodhpurs,


sweatshirt and/or shirt and tie. It is recommended that gloves are worn.


8.3 Riding boots, either long or Jodhpur boots must be worn. Half- chaps/gaiters may


be worn with jodhpur boots.



8.4 Wearing of body protectors is optional.


 8.5 A whip may be carried in both qualifiers and at the National Championships.

Permission for carrying a whip is at the discretion of the owner (approved centre)

of the horse/pony used in the competition. Misuse of the whip will result in

immediate disqualification, and the competitor will not be able to enter another

competition in the same year.



8.6 Wearing of spurs is not permitted at either regional qualifiers or the National







9. Tack and Equipment

9.1 For horse comfort and safety reasons, horses and ponies can be ridden in the tack

and equipment that they would normally be ridden in when used in the riding school

situation (the equitation judges are to be made aware of this allowance)

9.2 No additional training gadgets or equipment may be used in either the warm up or

competition. Examples would be running/draw reins although martingales are

permitted for both phases.


10. The National Championships


10.1 Competitors need not ride the same horse/pony at the final as the one on which


they qualified.


10.2 All horses/ponies used in the final should be provided by a BHS Approved Centre

(ideally by the centre the riders are representing) and have a valid Equine

Passport. Passports will need to be available for checking at the Championships.

10.3 Whereby competitors are unable to compete on original Centre provided horses, it

may be possible to hire a horse directly from Onley Grounds Equestrian Complex if

required. (There are a limited number of horses available). No horses/ponies will be

provided for hire by The British Horse Society.

 10.4 Overnight stabling is available by contacting Onley Grounds Equestrian Complex

directly. Centres are responsible for ensuring the comply with any biosecurity

requests, such as vaccinations.


10.5 The equitation test will remain the same as those used in the Regional Qualifiers.


10.6 There will be a dismounted prize giving for all competitors placed 1st –10th, plus

the BHS Approved Riding Schools Competition Coach Recognition Award’ and

the ‘Centre Proprietor Award’ in all classes.



11. Objections

11.1 As identified in this schedule, the aim of this competition is to offer riders from our

Approved Centres the opportunity to train towards a competition to encourage

development of their riding and horsemanship knowledge in a safe, friendly and

enjoyable environment.


11.2 It is hoped that should reason for dissatisfaction occur throughout any aspects of a

competition that such matters can be quietly and tactfully dealt with in the manner

to which the purposes of this competition is intended.


11.3 Should persons wish to lodge any objection to an organiser, then they must be

lodged in writing to the organiser of the competition, supported with a fee of £25,

within 30 minutes of occurrence of the event. Upheld objection fees will be

refunded by the organiser.


Training and Judging Guidance


This guidance aims to offer an opportunity to further explain the ethos of this competition. In

recognition of the competitors riding Centre provided horses rather than privately owned



horses, the equitation tests have been written to support and reward demonstration of

correct principals of horsemanship. Below identifies key areas for consideration for both

training and judging.

For both flat work and jumping, the level of the horse/pony’s experience or schooling will be

taken into consideration. Consequently provision of experienced horses/ponies will not

guarantee higher marks as the emphasis for success is upon the skill of the rider in terms of

their independence in riding skills, such as preparation and application of correct aids rather

than solely upon ‘how the horse goes’.

Equitation Tests

The horse/pony does not have to be working “on the bit” but will need to demonstrate

obedience to the riders aids.


Rider Position

The rider should be working towards a correct position that enhances comfort for the horse

and effectiveness of the rider aids. Positional security and balance will be considered

alongside rider suppleness and straightness The ability to stay in balance in all paces and

demonstrate an appropriate level of independence of the rein contact is important.


Riders Aids – Correct application of the natural aids, including preparation for transitions

and accuracy of school movements will be considered. Note will be taken of correct

diagonals and correct canter leads; an incorrect strike off may not be penalised, but not

correcting it will be.

Influence - The ability to ride the horse/pony in a suitable tempo with sufficient impulsion for

the movements to be ridden smoothly will be assessed. Showing empathy with the

horse/pony is vital. Demonstrating safe procedures at all times is essential.

Show Jumping

Whilst it is hoped that all competitors gain a clear round in the show jumping to minimise

jumping faults reducing a total score, additional grading points are allocated to each rider.

These are known as the ‘Rider Style and Technique (RST) grades and are allocated to the

rider as per the below guidance.

Rider Position - A balanced seat with a secure lower leg and independent hands are the

key factors. Ability to remain in balance with the horse both over and between fences is



Aids - An ability to maintain a suitable tempo and rhythm for the jumps to be undertaken

must be shown. Excessive driving with the seat is discouraged but correct use of the legs

and any artificial aids, when appropriate, will be noted.


Influence - Demonstrate awareness of the importance of the quality of the pace. Show how

to ride good lines to the fences. Know how to deal with refusals or unsuitable behaviour of

the horse/pony. The maintenance of rhythm is more important than the number of strides to

be taken between fences.


Show Jumping Faults

• Knock down – 2 faults

• First refusal – 2 faults

• Second refusal (anywhere on course) – 4 faults (becomes 6 faults)

• Third refusal (anywhere on course) – elimination (but allowed to jump an additional fence)

• Fall (anywhere on course) – elimination



• Rounds are timed for the purposes of splitting results in the event of a tie if needed.

• All other faults as British Show Jumping Handbook

Course Guidelines

 Maximum of 9 fences with a maximum of 10 jumping efforts

 At least one spread fence

 A maximum of one double consisting of one non jumping stride between each

element, both efforts to be built as vertical fences.

Stable Management Quiz


At each competition, including the Regional Qualifiers, there will be a Quiz Sheet that covers

horse knowledge and stable management questions. These are provided to the centres prior

to the competitions

The topics cover any aspect of stable management up to BHS Progressive Riding Test Level

6/BHS Stage One to include travelling, feeding, safety around the yard etc and are specific

to each age group category.

Contact for further information.

At the National Championship the format for this section may include practical identification

of the many associated items of equipment to be found in a busy stable yard or tack room.