The first ever British Showjumping Indoor Championship Finals were staged at Aintree’s Equestrian Centre last week.
The five-day event ran between 7th and 11th October, replacing a number of National Finals which had to be cancelled due to COVID-19-related restrictions.
Culminating in the Pony Showjumper of the Year Championship and a Grand Prix on Sunday evening, a total of 16 Championship Finals were staged over the five days, all of which would normally have been hosted at the Horse of the Year Show.
Despite the event attracting 1,093 entries, the Equestrian Centre team, with assistance from the Operations and Maintenance teams, Sales team and JCC team from the racecourse, worked together to stage a safe, socially distanced event behind closed doors.
Many of the sponsors who were due to support the classes at the Horse of the Year Show kindly agreed to switch their sponsorship to the Aintree event. And Aintree’s team also attracted nine new sponsors to support the show, including TRM, RG Farriers, Cats and Pipes, Voltaire, AW Jenkinson and Shaw Farm Stud.
Sulekha Varma, The Jockey Club’s Regional Head of Racing for the North West and Clerk of the Course at Aintree, said: “This is by far the most prestigious event that the Aintree International Equestrian Centre has ever hosted. To do it under such tight and challenging restrictions was a huge achievement for the small team of Judith Taylor, Olivia Corbett and Amy Martin, led by Carly Sage and assisted by the Operations and Maintenance teams at Aintree.
“The willingness of competitors, staff and officials to comply with the restrictions in place was exemplary. This event will hopefully be a precursor to Aintree hosting more competitions of this calibre in the future.”