New Horsemanship Award at Chedington Bicton Park CCI5* Celebrates Excellent XC Riding

William Fox-Pitt and Oratorio II. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

At the 2020 FEI Eventing Risk Management Forum, it was noted that more could be done to positively emphasise good quality cross country riding, rather than only call out bad or dangerous riding. Now one company has acted on the discussion, creating a new Horsemanship Award to be made at this week’s Chedington Bicton Park CCI5* Horse Trials.

2TheBarn has worked with Andrew Fell, the Event Director of the UKs first CCI5* competition since that FEI meeting, and William Fox-Pitt, Rider Representative on the FEI Eventing Committee, to establish this Horsemanship Award.

The Horsemanship Award will be presented to the rider, who, in the opinion of Captain Mark Phillips, the Bicton 5* course designer, demonstrated excellent cross country riding, appropriate to the course, their horse and the conditions, showing good judgement, riding with
respect and using their head. In addition to a trophy, the rider presented with the Horsemanship Award will also receive a £300 cash award.

Andrew Fell said that “this year has been a year of firsts and I am delighted that we will be the first 5* competition to highlight and praise exceptional equestrian ability in the phase that is unique to our sport, the cross country. We would like our sport to be more widely viewed and
as such it is important that we encourage and show the best of our sport to this wider audience. I hope that this Horsemanship Award, kindly presented by 2TheBarn, will go some way to highlight to those aiming to compete at this level what is expected of them.”

As an experienced and successful competitor at this 5* level, William Fox-Pitt concurred that “whilst it is correct that officials warn against or even sanction poor cross country riding, until now there has not been a formal way to recognise, celebrate and make an example of those cross country rounds that should be held up as an example of ‘what to do and how to do it’.”

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