Youth Academies

Kick start your career in dressage, build your skills and boost your performance!

Youth Academies

BD Youth Academies

BD Youth Academies are open to B-A squad riders who are active in their region. Selected riders will receive coaching and performance development sessions, both mounted and unmounted, over two 2-day camps running through Autumn/Winter. The aim of the Academies is to develop all-round equestrian athletes and camps will include sessions such as:

  • Performance profiling
  • Horse and rider nutrition
  • Rider fitness, balance and core strength
  • Lecture demonstrations with industry professionals
  • Inspirational talks
  • Ridden coaching and test riding
Both the BD Youth Foundation and National academies have helped me to think like an athlete and progress in all aspects of dressage. It’s given me a pathway to follow in terms of my own lifestyle as well as training with my horses. Each practitioner has given me ideas and skills to take away and work on at home and for the future!
Florence Human, BD Youth Academy Athlete


B, B+ and A Squad riders who've attended squad assessments between 1 December and Inter-Regional cut-off date and are achieving minimum scores of 66% at Elementary (or equivalent performance at age-appropriate levels on young horses aged 7 or under) may be eligible to apply for the Foundation Academy programme. Foundation Academy athletes are automatically eligible for selection onto the National Academy for the following year.

Applications for the 2021 Foundation Academies are currently closed and camps are due to start in October. Applications for 2022 Foundation Academies will open in Spring.
More information about 2021 camp dates and the full criteria is below for reference. 

Academy Location Camp 1 Dates Camp 2 Dates
Newbold Verdon (Leicestershire) 2-3 October 2021 27-28 November 2021
Kelsall Hill (Cheshire) 23-24 October 2021 11-12 December 2021
Bury Farm (Buckinghamshire) 6-7 November 2021 18-19 December 2021



Each year 12 athletes are selected to progress from Foundation Academies to National Academies! Riders are selected depending on their dedication to the process, improvement shown, knowledge and ability.

National Academy riders gain access to two further two-day camps with in-depth coaching and athlete development from top industry professionals. Funded by Sport England, the BD Youth National Academy provides riders with many more opportunities, benefits and continued support throughout the year to boost progression as a young athlete.