In the jumping committee of the FEI Peter Bollen, Ludo Philippaerts and Rodrigo Pessoa started a workgroup for the youth last year and already now the FEI can present a new initiative for the pony riders. In the winter season there are only few international competitions for pony riders and that’s something that the FEI World Pony Jumping Trophy could change. The series will be linked to high level shows and can be compared with the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping. The difference is that the season runs from January 1 to December 31, because riders can only participate to pony competitions until the age of 16.
The Mechelen Christmas Horse Show has the honour to organise the first competition (the date is of course late December but the competition counts for the season 2017).
On the program a warm up class, a table A against the clock to give the pony’s the opportunity to get used to the arena. The qualification class is a table A with jump off over a course of 1 m 35, the same height as the pony’s jump at European Championships.
It is certain that we will see the best ponies from all over Europe in Mechelen. The national federations of the 5 best countries of the European Championship can select two riders. Furthermore, the FEI and the organiser have three Wild Cards each.
The next competition will take place at Indoor Brabant in ‘s Hertogenbosch. Because it is a winter series the following competition will be organised after the summer. At the end of the year the best placed riders can participate to the final.
The purpose of the series is not only to let pony riders enjoy the excellent conditions and atmosphere of top level shows but also to give them the opportunity to ride for a large audience. That will certainly be the case in Mechelen because they will jump just before the Longines FEI World Cup Grand Prix and at that moment the stands will be full!