2021 Winter Area Festival ambition reignited

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  • Published: Mon, 15 Mar 2021 17:39 GMT

All those members who put hard work into qualifying for the Petplan Equine Winter Area Festivals only to have their hopes dashed by lockdown can celebrate with all 12 fixtures back in the 2021 calendar. With the first Festival getting underway on 30 April, there’s only a matter of weeks to wait and entries are opening for the first few dates.


As announced in the operational plan on 02 March, the calendar for Winter 2021 now looks like (click on event name for schedule):

Venue County Date
Keysoe Bedfordshire 30 April - 02 May
Beacons Equestrian* Carmarthenshire 01 - 03 May
Parwood Equestrian Centre Surrey 06 - 09 May
Vale View Equestrian Leicestershire 07- 09 May
Northallerton Equestrian Centre North Yorkshire 07 - 10 May
Morris Equestrian Centre*  East Ayrshire 15 - 16 May
Speedgate Events Kent 13 - 16 May
Prestige Equestrian Gloucestershire 13 - 15 May
Solihull Riding Club West Midlands 14 - 18 May
Aintree International Equestrian Centre Merseyside 27 - 30 May
Gordon Dressage Group @ The Cabin Aberdeenshire 29 - 30 May
Kingston Maurward College Dorset 01 - 03 June

* awaiting confirmation of return to action date and travel restrictions for Scotland and Wales.

Please note, some dates have slightly changed from those announced on 02 March. 

Qualified combinations will have had their qualification emails through December last year but you won’t need them to enter as we check all entries at HQ before each Festival. Here’s a few Area Festival ‘need to know’ facts:

  • Combinations can ride in as many Area Festivals as they qualify for unless they achieve qualification for the Championships.
  • From the Area Festivals, combinations will need to finish in the top two of their class to qualify for the Area Festival Championships. Any unfilled places will be awarded by the wild card system.
  • You can only compete in Area Festivals in two consecutive levels.
  • A combination may not compete in a Regional and Area Festival at the same level in a season – the Area Festival level must be higher if riding in both.
  • Full membership and horse registration is required to compete in Area Festivals and registered, non-riding owners must have at least a Premier Club membership.

If you’d entered a Winter Area Festival before lockdown, please consult with your venue direct on arrangements for carrying your entry over or requesting a refund if you haven’t done so already.

The tests being ridden at this year’s Festival are as follows: Prelim 19 2008, Novice 23 2012, Elementary 53 2007, Medium 73 2007, Advanced Medium 91 2016, FEI PSG 2009 and FEI Inter I 2009. The team at Petplan Equine has teamed up with top trainer and rider Charlie Hutton to give you tips on riding each of the tests from Prelim to Elementary level, plus videos on how to maximise your marks and top tips for riding in the arena. Visit their training video hub for more.


“The Petplan Equine Area Festivals are a celebration of dressage, encouraging riders from every level to get involved. We were thrilled to hear of the rescheduling of the Winter Series and along with British Dressage, we are excited to start welcoming competitors in from the end of April. It is so encouraging to see the support that the Area Festivals have received, especially during current times and it is clear riders are eagerly awaiting their return to the dressage arena,” comments Kate Hopkins, Marketing Consultant for Petplan Equine.

“Every year we are in awe of the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm each rider demonstrates and this year will be no exception. There will certainly be an electrifying atmosphere at every competition and Petplan Equine is incredibly proud to be involved in this unique series.”