New look GP to be trialled at Olympia

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Fri, 12 Oct 2018 10:03

HPower Group, organiser of Olympia, The London International Horse Show, host to the UK leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup™, has worked in consultation with the FEI and international dressage riders to revitalise the FEI Dressage World Cup™ competition by making it more interesting to a wider audience. The two evenings of the newly designed competition will be seen at Olympia on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 December 2018.

Agreed by the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Committee, this will form a two-year pilot project, which seeks to actively engage the audience and broaden the discipline’s appeal, particularly during the Grand Prix test.

The changes to the existing dressage format include significant alterations to the Grand Prix phase, although the test will still be judged and ridden in the same format as all other FEI technical tests and will continue to demand the highest level of technical ability, accuracy and precision.

The Grand Prix changes include:

  • A shorter Grand Prix technical set test of five minutes 
  • Music will be selected for each rider, by a professional Musical Director, for the Grand Prix Test, which will reflect each combination’s personality and interests 
  • After the Grand Prix, riders will remain in the arena to watch the Judges scores, which will provide immediacy and instant reaction 
  • During the Grand Prix, spectators will be able to assess their own marking skills against the professional Judges 
    After each Grand Prix Test, riders will discuss their performance in a short interview in front of the audience. Collectively, it will give the audience a Masterclass from the rider’s perspective over the entire competition.

Richard Davison, Dressage Consultant to the Olympia Organising Committee, who has been working together with the FEI on the project said, “The World Cup series is a really important opportunity for us to showcase dressage and widen its appeal. This pilot project is an exciting initiative aimed at adding considerably more spectator appeal, while maintaining traditional dressage values and a highly competitive format.”

Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director, said: “This new format is not a gimmick or a theatrical experiment. I have been convinced, for some time, that Dressage in the World Cup Series has been underperforming against its potential. Unashamedly – and I believe quite rightly – we want to make the Grand Prix evening at Olympia as meaningful, relevant and exciting as the Freestyle night. Two cracking nights of elite competition will do a lot to improve Dressage’s visibility amongst those who have not been initiated into the complexities of the sport.”

Adding to the dressage entertainment will be The Reprise Des Douzes from La Garde Republicaine, who are renowned for their balletic dressage moves and technically difficult group riding. The Olympia Grand Prix evening, on Monday 17 December, is set to be an evening where the audience can immerse themselves in the highly skilled sport of dressage.

Remember BD members are eligble for discounted tickets on Tuesday 18 December - 20% all but the highest priced tickets.  Contatct the BD office for details.