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In the last 20 years, side saddle riding has been on the increase generally but Shows have seen a drop in the number of ladies entering the BSHA Ladies Show Horse class with the result that in 2013, only Windsor and South of England continued to hold a BSHA Ladies class, with the BSHA Southern Spring Show also holding one for the first time.
The British Show Horse Association is acting to reinvigorate showing horses’ side saddle, by the introduction of a Side Saddle Championship at the BSHA National Championship Show; this was first held in 2013 and kindly sponsored by iPura for the first two years.
Guy Mears has kindly agreed to sponsor this Championship in 2021.
The Mears Ladies Championship has three routes to qualification:
1. The Mears Ladies Show Horse BSHA Open classes:
The highest placed in the top five, not already qualified and ridden by a lady side saddle will qualify for the Mears Ladies Championship at the National Championship Show.
2. The BSHA Horse of the Year Show Ladies Side Saddle classes:
In BSHA Ladies Show Horse classes, the four highest placed will qualify for the Mears Ladies Championship.
3. Through the Side Saddle Association Classical Ladies class:
SSA Members can qualify through a series of SSA Shows, via the Classical Ladies class, with a qualifying ticket going to the highest placed Hack, Cob, Riding Horse or Hunter type in the class. At the SSA Championship Show the highest placed horse in the Hack, Cob and Riding Horse classes will also qualify, full details of SSA qualification rules and shows can be found on the SSA website. For these classes Riders must have attained their 15th birthday at the time of qualification and horses must exceed 148cms.
The aim of this Championship is to further the showing of Hacks, Cobs, Riding Horses and Hunters side saddle, by increasing the awareness and appreciation of side saddle show production in both the British Show Horse Association and the Side Saddle Association.
The Mears Ladies Championship offers prizes of 1st £200, 2nd £100, 3rd £50, 4th £30 and 5th £20 At the BSHA National Championship Show, with the Mears Ladies Championship preliminary judging during the day with the final nine going forward to the Evening Performance.
Shows holding BSHA Ladies Show Horse classes: