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Be a video star
WORCESTERSHIRE horse riders are being given the chance to become a world champion in horse agility this summer by making a home video.
People are being given the unique opportunity to compete in an exciting new ‘Horse Agility Summer of Sports’ competition online and stand to win an array of fantastic prizes, including horse agility handbooks, lead ropes, sweatshirts, curtains, hoops and starter kits.
Riders can compete against teams from around the world for a chance to represent the UK in the world championship finals to be held in July.
The competition is run through the online horse agility (OLHA) video competition, which means anyone can compete without having to leave home.
The courses are available online now and include the starter course, first course, medium course, advanced course and liberty course.
This exhilarating new sport was created by Vanessa Bee, who has recruited teachers from Herefordshire and Worcestershire. She says that people who love horses have found that they can compete at the highest level without having to ride.
“In this fast and exciting sport the horse has to overcome a number of challenging obstacles, sometimes against the clock, while being guided by a handler who moves along with him,” said Vanessa.
“The speed, drama, tension and excitement of the competition makes this a great spectator sport. The problem solving required to complete the obstacles keeps the horse’s mind working constructively and is a lot of fun for the handlers as they find ways to help the horse understand the request.”
Obstacles comprise bending poles, crossing tarpaulins to tunnels, see-saws and A frames.
Top athletes can move on to wild agility, in which horse and handler travel at least 5km across country against the clock, completing a number of natural obstacles along the way.
A team consisting of a horse/handler combination may only enter the class corresponding to their level – starter, first, medium or advanced – as at the beginning of June. If qualifiers move up a level within the two-month competition, they will be awarded the league points in July according to their new level, even though they are competing at the level they were on June 1.
League points are awarded as normal throughout the whole competition, regardless of whether you are part of the challenge or not. In July, there will be special courses for the finals on the usual OLHA courses for those no longer involved.
Teams who qualify for the finals cannot compete in both the final and the normal online horse agility courses.
Teams that do not qualify for the finals will compete at the ability level they were on July 1.
To take part in the competition, go to thehorseagilityclub.com.