A Beginners guide to BSJA
Going affiliated, no matter what discipline, can be confusing. Not only are competitions more serious, with more full up and technical courses, but there are also all sorts of new rules and point systems! In showjumping the class names also go from just the height to strange things like British Novice, Discovery, Newcomers and Foxhunter. It can be hard at first to know what classes you want to do and if like me you have a horse who already has points then what classes you're allowed to do. So here are the basics in what you need to know about when affiliating in showjumping!
BSJA Membership levels:
First of all, there are a few different types of memberships you can get: junior, senior, club, schools and non-jumping member. To get a junior membership you have to be 16 or under and you have to also have a responsible adult who is also a member (this can be as a senior or a non-jumping member). A non-jumping member is pretty much what the name says; a member who doesn't compete. They often own horses that other people ride or are responsible for a junior. Seniors are jumping members over the age of 16.
The club and schools memberships are slightly different. If you are just getting started with BSJA or have a young horse, a club membership is probably the way to go. It is cheaper than the full memberships and allows you to do the smaller classes (70cm-1m). It's just £30 for a year!
The BSJA ‘just for schools’ allow teams of 3/4 people from your school to compete at qualifiers throughout the year and try and qualify for nationals. It's again just £30 for a horse/rider combination if they are not already registered with BSJA or the Pony Club.
BSJA Classes Explained:
So now that you've registered, you have to know what shows you want to do. Junior shows are only for junior members riding ponies. The junior classes are: New Recruits (60/65cm), British Novice (80cm), Discovery (90cm), Newcomers (1m) and Foxhunter (1.10m). These are just the basic classes but there are plenty more which are displayed on the British Showjumping website.
The Senior classes are: British Novice (90cm), Discovery (1m), Newcomers (1.10m) and Foxhunter (1.20m). Junior members on horses have to compete in the senior classes but ponies can be jumped in the senior shows but senior or junior members if given permission.
However you can't just do each of these classes forever, they are limited by points. You get points by getting double clears (5 points) or placing (10 for 1st, 8 for 2nd, 6 for 3rd etc.)and each class has a certain cutoff point.
Once you have ‘jumped the horse/pony out’ of a class, you can no longer compete competitively in that class however there is usually an open class run along side the class at the same height.
I hope this helped you get your head around the basics of BSJA! If you give showjumping a go, make sure you enjoy it and remember to smile for the camera!
Ffion @bay_is_bae_ xx