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 after the 1 December 2019, three regional training days since 18 August 2019 and have achieved a minimum of three scores of 66% or above at Elementary are eligible for the 2020 Foundation Academies. Foundation Academy athletes are automatically eligible for selection onto the National Academy for the following year.

Venue Camp 1 Camp 2
Sparsholt College 24 - 25 October 5 - 6  December
Newbold Verdon 3 - 4 October 7 - 8 November
Team Hayler 14 - 15 November 12 - 13 December

Applications for this year’s Foundation Academies open on Friday 1 May and close at midnight Wednesday 19 August 2020.

Covid-19 Update: Riders struggling to meet the criteria for 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19 should contact BD Youth Development Officer, Hannah James for more information.

2020 Foundation Academy Application Document


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.