Model and presenter Jodie Kidd will be joining the judges at Bolesworth International on 19 June to assess the artistic performance of top event riders competing in the Ride-away Express Eventing Challenge, the compact form of traditional three-day eventing.
Dubbed the Twenty20 of equestrianism, Express Eventing has a number of unusual twists, including a dressage to music phase. For this part of the competition, riders are required to express both their own and their horse’s personality through the music of their choice. Jodie, a lifelong horse rider, will be looking for creative and musical flair as she awards marks for ‘artistic impression’. She will be working alongside British dressage judge Anne-Marie Taylor and international event rider Ruth Edge, who will be awarding separate points for technical competence and accuracy.
Asked how she felt about being a dressage judge, Jodie said: “It’s going to be brilliant. I’ve always loved horse riding and now I get the chance to pass judgement on some of the best riders in the world. Dressage to music is a fabulous idea and I’ll be taking my duties very seriously”.
Lucinda Fredericks, two-time Olympic eventer, said: “Express Eventing has become something of a showcase for the sport’s top riders, bringing the three disciplines of dressage, cross-country and showjumping to a single arena, so that all the action can be seen from one seat. It’s about making the sport more accessible and providing great entertainment. The musical dressage test is one of the hardest parts of the competition and needs lots of preparation. Riders will be working very hard to impress Jodie.”
Express Eventing is sponsored by Yorkshire-based Ride-Away, one of the UK’s leading equestrian specialists. The new partnership will see the staging of Express Eventing competitions at Bolesworth International and the CLA Game Fair this year, with Ride-away as title sponsor. From 2016, the number of annual competitions will be expanded to five to establish a national Express Eventing series.