Praise Eventing Jesus, for the bright spot in a long, cold November of mud and moaning has appeared: British Eventing (BE) has released its 2020 fixtures list, replete with new events, some sad losses, and the welcome addition of CCI1*-S events to the calendar.
The CCI1*-S level was rolled out this year to incentivise developing eventing nations to get their riders on the international pathway; as the old one-star level stepped up to two-star, the new one-star is effectively a BE100 (US Training level) international. Initially, BE’s stance was that their constituent events wouldn’t host this level, but as a result of popular demand, they’ll be trialling the level at three competitions from 2020-2022. These three competitions will cover a diverse geographical area: the first will take place at Brand Hall in Staffordshire (30-31 May), the second at Chilham Castle (2) in Kent (25-26 July), and the third and final iteration will be at Blair Castle International in Scotland (27-30 August), giving one-star debutants the chance to rub shoulders with fellow international competitors through the CCI4*-L level.
“Led by the BE Board, the BE Fixtures Team were tasked with developing a framework for this pilot,” explains BE in a post on their website. “From this framework, the venues have been carefully selected based on various factors, including location, the current event set up, infrastructure and organisers with experience of presenting International competition. The class will run at these selected venues as a pilot from 2020 for three years to provide an opportunity to trial the popularity, viability and value to the BE membership.”
The 2020 fixtures list also sees the addition of three new or returning venues: Cirencester Park returns to the calendar after 47 years, replacing the spring fixture previously held at Gatcombe, and will offer classes from Novice-Advanced on March 21-22. Thoresby Park in Nottinghamshire makes its BE and FEI debut, filling the hole left by the loss of Belton, and will run classes from Novice-Advanced as well as CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S, and CCI4*-S sections on March 27-29. Finally, Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire makes a welcome return, running Novice and Intermediate sections alongside a CCI2*-S and a CCI3*-S on September 11-13.
There are other changes afoot, too, particularly to championship and regional final classes. Perhaps the biggest is that the British Open Championship, held at the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing (August 8-9), will no longer run as a CCI4*-S. Instead, it will run as a national Advanced class, meaning that the prestigious summer fixture will now no longer host any international classes.
The structure of the four-year-old championship at the Osberton International Horse Trials and Young Horse Championships (October 8-11) has been slightly revised, too. Instead of relying on specific qualifiers, the class – now rebranded as a ‘Showcase’ – will require horses to contest regular BE80(T) and /or BE90 classes in the latter part of the year. Full qualification details will be revealed soon.
2019’s BE80(T) championship, which was unfortunately abandoned, will be rescheduled for April 4 at Norton Disney (1), while the 2020 edition will be held for the first time at its new home at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. 2019’s abandoned regional finals, which serve as qualifiers for the Science Supplements Cup at Badminton Horse Trials, will be relocated as follows:
- Moreton (1), held February 29 – March 1, will host both BE90 and BE100 regional finals, and will serve to replace Bovington (2)
- Oasby (1), held March 5-8, will host a BE100RF, replacing Norton Disney (2)
- Swalcliffe Park, held March 14-15, will host a BE100RF, replacing Broadway (2)
- Stafford (1), held March 14-15, will host a BE90RF, replacing Aston le Walls (X)
Finally, Hartpury College will double up on excitement in 2020: alongside their usual international, which hosts CCI2*-L, CCI3*-L, and CCI4*-S classes on August 13-16, they’ll also run the Junior and Young Rider European Championships, July 27-August 2.
The 2020 season will begin on the final weekend of February – until then, drop those stirrups, schedule those extra dressage lessons, and Go (Arena) Eventing.
To peruse the 2020 fixtures list in full, click here.