Nicole Bellissimo, Winner of the Artisan Farms Young Rider Semi Final at the Winter Equestrian Festival.
Lexington, KY – March 20, 2014 – Preparation for the 2014 National Horse Show is already underway, and this year the prestigious event will be welcoming a new U-25 Jumper Championship. Pending final approval by USEF, this exciting new addition will be open to all riders ages 16-25 that have participated in the qualifying events and will feature $65,000 in prize money.
The National Horse Show is scheduled for October 28 – November 2, 2014, in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. The U-25 Jumper Championship will feature three rounds of competition similar to a World Cup Finals format, and will include a speed class, a jump-off class, and the finale, which will feature two rounds. All riders will go forward to the second competition and the first round of the Finale, but only the top 10 will return for the second round of the Finale.
The competition is open to all riders 16-25 that have not participated on a U.S. National Team at the CSIO5* level. The division will feature 25 riders, including any rider winning an individual medal in the Young Rider competition at the 2014 North American Junior and Young Rider Championship, the top five riders from the 2014 Artisan Farms Young Rider Series final standings and four “Wild Card” invitations to be issued by the organizer. The remaining spots will be filled based on the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List as of the close of entries.
“The U-25 division is important because I bridges the gap between a Young Rider and a senior high performance rider,” explained DiAnn Langer, U.S. Show Jumping Young Rider Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor. “It gives those riders a place to go that allows them to gain the experience they need. In the U.S., we didn’t have a category for that previously; we decided to do what Europe does and add the U-25 category. I think it will be very popular for the advancement of our riders.”
Langer continued, “The excitement for us, shows such as the National with the status that they have stepped right up. For me, it’s a major announcement to the country that we are serious about this group of riders. It’s very important that they get the experience and exposure to progress with their careers.”
“We are so excited about the addition of the U-25 Championship to the National Horse Show,” concluded President Mason Phelps, Jr. “This is a very unique competition that offers an excellent opportunity for the riders that will be the future of our sport. Having them gain experience in this type of ‘World Cup’ format is very important for the development of the pipeline, and we are happy to be part of that.”
For tickets and more information, visit the website at http://www.nhs.org.
Rebecca Walton for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International