Further boosts to the 2021 BD calendar
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Ahead of the resumption of competitions on Monday 29 March, British Dressage is excited to announce further calendar developments for 2021, with a confirmed date for the rescheduled NAF Five Star Winter Championships and a new international fixture for Wellington in Hampshire.
In collaboration with the organisers Show Direct and venue Hartpury College, we are delighted to confirm a new date for this year’s NAF Five Star Winter Championships, which will now take place from Monday 28 June to Friday 2 July. The five day show hosts championships for Prelim to Inter I, including freestyle to music for Novice to Inter I – and, of course, the ever popular Petplan Equine Area Festival finals.
A busy schedule of Regionals and Petplan Equine Winter Area Festivals runs from 30 April to 4 June, which are championships in their own right but also act as ‘semi finals’ to qualify for a coveted place at the Winters and a chance to compete at one of dressage’s biggest occasions, with over 800 tests completed over the five days.
The 2021 Winter Championships will have a familiar look and feel but with a few layout changes. In line with the government’s roadmap for the relaxation of COVID restrictions, the early summer date will hopefully allow us to remove the limits on numbers permitted to accompany competitors and include trade stands outdoors. However, due to the ongoing uncertainty around indoor spectator events, there will not be any gala evenings – so the two showcase classes, the Superflex Inter I Freestyle and the Magic PSG Freestyle, will be incorporated into the main timetable.
We will keep members updated on the schedule and plans for live streaming in due course, but for now, you can put 28 June – 2 July in your diary for a not to be missed occasion!
NAF Sponsorship and Events Manager Eloise Chugg-Martin commented; ‘In what is set to hopefully be an exciting summer of dressage competition, including the Olympics, Paralympics and European Championships, we are delighted to be celebrating the return to sport in 2021 at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships. As headline sponsors of the Championships for over ten years, we are thrilled that BD has been able to reorganise the championships to reward competitors for all their hard work, dedication and support for the sport during these challenging times.
“Whether you able to enjoy the atmosphere from the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships in person or watch the live stream from the comfort of home this year, we look forward to sharing our passion for world class competition with British Dressage, the competitors and their horses.”
New British CDI
The cancellation of Keysoe’s international fixture in March left a significant hole in the calendar for a number of our riders aiming for selection to this year’s FEI championships. Thanks to a huge amount of team work by Wellington Riding, British Dressage and the World Class team, we can now proudly announce that the Hampshire venue will host their inaugural CDI over 11 – 16 May.
The popular venue and training centre, set in 300 acres of the Duke of Wellington’s estate, has hosted FEI eventing competitions in the past, but this is the first occasion for international dressage , which is followed the week after (19 – 23 May) with a new CSI 1*/2*/YH*, making it a historic couple of weeks for Wellington Riding.
The CDI will host 3*, 1*, Under 25, Young Rider, Junior, Children on Horses and Pony sections. All will count towards selection for their respective FEI European Championships, as well as provide a number of riders the opportunity to compete on the international stage for the first time.
David Sheerin, General Manager at Wellington Riding, and his team are ready to rise to the international challenge; ““We are dedicated not only to provide the best facilities and atmosphere at our centre but also to see equestrian sport flourish on an international home stage. I believe we can play our part in this within the UK especially ahead of Tokyo,” he said.
Two FEI 5* judges have already been secured to officiate, with our own Isobel Wessels acting as president of the 3* Ground Jury and Denmark’s Susanne Baarup among her jury. BD is currently working with the team at Wellington Riding to finalise the FEI schedule so competitors, eager for their first international run of 2021, can plan ahead and make their entries. Horse & Country has agreed to livestream on their member platform H&C+ so subscribers will be able catch all the action live.
Windsor and Bolesworth
The disruption caused by the pandemic has forced date changes for both the Royal Windsor Horse Show (now 1 – 4 July) and the Dodson & Horrell Bolesworth International Horse Show (now 7 – 11 July). Unfortunately, due to the rescheduling of these events and clashes with other major BD fixtures, this means that no international dressage will feature at either venue this year.
BD is working with the organisers on the inclusion of a showcase masterclass or display so that our sport is still represented at both these crowd-pleasing shows and the aim would be for dressage competition to return at both venues in 2022.
Jason Brautigam, BD CEO, stated: “While 2021 continues to bring us challenges, it’s fantastic to be able to rebuild the calendar to ensure we still have a busy season of dressage to look forward to. The Winters are the goal of so many riders, so we wanted to do everything in our power to make sure it could still run. With a congested calendar now in early summer it’s not been a simple task, but thanks to the determination and resourcefulness of Show Direct and Hartpury College, we can now all plan for the end of June. Thanks to everyone who has made it possible.
"We’re also extremely grateful to David and the Wellington Riding team for pulling an international fixture together at extremely short notice, but if any of our venues are up to this ambitious task, they are. I’m sure our international riders will welcome this opportunity for much needed international competition and experience ahead of selection.
“The loss of a competitive dressage presence at Windsor and Bolesworth is an unfortunate consequence of the COVID calendar changes, but rest assured, we’ll be working with the organisers to get back into the timetable at both events in 2022. Both of these shows have great plans for this year, so please do support them if you can for some much needed live competition in July.
“A final thanks goes to all our stakeholders for their ongoing support. We’re in a good position to get the sport back on track over the next few months, with so much to look forward to both at home and abroad. Let’s work together to make 2021 a year to remember for all the right reasons!”