Friday 17th of March 2023
The Gaitpost

Exciting calendar changes for British Dressage


left_bg_logo2014 was a bumper season for British Dressage with competition numbers growing by around 5% plus rise in membership towards the end of the year by around 7%.  Over the winter months, the 2015 fixtures calendar has received some welcome boosts for competitors across the levels – and for spectators too.  

The Petplan Equine Area Festivals are a firm favourite in the calendar and go from strength to strength, showing a 32% rise in participation last year. Running from early August to the end of October at 19 venues, the area festivals hold classes from prelim to inter I and are aimed at amateur riders.  Petplan Equine will support the series for a sixteenth year and BD is delighted to introduce three new venues who’ll be hosting Area Festivals in 2015; Forrest Edge (Norfolk, 15 – 17 Aug), Bicton Arena (Devon, 4-6 Sept) and Beacons (Carmarthen, 24 – 26 Oct).     

On the British international front, Bury Farm in Buckinghamshire will host a CDI3*, CDIYJP and CPEDI as part of their International All Stars Show 28 October to 01 November.  The now established CPEDI at Bishop Burton will now feature a 3* competition to run alongside the 1 and 2* in East Yorkshire 4 – 8 August.  The CDIO at Hickstead will move to 15 – 19 July so that it runs ahead of this year’s senior European Championships in Aachen in August.

Cheshire’s Bolesworth CSI is a firm favourite in the showjumping calendar but they’ve set up an invitational Inter I freestyle class on 18 June and more details of this special class will be made available as they come in.   Also in Cheshire, there have been a few changes in the team behind the Somerford Park Premier League show after Julian Sebire retired at the end of last year after a decade.  Jo Graham and Susie Farnon have taken on the leadership and haven’t wasted anytime with the news that the venue will host a CDI in 2016.  This year’s Premier League runs on its normal weekend of 22 – 24 May with the support of Boodles as headline sponsors and Bents Home and Garden Centre will supply the decoration to make the venue look tip top.  Both firms are family run and are based in the North West.

In Scotland, the Ian Stark Equestrian Centre has now been approved to host BD affiliated competitions to bring the total venues in the region to 15.

At the end of 2014, BD announced the new Veterans Championships with classes for horses and riders from prelim to advanced medium but we can now announce the final will be hosted by Vale View in Leicestershire, 31 October to 01 November.  The Retraining of Racehorses Championships grows year on year with record numbers taking part in 2014 and this year, the Championship finals move to Houghton Hall in Cambridgeshire 26 – 27 September.

Team Quest took the sport by storm last year and exceeded all expectations with over 2500 riders taking part.  A few rule changes, the introduction of a Team Quest Club membership and new structure were launched in December ahead of the new season getting under way on 01 February.  This year, teams will nominate a region for themselves and qualify for a championship so more riders can experience what that’s like.  From there, the top teams around the country will qualify for the grand finale at Bury Farm, 14 – 15 November.

BD Sport Operations manager Paul Graham commented; “We’re working hard with our organisers to continue to grow the sport.  Membership is up and we need to meet the needs of the riders; it’s a question of supply and demand.  Coupled with this is the need to put on more high-end fixtures to showcase the sport to our growing audience of both dressage aficionados and those new to the sport as well as provide the riders with opportunity to bring on the stars of the future.  2015 has started brightly and it looks like being another fantastic year of sport.”

The full BD fixture list and major dates can be found on




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