Draught Horse Championships - all you need to know

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Wed, 31 Jan 2018 13:22 GMT

British Dressage is proud to present the Draught Horse Championships for a third year following its huge popularity in 2017. Riders of these majestic breeds will now have the opportunity to qualify for a prestigious championship hosted by Keysoe in Bedfordshire on Sunday 30 September 2018. 

Heavy horses and part-bred heavy horses are becoming familiar sights at BD shows – and it’s no surprise as they are more than proving themselves able within the white boards. These gentle giants of the horse world have been man’s loyal working partner for hundreds of years and were indispensable to generations of pre-industrial farmers.

Draught horses and draught crossbreds are versatile horses used today for a multitude of purposes including farming, draught horse showing, logging, recreation, and other uses. They are commonly used for crossbreeding, especially to light riding breeds such as the Thoroughbred, for the purpose of creating sport horses. These horses, with their high work ethic and amenable dispositions, are very capable performers under saddle.

Which breeds are eligible?

Draught breeds to include but not exclusive to:

- Ardennais
- Ariegeois
- Bashkir
- Belgium Draft
- Boulannais
- Breton
- Clydesdale
- Cleveland Bay
- Fjord 
- Haflinger
- Irish Draught
- Italian Heavy Draft
- Jutland
- Noriker
- Norman Cob
- North Swedish
- Percheron
- Schleswig Draft Horse
- Shire
- South German Heavy Horse
- Suffolk Punch
- Vladimir Heavy Draft

What levels do they run at?

o Intro
o Prelim
o Novice
o Elementary

Who can compete?

o Open to any horse or pony registered with one of the Draught Horse Breed societies on either the pure or part bred list. 
o At the championship there will be one section for purebreds and one section for Part breds Draughts each level. 
o This is open to current Full and Club members. Those who have never competed BD before are welcome. 
o They’re run under BD/Quest rules and combinations must be eligible for the level at which they wish to compete.

Which organisations do I need to be a member of to be able to qualify?

BD membership/ registration to qualify:

Level Horse Rider
Intro - Prelim Bronze Club/Full/Ticket/Trial Club/Full/Ticket/Trial
Prelim Silver, Novice and above Full/Ticket/Trial Full/Ticket/Trial

For the final:

- All horses and riders must be full BD members 

How do I qualify?

o Qualification period is between the 1 December 2017 and 31 August 2018
o To qualify directly for the final for the championship, horse and rider combinations must achieve three scores of 60% or above, gained between 1 December 2017 and the 31 August 2018. 
o Horse and rider combinations must be eligible for Bronze or Silver sections for the level they wish to qualify in accordance with BD Rules

Please note: The winning combination at each level at the final will not be eligible for the same level or below in future years and must compete at a higher level.

What shows can I get my scores at?

o Scores can be gained in any regular BD affiliated competition or BD Team/My Quest competition. To see a list of competitions please follow this link.
o Score sheets from Area Festivals, Regionals, Winter or National Championships and Quest Regional or Quest National Championships, may not be used towards qualification. 

Can I compete at different levels?

o Combinations may compete and qualify at different levels but can only compete in two levels/classes at the final. 

How do I know when I have qualified? 

o Once you have achieved your three qualifying scores, you need to register your qualification with BD. 
o Please fill in the qualification form and then send an e-mail to or post to;
o British Dressage, Meriden Business Park, Copse Drive, Meriden, West Midlands CV5 9RG, stating where and when you achieved your three qualifying scores.
o You’ll then receive an invitation to the final with all the championships details. 

Where and when is the final?

o The final will take place at Keysoe in Bedfordshire on Sunday 30 September 2018. 

I still have questions, who should I contact?

o Christina Stuart at British Dressage: 02476 698909