The Home International

 

 

The Home International like any national sporting event is a hotly contested and gloriously patriotic competition hosted on a rotational basis - England Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The competition and its joint competition The Celtic Challenge was set up in the 1980s with a view to:

            Encouraging Riders at all levels

            To be non-elitist

            To encourage and develop Team Spirit

Nearly 50 years on the ethos remains the same and has started the career of many of the UK’s top horses and riders, feeding the National Squads for overseas competition but also encouraging and supporting those who simply enjoy the sport and want to get the very best for themselves and their horses.

Classes incorporate the full range of horses and riders, including those in their first season:

Home International

            160 km CER (two days)

            120 km CER/GER (80/40 over two days)

            80 km CER

            80 km GER (over two days)

            50 km GER (junior rider)

            40 km GER (novice horse and rider in first season combination)

 

Celtic Challenge (Wales, Scotland and Ireland)

            160 km CER (two days)

            120 km CER/GER  (80/40 over two days)

            80 km  CER

            80 km GER (over two days junior rider)

            50 km  GER

            40 km GER (novice horse)

 Results for the CERs are as per any CER but other classes are either calculated on performance formula, with the exception of the juniors who have stipulated min/max speed and pulse penalties – each year the rules are discussed and published according to the course, country rules and conditions, the ultimate prize is however judged on:

            Number of horses home

            Distance Covered

            Speed and Pulses

Putting welfare at the very top of the list!     

Each Nation has its own selection and training criteria, England and Wales under the EGB flag, Scotland SERC and Ireland ILDRA.  Management Teams again are up to each Nation, all Nations appoint a Chef d’Equipe, England and Scotland have a Vet and Physio, Wales and Ireland vary from year to year but above all each Squad is open to helping and assisting in the Spirit of the competition.

Pomp and ceremony are the order of the weekend, starting on the Friday with the Vetting of all Team horses and riders, Nation by Nation adorned in their National Uniforms – the Parade follows on later in the afternoon heralding the opening of the Home International and Celtic Challenge Championship.  Each year the Parade produces a range of the absolute patriots, funny and fanciful national stories and, as with the winning squad last year .... Scotland emulated the “Green Theme” of Lindum with a gift of national horses made from recycled materials presented to each nation.

The Competition closes with similar pomp on the final night with a dinner and prize giving  - class placings , individual awards, a special “Chef’s” Award in the name of one of the founders of the Home International “ The Margaret Mongomerie Award” and finally the TOP awards – The Celtic Challenge and Home International Awards – the party then generally continues on into the night – fond farewells the next morning until the next year.

A truly great competition in the true spirit of Endurance Riding, one to encourage everyone to aspire to, from newcomers to the sport to those reaching for representation of Great Britain and incorporating the great national competitors who enjoy the challenges of Endurance above all else.  It is a competition to enjoy sharing ideas and ideals, with like-minded people, in far flung parts of our Great United Kingdom with the support of experienced and passionate Team Managers and Participants.

 

Want to know more?  Contact Current England Chef Maggie Pattinson, who will point you in the right direction for your likely Squad.  ALL Welcome.