International dressage returns to Hickstead in 2023
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The I.C.E Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival at Hickstead has been expanded to include international and para dressage classes, with three additional days of competition added to the schedule (9 - 14 May 2023).
Hickstead have announced that a number of CDI and CPEDI classes will run alongside the existing Premier League competition, with a full day of national BD tests also taking place. With Small Tour and Big Tour classes running alongside various Youth competitions, it is set to form a showcase for the sport of dressage in the South East.
“With another dressage international being held at the Royal Windsor Horse Show just before our international classes take place, it is hoped that more riders will travel from overseas to compete at two top British showgrounds in the space of a week,” said Hickstead Director Lizzie Bunn.
After the closure of the original Dressage at Hickstead site in 2020, fans of the sport were delighted to see the new All England Dressage Festival take place at the main Hickstead showground in 2021. The event was an immediate success, and last year it was expanded to run over four days with more classes added to the schedule.
The 2022 running of the event saw many top competitors take part, including former Olympic, World and European champion Charlotte Dujardin, Olympic team rider Gareth Hughes, and rising British star Annabella Pidgley.
Gareth Hughes, who won the LeMieux FEI Grand Prix Test at last year’s I.C.E Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival, commented: “Having the Hickstead CDI back is a great boost for British Dressage. It’s a great incentive to attract international combinations to compete at one of our most prestigious venues. I for one will be excited to return for the CDI this May.”
Carl Hester, team gold medallist from the London 2012 Olympics, added: “It is superb news that international dressage is returning to Hickstead, which is one of the most iconic equestrian venues in our country. I was truly impressed during the first Premier League shows to be held at the main Hickstead site, and I am sure the upcoming CDI there will be a resounding success. Given the challenges of competing on the continent at the moment, it’s more important than ever that British-based riders have the opportunity to compete on a bigger stage on home soil, and now they will have the chance to ride at both Windsor and Hickstead in the space of a week.”
Organiser David Crockford hopes the new expanded format will attract even more entries. “The feedback from last year’s event was overwhelmingly positive, and we knew there was a lot of support for the return of a CDI here. It’s set to be one of the busiest weeks in the British Dressage calendar, and we very much hope to see as many leading riders as possible support this new international fixture and continue to make the I.C.E Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival a success.”
Entries will open in March, while spectator entry and parking will be free of charge.