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Five Star Action at NAF Winter Championships

last updated on April 12, 2017 08:30

Five Star Action at NAF Winter Championships

Championships organiser, Show Direct, is putting the finishing touches to the arenas at Hartpury in preparation for the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships (12-16 April 2017) 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 mare, Sugar Plum Fairy to contest two titles – the Blue Chip Novice Gold and the Baileys Horse Feeds Novice Freestyle Gold. The talented mare remains unbeaten so far, so will be one to watch.

James Burtwell, Lucinda Elliot and Dannie Morgan share the title of busiest riders over the five days – each with eight rides apiece, and Olympic gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin has five rides on five of her super-talented young horses.

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 and on Saturday it’s the turn of the Superflex Intermediate I Freestyle, an invitational competition with a high-class field of competitors.

Both nights you’ll also get to see a master class with World, European and Olympic rider Emile Faurie, and a performance of ‘Dressage Divas’ by Anna Ross and her team, and ‘Spanish Delight’ by the Olivants Equine Displays.

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 LeMieux 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 commemorative 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