News

Sheepgate British Dressage Under 25 Championship comes of age

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Sat, 19 Jun 2021 13:05 GMT

The highlight of many a BD Youth competitor’s year, the Sheepgate British Dressage Under 25 Championships, is set to make a welcome return to the ever-popular Lincolnshire venue after a COVID-enforced break. The six day dressage extravaganza will run 23 – 28 August 2021.

The show dates back to a two day derby event at Addington which then moved to Keysoe. It was there that Bruce and Fay Grant stepped in at short notice one year to sponsor and a two decade long association began. The event then moved to the Grant’s home, Sheepgate, near Boston, where it grew to become the Under 25 Championships – a festival running over six days. Many high profile riders proudly list past success at these championships on their biographies.

The show has previously run with ‘unaffiliated’ status but following a review, British Dressage and Sheepgate are delighted to confirm that the championships will receive full BD status. Riders will earn points for their efforts like any other show and the results will show on their record.

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Open to riders in the year of their 25th birthday, the championship will feature premium sponsored classes thanks to the Sheepgate team’s efforts and much adored show format, including the famous outdoor evening prize givings, will continue.  Classes will run with gold, silver and bronze sections with regular qualifiers every day plus a music championship at each level.  Sponsor rosettes and prizes will be awarded overall in the classes and there will be a new Bruce Grant Memorial Trophy to commemorate the visionary behind the championships we now enjoy.

Championships for FEI age groups will continue as do the Individual championships from Prelim to Advanced Medium. For 2021, the qualification has been modified from the published criteria in the handbook (rule 175, page 160) to one score at the level at the listed percentage. Qualification emails won’t be sent to riders so do please enter when you’ve qualified, entries will be verified by BD headquarters.

Sadly for 2021 the team competition will not take place to manage numbers on site, but we know this is popular with riders across the regions and will be looking at a format to enable teams to run in in 2022.

Sheepgate’s Sarah Payne said; “We are delighted that this hugely successful show can go ahead this year and we look forward to welcoming everyone.  The affiliated format is exciting and now is the time to change. Dad [Bruce Grant] travelled all over the country with me in my younger competition days and soon realised that competitors really valued a warm welcome on arrival, hence Sheepgate’s motto … ‘well worth the journey’ was developed.

“Dad could always been found with his camera in his hand and loved to take some atmospheric photos of riders, supporters, trainers and dogs! He took great pride in pinning them on the noticeboards and by the end of the show they would have been given to the riders involved. Dad became quite notable for his photos and they are often talked about.

“At Sheepgate we try and make any request a possible and dad could often be found repairing a lorry or fixing a problem of some sort. Mum was always responsible for feeding the judges with her infamous pavlova and over-flowing cake supplies, and luckily, I have mastered the art too.

“Dad’s last Under 25s at Sheepgate was in August 2019, where he was still seen with his camera. After ill health forced him to slow down, his favourite spot was to sit outside Sheepgate Tack & Togs with a coffee putting the world to rights with trainers and judges. When we had to cancel last year due to COVID, he was most concerned but we’re back in 2021 with a slightly revised schedule but, as he would have wanted, the show will go on at the family run Lincolnshire show centre.”

British Dressage’s BD Youth Director Claire Moir added; "Sheepgate opening its doors to BD youth members once again this summer is definitely something to put in your diaries. The format will be slightly different with the classes being affiliated, and just for individuals this year, but this will not dampen the amount of fun that you will have at the championships.  

The U25 Championships at Sheepgate always has that holiday atmosphere, and families treat it as a ‘get-away’, enjoying the hospitality for the week.  Everyone has fun; from the competing to the prize givings, to spending too much money in the tack shop!  

“So if you have any doubts about making the journey, pack those away and send in that entry as soon as they open!"

More information can be found at www.sheepgate.co.uk.