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New M&M championship for Hickstead's 2010 Royal International Show

A NEW Mountain and Moorland championship at the 2010 Longines Royal International Horse Show is designed to ease young riders into the world of adult showing.

The Farmers Guardian reports that The Young Riders Mountain and Moorland Ridden Championship, devised and supported by Ponies Association (UK), will take place on the Wednesday of the six-day show, which will run a week later next year, from July 27 to August 1.

Ponies (UK) chairman Davina Whiteman, told the Guardian: “Until now, riders as young as 13 have had to move into classes where they compete against experienced older riders.

“We have campaigned, some would say robustly, for M&M first ridden riders to have a transitional step before they move into the adult world of showing. Hickstead has been able to give us that opportunity.”

The new championship, launched on Hickstead’s 50th year, will be divided into three sections – small breeds, with riders not to have reached their 14th birthday, large breeds for riders up to 18 and intermediate for riders up to 25.

Qualifying classes for the new championship will be held at 20 shows nationwide, beginning with the Ponies (UK) Winter Championships in March.