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NAF Winter Championships offers Five Star Appeal

last updated on April 01, 2016 15:06

NAF Winter Championships offers Five Star Appeal

Championships organiser, Show Direct, is putting the finishing touches to the arenas at Hartpury in preparation for the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships (6-10 April 2016) at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire.

Without doubt, the NAF Five Star Winter Championships is the UK’s largest dressage event with more than 800 combinations taking part. The five days offers wall-to-wall dressage action from prelim to inter I including freestyles, taking centre stage in the Hartpury Arena indoor. The spring highlight has attracted many talented amateurs and hordes of well-known pros who’ve all fought hard to qualify for the coveted championship places.

One main attraction, and the culmination of the Petplan Equine Area Festival series, is the Petplan Equine Area Festival Championships which runs alongside in the outdoor arenas. This area provides an attractive amphitheatre surrounded by shopping and viewing areas where spectators can relax and take in the atmosphere of these prestigious finals. And from here, both Area Festival arenas can be viewed so it’s easy to keep abreast of the competition.

Riders are travelling from all corners of the UK to be at Hartpury – some from as far as Scotland including Jo Barry who’s bringing the lovely Corchapin to contest three titles. The popular Scot returns to the show following a remarkable comeback from injury to contest the Charles Owen Advanced Medium Open, the Nupafeed Advanced Medium Freestyle and the Magic Prix St Grorges Freestyle on Friday night. It’s Hampshire rider Sara-Jane Lanning though who has the title of the busiest rider of the show! She has earned an impressive six starts with her two rides – Furstano and Mi Amigo, her 2014 Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Open Freestyle winner. Again, they could be ones to watch.

Come the weekend and it is party time! On both Friday and Saturday night, the curtain is raised for two gala performances. On Friday it’s the Magic Prix St Georges Freestyle that features and, as was a valuable addition last year, BD Training Director Paul Hayler will provide an expert summary between each of the runners and riders. This year too, we’re treated to ‘An Insight into Freestyle’ by FEI5* Judge, Isobel Wessels before the competition gets underway. Isobel will give an invaluable insight into what the judges are looking for as well as giving tips on choreography and music choice.

The next night it’s the turn of the Superflex Intermediate I Freestyle, an invitational competition with a high-class field of competitors. Again, Paul Hayler will provide enlightening comments on each performance as the competition unfolds. Both nights you’ll also get to see a master class with European team bronze and World Equestrian Games team silver medallist Gareth Hughes, and a performance of ‘Hero’, a pas de deux by young husband and wife team, Charlie and Abi Hutton.

Both evenings get underway at 7.00pm and tickets are £16 which will be available on the door.

Entry is free during the day and with three arenas running from around 8.00am to 6.00pm and a wealth of shopping, there’s plenty to see and do.

If you can’t make it to Hartpury, you won’t have to miss any of the action from the NAF arena (indoor) as thanks to support from NAF, LeMieux and Baileys Horse Feeds we’re able to provide live stream of all the daytime indoor classes, and the feature gala evening classes, though not live, will be recorded and available to view after the show.

Please visit the BD Championships website for all the info on the NAF Five Star Championships – news, full timetable, results, tradestands, location and of course, the live stream! Plus, you’ll be able to download rider comment from Friday to Sunday using our audio service.

BD will be there presenting the brand new clothing range in the NAF arena, so do visit to try it for size. We’ll also be at ‘BD Corner’ near the secretary’s office where you can buy your BD essentials and go with your questions on anything BD. The marketing team will also be out and about providing stories and quotes plus lots on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@british_dressage).

For members, there’s a Members’ Meeting in the Arena Restaurant on Thursday, half an hour after the final prize giving which should be about 6.30pm. Members of the Board and the senior management team will be available to chat and talk through your questions.

Click here for live streaming