THE SUNSHINE TOUR offers unaffiliated and amateur competitors the chance to qualify to compete at UK’s most famous showground – The All-England Jumping Course at Hickstead. The prestigious 4-day championship show features dressage, show jumping, showing and eventers challenge championship classes.

The Dressage Championships features championship classes at Intro, Prelim, Novice and Elementary level, held on Thursday 12th, Friday 13th and Saturday 14th September 2024.

Each horse/rider combination can compete over 2 levels e.g., Intro & Prelim or Prelim & Novice or Novice & Elementary. There is also the opportunity to enter warm-up classes and book arena familiarisation sessions (depending on availability). Junior riders can aim for their own championship classes.

Championship classes are awarded superb rosettes, sashes, championship rugs and sponsored goodies!

Dressage Test for Lead Rein and Starters Assisted dressage class:
Starters Dressage Test 1 – Written
Starters Dressage Test 1 – Diagrams

To Qualify: Achieve 1st – 3rd place in a qualifier class at a registered centre or club, within the qualification period 1st January – 31st July, and record your results within one month of competition. Further information: How to Qualify

Training classes, member-only classes and shows, affiliated classes, second rounds and championship classes are not eligible to use as qualifiers. Please see Qualifier Classes for more information.

Here’s all the essential information …

Sunshine Tour Championships are for AMATEUR competitors, professionals are excluded from competing in the Sunshine Tour. Our definition of a ‘professional’ is someone who earns some or all of their income from:

  1. Training, schooling, breaking or competing horses/ponies.
    • People who work with horses for care, e.g. grooms, vet nurses and only participate in exercising of horses, e.g. hacking & lunging for exercise but not schooling, training, competing or breaking client’s horses can qualify.
  2. Buying and/or selling horses for profit.
  3. Teaching and/or training riders.
    • Instructors who only teach in a riding school with riding school horses/ponies and do not teach people on their own horses can qualify.
  4. Judging affiliated classes in the same discipline as your competition (paid or unpaid).

 DRESSAGE CHAMPIONSHIPS QUALIFICATION

 Each Dressage Qualification Number allows you to enter one dressage championship class:

At the same level as your qualification test     OR     a level above your qualification test.

Horse/rider combinations can compete in 6 championships, in 2 levels (Intro, Prelim, Novice, Elementary) which must be consecutive, e.g. if you’ve qualified for Intro, Prelim & Novice, you can compete in Prelim & Novice championships but not Intro & Novice championships. Warm up classes can cover 3 levels, you can compete on one or more days.

You DO NOT have to compete in the same TEST as your qualification, only the same LEVEL or above.

TOURS are just groups of classes, divided by competence and measurable points/winnings restrictions – please respect the spirit of each level as well as the letter of the law. More information about TOURS. If you are outside the restrictions for the level that you qualified in, you can voluntarily move up to compete in a higher level.

SMALL TOUR includes Intro, Prelim & Novice classes. GRAND TOUR includes Prelim, Novice & Elementary classes.

2024 DRESSAGE CHAMPIONSHIPS
RESTRICTIONS

SMALL TOUR

Horse/Pony (with any rider): Not to have earned more than 20 BD points, with none earned at Novice level or above. If horse/pony has more points than permitted, but NONE earned during the period 1st January 2022 to the date of this year’s Sunshine Tour Championship, they are eligible.

Rider (with any horse): Not to have earned any points at BD Novice level or above; not to have competed at BE Novice. Riders who have NOT participated in this level of competition during the period 1st January 2022 to the date of this year’s Sunshine Tour Championship, are eligible.

Combination: BD Intro Bronze restrictions apply.

GRAND TOUR

Horse/Pony (with any rider): Not to have earned more than 50 BD points, with none earned at Elementary level or above. If horse/pony has more points than permitted, but NONE earned during the period 1st January 2022 to the date of this year’s Sunshine Tour Championship, they are eligible.

Rider (with any horse): Not to have earned any points at BD Elementary level or above; not to have competed at BE Intermediate or above. Riders who have not participated in this level of competition during the period 1st January 2022 to the date of this year’s Sunshine Tour Championship, are eligible.

Combination: BD Prelim Bronze restrictions apply.

Printable 2024 Restrictions

Dressage is guided by the British Dressage Rule Book.  You can refer to the tack & clothing information sheet HERE and the full BD rule book HERE. You are only required to wear one bridle number.

NB. The BD rulebook will be updated in December 2023 for 2024.

Important note for championship classes – no whips or callers.

1st to 3rd place gained in unaffiliated dressage competition qualifies. Riders can take part in either open or restricted classes and select the championship section relevant to you according to Rules & Restrictions.

Intro Dressage
BD Intro or centre’s own Walk & Trot classes
Pony Club or Riding Club tests restricted to walk and trot

Prelim Dressage
BD Prelim tests
Pony Club Novice or Riding Club Prelim

Novice Dressage
BD Novice tests
Pony Club Intermediate or Riding Club Novice

Elementary Dressage
BD Elementary tests
Pony Club Open or Riding Club Advanced

Junior Dressage
Junior riders taking part in Intro, Prelim, Novice and Elementary classes

Not eligible….. Teams, training classes, clinics, quadrilles, BD affiliated or Quest classes or ‘virtual’ competitions.

Qualifier Classes 2024

Your Journey to Hickstead Starts Here …………

Step 1: REGISTER your horse/pony. Restrictions apply for eligibility to compete, check the competitor restrictions.

Step 2: QUALIFY by taking part in a qualifier class at a registered centre or club and achieving 1st- 3rd in Dressage or Show Jumping, 1st – 4th in Showing or Eventers Challenge. Qualifying competitions are held between 1st January and 31st July 2024 (1st Nov 2023 – 31st July 2024 for Eventers Challenge).

  • Qualifier classes HERE
  • Registered Centres & Clubs HERE

Step 3: RECORD your result within ONE MONTH of competition (by 31st Jan for Early Eventers competitions and by 3rd Aug for July competitions) and submit evidence of your result (further guidance here).

  • Record Results for Early Eventers Challenge competitions held 1st November to 31st January HERE
  • Record Results for Competitions held 1st January to 31st July HERE

Step 4: ENTER – available early August; T&Cs apply.

KEY INFORMATION ABOUT QUALIFICATION

  • Qualification is free – after recording your result, The Sunshine Tour will verify your placing and issue a unique qualification number.
  • Each successfully recorded result allows you to enter in one championship class (same horse/competitor combination, discipline and level). Each horse/competitor combination can qualify up to 6 times in show jumping and dressage, up to 3 times in eventers challenge, and without limits in showing (limitations to the range of classes may apply).
  • Paid for entry is necessary to take part in the championship show, entries open in early August (date to be confirmed).
  • Qualification does not guarantee availability of entry in championship classes, entries are taken in order of receipt and some classes can fill very quickly.
  • Class Criteria – rules used to judge qualifying classes (e.g. format/rules of class, restrictions on age of rider, height/colour/breed of horse, etc.) might not exactly match the championship class.

RULES & ELIGIBILITY

  • Qualification can only be gained in a qualifier class at a registered centre or club, within the qualification period 1st Jan-31July for dressage, show jumping & showing, 1st Nov-31st July for eventers challenge qualification, (eventers challenge 1st Nov to 31st Dec can be at any show, thereafter only at registered centre/club). If you cannot find a registered centre or club near you, you can apply for an Open Qualifier.
  • Results, with evidence of results must be recorded within one month of competition (by 3rd August for July competitions).
  • Restrictions on amateur status, previous experience and competitive success apply for both horse/pony and rider/handler. Competitors must comply with competitor restrictions at the time of qualification and at the time of championships.
  • Qualification is awarded to horse / competitor combination, no substitutes are permitted.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Any questions: Email info@sunshinetour.co.uk

We’re very proud to have grown from a little show to a huge championship and be able to offer you a sponsorship package, we offer individual and business sponsorship packages. From just £70 you can have your name in the schedule and enjoy a VIP Pass for 2 people including refreshments in the Dick Saunders pavilion. If you have a business that you’d like to promote, we can help with advertising in the schedules, banners on the showground and Facebook & website links. We have lots of packages available, please see Sponsorship Packages for the options available or ask for a bespoke package to suit your needs.

You may already know all about the Sunshine Tour and the popularity of taking part in a fabulous championship at the famous showground at Hickstead? If you’d like to know more, here’s a bit About the Sunshine Tour.

If you would like to become part of the Sunshine Tour, please get in touch with Rebecca on 07904 898696, email office@sunshinetour.co.uk or message us via Facebook.