2022 season preview: Look what’s back…

2022 season preview: Look what’s back…

After two years without Badminton and Burghley, there’s a more familiar look to the 2022 eventing calendar as two of the sport’s biggest competitions return.

Thanks to a couple of Covid-interrupted years where events were cancelled and plans torn up, memories of 2019 have taken on a special significance as we look back on a time before pandemic restrictions were ever a thing. And with sport set to return to the two famous estates this year, it’s hard not to feel excited.

But while Badminton and Burghley are inevitably headline-grabbers, there’s so much more to look forward to on our 2022 calendar.

The Area Festivals and Novice Masters are back this season and will also be joined by the Intermediate Masters, which debuts this year.

There’s exciting news for BE80 riders with the opportunity to compete at Bramham this summer as well. If that’s not enough, the FEI Eventing European Championship for Young Riders and Juniors is coming to our shores this year too, with Hartpury welcoming the continent’s best young talents.

Event organisers across the UK have done an incredible job to help us put on a brilliant year of competition at every level – something we can all be grateful for after the past two years.

Pippa Funnell riding Majas Hope at Badminton Horse Trials 2019. Photo: Adam Fanthorpe

Badminton and Burghley

So after two years away, Badminton and Burghley are back…
Yes, the sport’s two big hitters return in 2022 and it’s going to feel so good.

Prior to the two Covid cancellations in 2020 and 2021, Burghley had run every year since 1961, while Badminton Horse Trials had only been cancelled five times since it consecutively. Having these two icons of British eventing back in the calendar gives us all something to smile about.

When will they be taking place?
Badminton is scheduled to run from 4 to 8 May and Burghley will make its return from 1 to 4 September. Ticketing information is available on the respective websites.

What if I can’t make it?
Badminton has launched its own livestream service, Badminton TV, to ensure viewers don’t miss a moment of the action – wherever they are. Live coverage of the dressage, cross country and show jumping will be produced by the same team that produce the BBC coverage of Badminton. A subscription to Badminton TV is available at a discounted annual fee of £14 until the end of March and is priced at £19.99 thereafter.

Phoebe Sykes and Onespot Barclay at Frickley Park Area Festival 2021. Photo: Adam Fanthorpe

Area Festivals

What are they?
Introduced in 2021, BE Area Festivals include new-look BE80, BE90 and BE100 National Qualifiers (replacing previous Regional Finals), creating the pathway for grassroots riders aiming to compete at the NAF BE80 Championship at Bramham and the Voltaire Design Grassroots Championships (BE90 and BE100) at Badminton.

More than just a route to these finals though, Area Festivals also offer Area Championship classes at BE80, BE80 Open, BE90, BE90 Open, BE100 and BE100 Open, providing an additional goal for riders at these levels.

The Championship classes will be run as standalone Championship events with Championship technicality courses and international-size dressage arenas – winners will be crowned as the Area Festival Champions.

Where in the UK will 2022’s Area Festivals take place?

  • 14-15 May, Firle Park, Sussex
  • 30-31 July, Glamis Castle, Angus
  • 19-21 August, Frickley Park, South Yorkshire
  • 10-11 September, Chillington Hall, Staffordshire

How do I qualify?
There are two ways to qualify to compete at an Area Festival – a Top Percentage Qualification and a Double Clear Qualification.

A Top Percentage Qualification is awarded to the top 20% of eligible combinations placed in a normal BE80, BE90, BE90 Open, BE100 or BE100 Open class.

It entitles you to compete in either a National Qualifier class (with the chance to qualify for the BE90 and BE100 Championships held at Badminton and the BE80 Championship held at Bramham) or a BE80 Open, BE90 Open or BE100 Open Area Festival Championship class at an Area Festival.

A Double Clear Qualification is achieved by recording double clears in any BE80, BE90 or BE100 class where you finish outside of the top 20% – one double clear is required for a BE80 qualification and two double clear runs for a BE90 or BE100 qualification. This qualification entitles you to compete in a BE80, BE90 or BE100 Area Championship class.

Think of qualifications like tokens; each qualification you achieve entitles you to compete in one class at an Area Festival of your choice within the current season.

Combinations that achieve a Top Percentage Qualification will need to decide whether to redeem their qualification for an entry in a National Qualifier class or an Open Area Festival Championship class.

If you achieve more than one qualification, you can compete at more than one Area Festival.

Novice and Intermediate Masters

What are they?
Following the successful pilot of the Novice Masters Series last season, we are delighted to announce that the series returns this year and is accompanied by a new pilot of an Intermediate Masters Series.

Both the Novice and Intermediate Masters provide unique opportunities for members competing at national level, such as:

  • riding a bespoke dressage test
  • performing in an international-size 20m x 60m arena in front of two dressage judges
  • there is the option to perform your test in a tailcoat, adding to the special feel of the occasion.

Where will these take place?
The Masters classes will create a new regional goal for riders. The following well-established venues have been selected with broad geographic spread in mind.


  • 13-15 May – Floors Castle International, Roxburghshire
  • 7-10 July – Barbury Castle International, Wiltshire
  • 6-7 August – Little Downham (2), Cambridgeshire
  • 17-18 September – Allerton Park, North Yorkshire
  • 8-9 October – Weston Park, Shropshire


  • 20-22 May – Rockingham Castle International, Leicestershire
  • 1-5 June – Belsay International, Northumberland
  • 17-19 June – Nunney International, Somerset

How can I qualify?
You can qualify to compete in the Novice Masters by achieving two double clears at Novice, therefore, bringing together many riders competing at this level.

You can also qualify by securing a finishing result in the top 25% of dressage starters in each class or section.

Qualification can be gained in any Novice, CCI2*-S or CCI2*-L class* within the qualifying period (one year before the ballot date of the event where a Novice Masters class is scheduled and entered).

To compete in the Intermediate Masters, you need either a finishing result in the top 33% of dressage starters or a double clear in any Intermediate, 3* Short or 3* Long class within the qualifying period (all of 2021 season and all of 2022 season until the day before the ballot date of the event where an Intermediate Masters class is scheduled).

Combinations may compete in one Masters class for each qualifying result that they have achieved.

NAF BE80 Championship

What is it?
The NAF BE80 Championship celebrates the top-performing amateur at grassroots level, giving them a taste of the big time as they compete in the same setting as many of the sport’s greats.

Where will the Championship take place?
The BE80 Championship will be held at Bramham, West Yorkshire, from 7 to 9 June 2022. Bramham Park is one of Britain’s most popular eventing venues, having run international competitions for almost 50 years. The Championship will run alongside a week of competition at Bramham International Horse Trials, which also features CCI4*-L, Under 25CCI4*-L and CCI4*-S classes.

How do I qualify?
For 2022 only, the route to the Championship will be through direct qualification, with eligible combinations who have placed first in any BE80 section run between 3 May 2021 and 1 May 2022 able to enter.

How do I qualify for next year’s Championship?
Qualification for the 2023 Championship and beyond will be via the National Qualifier classes at the Area Festivals. The first step of the journey to Bramham is to finish in the top percentage of a normal BE80 class. Once you have achieved this, you will be eligible to compete in a National Qualifier at an Area Festival – see page 41 for the dates of this year’s Area Festivals. The top percentage of starters in the National Qualifier classes will go on to compete in the National Championships at Bramham.

Voltaire Design Grassroots

What are they?
There will be few event riders who have not allowed themselves to imagine the thrill of competing at Badminton – arriving at The Duke of Beaufort’s glorious Gloucestershire estate and riding over that famous terrain… The Voltaire Design Grassroots Championships brings that dream to life for BE members competing at BE90 and BE100. Those that qualify will have the opportunity to contest the BE90 and BE100 Championships in the grounds of one of equestrian sport’s most iconic venues.

When will the Championships take place?
The Championships will take place on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 May at Badminton International Horse Trials, before the dressage for the 5* competition gets underway on Thursday 5 May.

How do I qualify?
There are several ways to qualify for these prestigious Championships in 2023. The first is through the National Qualifiers route at Area Festivals (see above for Area Festival details). To follow this pathway, competitors must first gain qualification for a National Qualifier by finishing in the top percentage of a normal BE90, BE90 Open, BE100 or BE100 Open class. They can then compete in the National Qualifier at an Area Festival, where the top percentage of starters will go forward to compete in the Championships at Badminton.

Qualification can also be achieved by finishing in the top 10% of the BE90 and BE100 Three Day Events or by finishing in the top 20% of the BE90 and BE100 Scottish Championships (details below).

Photo: Jayphotos.co.uk

NAF BE90 and BE100 Three Day Events

What are they?
As part of British Eventing’s commitment to continuing the development of their grassroots offering, a pilot BE90 Three Day Event was introduced last year alongside the popular BE100 Three Day Event already run at Bicton Arena. The long format competition took place over three days and included a dressage test in a 60m x 20m arena, roads and tracks and a steeplechase.

When are they taking place?
The NAF BE90 and BE100 Three Day Events will run at Bicton Arena from 21 to 23 October. BE90, BE90 Open, BE100 and BE100 Open sections will be available and, with the added incentive of the top 10% of finishers qualifying for the BE90 and BE100 Championships held at Badminton in 2023, it promises to be a big hit with members once again.

Who can compete?
The competition is open to all BE members competing at BE90 and BE100. To be eligible to compete, the combination must have achieved no jumping penalties in cross country and no more than 16 jumping penalties in show jumping at three BE one day events in any BE90 class or above. The rules for three day events are the same as those for one day events, with the modifications as set out on the BE website.

Team Challenge

What is it?
Teamwork makes the dream work as they say and our Team Challenge is designed to merge the thrill of competition with the social side of our sport. With classes at BE80 or BE90, riders compete not only for individual honours but for that ultimate team glory. This fun competition gives riders the opportunity to ride and train alongside existing friends or helps them to make new ones. There is also the challenge of choosing the right team name!

When is it?
The 2022 Team Challenge is scheduled to take place at Weston Park in October – more details on this popular competition will become available soon, so keep an eye on the BE website.

Harry Dzenis riding XAM in the British open CCI4*-S during the 2018 Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park. Photo: Peter Nixon

Festival of British Eventing

What is it?
The Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire, returns to the calendar for 2022. Home to four of British Eventing’s National Championships, the popular fixture is a true showcase of the sport. The Championship cross country courses are famed for the topography of the land and for Course Designer Captain Mark Phillips’ use of it to test horse and rider in order to find the National Champion at each level.

What are the highlights?
The British Open Championship is one of the most prestigious accolades in the sport of eventing and a calendar highlight for many of the top riders. The Championship was introduced and first won by Bruce Davidson on J J Babu in 1986 and Ginny Leng became the first National Champion with Night Cap II. Today, the Magic Millions British Open Championship runs as a CCI4*-S. The competition takes place across two days, with the dressage on Saturday and then show jumping on Sunday morning. On Sunday afternoon, the competitors run cross country, with the top 10 jumping in reverse order, keeping the tension and excitement running right until the last horse comes through the finish line.

The British Novice and British Intermediate Championships are the ideal stepping stone for horses coming up through the grades. They are a showcase of up-and-coming horses and riders and are a great way of spotting the stars of the future – previous top 10 finishers include William Fox-Pitt’s Badminton and Burghley winner Tamarillo and Oliver Townend’s Olympic Team Gold medal partner, Ballaghmor Class.

The fourth of the Championships contested at Gatcombe Park is The Novice Restricted Championship (also known as the Corinthian Cup) for amateur riders.

How do I get tickets?
Visit the Magic Millions Festival of British Eventing website to get tickets for this special weekend: festivalofbritisheventing.com.

Scotland’s top riders will be heading to Blair Castle for the Scottish National Championships. Photo: Adam Fanthorpe

Scottish Championships

What is it?
Hosted at Blair Castle International Horse Trials in Perthshire, the Scottish National Championships sees riders from across the region compete from BE90 to CCI4*-S for the national title at each level. This year’s Championships will run from 25 to 28 August.

Who can compete?
In the Scottish Grassroots Championships, eligible horses and riders placing first, second or third in any normal BE90, BE100 or BE100 Open section in Scotland qualify to compete in the BE90 or BE100 Championships, respective of which level they qualified at.

The Scottish National Championships welcomes all riders who are qualified to compete at the level of the Championship competition – CCI2*-L for the Novice Championship, CCI3*-L for the Intermediate Championship and CCI4*-S for the Scottish Open Championship. The winner of each class will be crowned the Scottish National Champion, with a special prize for the highest-placed Scottish rider.

Anything else I should know?
The top 20% of finishers in the BE90 and BE100 Championships will qualify for the 2023 Voltaire Design Grassroots Championships at Badminton.

Welsh Championships

What is it?
The Welsh National Championship is a Novice competition that runs at Intermediate Novice level. It is open to those who have an association with Wales and will be held this year at Monmouth Horse Trials from 16 to 17 September.

How do I qualify?
There are two ways to qualify for this Championship. The first way is open to everyone and requires you to have been placed 1-10 in a qualifying class (any BE Novice, Open Novice, Intermediate Novice or CCI2*-S) held in Wales.

The second way is for horses owned or ridden by a resident of Wales – to qualify via this route, the combination needs to have been placed 1-10 in any finished in the top 20% at any CCI2*-L.

Photo: Adam Fanthorpe

National Youth Championships

What are they?
The Pony, Junior and Young Rider Championships not only give riders the opportunity to compete for the prestige of being the National Champion at their level but also provide great experience of top-level competition for the future, especially if you are hoping to catch the eye for British team selection.

When are they?

The 2022 National Pony Championship will take place at Belsay Horse Trials, Northumberland, from 2 to 4 June.

Details to be confirmed – keep an eye on the British Eventing website for more information.

The 2022 Young Rider Championship will take place at Houghton International, Norfolk, from 26 to 29 May.

How do I take part?
All combinations must be qualified to compete at the level of the class (CCI2*-S for the Pony Championship, CCI3*-S for the Junior Championship and CCI3*-L for Young Riders). Combinations must also meet the eligibility criteria as set out in the Rules and Members’ Handbook – see the British Eventing website for more information.

Regional Youth Championships

What are they?
The ideal start for those wanting to progress in the sport, the BE Regional Youth Team Championships are held annually at Bishop Burton College, East Yorkshire. This year’s competition runs from 4 to 7 August and will see three Championships contested – the BE90 Open Regional Youth Team Championship (running as a BE90Ou18), the BE100 Open Regional Youth Team Championship (running as a BE100Ou18) and the Open Novice Regional Youth Team Championship (running as a CCI2*-L).

How does it work?
Regional Youth Coordinators select a squad of up to 10 riders at each level to represent their region. The riders compete both as individuals and as part of a team, with the best four scores from each region counting towards the team score.

How do I get involved?
Riders hoping to be considered for selection need to register on the BE Regional Youth Programme and compete in at least two regional qualifying competitions at BE90Ou18, BE100Ou18 and ONu18 level in the period from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022.

Photo: Adam Fanthorpe

European Youth Championships

Why is this year so exciting?
The 2022 FEI Eventing European Championship for Young Riders and Juniors will be held on home soil at Hartpury, Gloucestershire, from 25 to 31 July. Earning the opportunity to represent your country would feel incredible at any time, but to have the chance to carry the Union Jack in front of a home crowd will be extra-special.

How can I be considered for selection?
During the spring, observation trials are held throughout the country where riders can receive advice from the Youth Performance Coaches and the Youth Performance Manager. Combinations wishing to be considered for the European Youth Championships should aim to compete in at least two of these observation trials. Junior athletes should also aim to compete in the CCIJ2*-L class at Belsay International from 2 to 4 June and Young Rider combinations should aim to compete in the CCIYR3*-L at Houghton International from 26 to 29 May.

Following these trials, the Youth Performance Selector will put together a list of combinations they are looking at with a view to competing at Hartpury.


When are they?
The 2022 Pony Europeans will be held in Strzegom, Poland, from 3 to 7 August. A maximum of six combinations will be selected.

How can I be considered for selection?
Those aiming to be selected for the 2022 Pony Europeans are advised to aim for the Pony Trials held throughout the spring. A longlist of 10-12 riders will be selected after the Pony Championships at Belsay International (2-4 June). A shortlist will then be chosen of six riders (two reserves) in priority order after the final observation at Barbury International (8-10 July).