Strong field of riders headed to Yorkshire for the long awaited British Eventing International Youth Championships

The long-awaited British Eventing International Youth Championships saw hard-fought competition across the classes with an impressive field taking part.

Winners of the Under 21 CCI-L YR2* individual at the British Eventing International Youth Championships held at Bishop Burton College

Held at Bishop Burton College near Beverley, competitors and organisers welcomed the event following its cancellation in 2020 due to the coronavirus.

The championships began with an opening ceremony featuring a liberty performance by Ben Atkinson of Atkinson Action Horses and the five days saw more than 260 competitors taking in the event which culminated in the prize-giving on Sunday.

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The most significant change was the introduction of the BE90Ou18 Championships, in which all eight regions had full teams of ten, with the top three ending within ten penalties. The winners were the Central team, finishing on 134.3, with the East Midlands on 139.3 and the North on 143.2.

Competition was even closer in the BE100Ou18s, with just three penalties separating the top three teams of East Midlands, East and Central.

The honours in the Under 19s CCI-L YR2* team event went to the South West, who finished on 118.5 penalties, despite two retirements and a withdrawal in the team over the weekend.

Second on 146.6 were Central, with South East in third on 163.8.

Top rider in the team event was Phoebe Hughes on Top Biats who added just 0.4 showjumping time penalties to her dressage score.

In the Under 21 CCI-L YR2* individuals, Xanthe De Wesselow riding CDS Rock Away Beach, finished on her dressage score of 28.6 to take top place with second going to Lara Chapple on Slaneyside Cooley, also completing on their dressage score of 30.6. Mahony Knight riding Inca VI was third.

The cross-country course designed by Joe Weller to take advantage of Bishop Burton’s rolling parkland and with a number of new fences, set some tough challenges. Seven were eliminated and one retired during the phase from the 25 individual riders competing.

Speaking after the competition, equine events co-ordinator for Bishop Burton, Catherine Sykes, thanked the event sponsors for their support saying it had meant the college was able to put on a “true championship event for these young up-and-coming riders”.

“Our Equine Centre is one of the best in the country, with outstanding facilities and expert coaches, which allows us to host a number of high-profile equestrian events throughout the year.”

Held annually in the middle of the season – with the exception of 2020 – riders qualify for the championships through competing in regional competitions at BE90Ou18, BE100Ou18 and ONu18 level between July 1 and June 30.

The regional youth co-ordinators then select a squad of up to ten riders at each level. Riders have the opportunity to represent their region and compete as individuals and as a team.