The Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) has announced its qualifiers for the upcoming show season.
The 2021 final is set to be held from 6-10 October at the NEC in Birmingham and will conclude with the supreme horse and pony championships.
“HOYS has significant underlying costs whether the event is able to run or not, and this is the reason that we have taken a cautious approach when allocating qualifiers this year,” said a spokesman for organisers Grandstand Media when announcing the news.
“We don’t underestimate the huge task ahead of us and the organisers of the qualifying shows, as with your support we try to deliver a viable event that is reflective of the environment we are in.
“We recognise the huge responsibility we have to the industry, and that we have to make certain that the qualifiers can go ahead. With this in mind, we express our gratitude to those competitors that may have to travel a little further this year to attend a qualifier, to those sponsors that have supported classes, and to each show organiser for working on delivering an event during these uncertain times.”
HOYS confirmed that ridden horse qualifiers will not take place before the third key date in the Government’s roadmap out of Covid-19 lockdown (17 May) to improve the likelihood of ride judges being used.
New qualifying opportunities initially allocated in 2020 have been honoured. These include the Irish Pony Society Championship Show, in addition to introducing new qualifying shows such as Warwickshire Working Hunter Show, Houghton International Horse Trials, Barbury International Horse Trials, Royal Lancashire, Aintree In-Hand, Aintree Working Hunter and NPS Area 7.
More details can be found on the show’s official website.
Alex Robinson – Horse & Hound