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Under 25 training opportunities

Dressage is all about training and BD Youth aims to give you the best possible start for a lifetime in the sport. On this page you can find all the information about what training is available to you and how you can get involved. Work through the page from grassroots to elite to learn about how you can start moving up the BD Youth levels.

Share your training experiences online with the hashtag BDYouth or send your stories and photos to our Facebook page by clicking this link.

Regional Training
What can be better than meeting people your own age, who share the same interests as you and live just around the corner?! Each region hosts loads of training sessions and social activities throughout the year, so there's plenty of opportunity to have lessons with national and local trainers - plus make lots of new friends along the way. Plus, each region runs at least one session or camp during the school holidays.

The best part is, you don't need to be a BD member to have a taster of BD Youth but if after one session you'd like to continue with us, we'd love to have you as a member - give our Club membership a try. At just £30 for the year, it's jam-packed with loads of great benefits. Click here to find out more.

To find out what training is on in your area please take a look at the Regional Activities Page

Training sessions / camps
BD Youth Regional Training days are open to all ages of riders from 25 and under. These invaluable days are designed to give you thorough basic training with your horse/pony to help you develop your skills and meet your goals.

Regional training sessions/camps run during the school holidays and include everything from test riding and training sessions to unmounted workshops and social activities.

There are special groups designed for under 11s riders that run alongside BD Youth Regional Training, to give even the youngest riders the best of starts.

Riders do not have to join British Dressage for their first session but will be encouraged to join BD as a minimum of a BD Youth member thereafter. Riders who wish to compete in affiliated classes dressage must be full members and also register their pony/horse.

Regional Squads
Squads will be developed within the Regions and an Inter Regional Team competition will be held each year. Combinations who show particular talent will be encouraged by their Regional Development Officer or BD Youth Regional Representative to apply for National Training.

Regional Teams
Regions also select teams for Friendly Internationals in Ireland, the Home International and the BD Youth U25s Championships at Sheepgate EC, Lincolnshire.

Riders who are selected/invited to compete on BD Youth Regional teams must be full competing members of British Dressage and ponies/horses must be registered unless they are competing at Prelim level and competing at either the BD Youth Inter-Regional Squad competition, BD Youth Home International or BD Youth U25s Championship at Sheepgate. For all other competitions such as the friendly Internationals at Marlton and Cavan; the Irish competitions, riders must be full competing members and ponies/horses must be registered.

For information regarding the 2018 selection criteria please see the links below:

Regional Selection Policy

Home International Information Sheet 2018

Inter Regionals Information Sheet 2018

Sheepgate Teams Information Sheet 2018

Progress Chart Home International 2018

Progress Chart Inter Regionals 2018

Progress Chart Sheepgate 2018

NEW for 2018 - Foundation Academies

The aim of the Foundation Academies is to develop the training and education of BD Youth riders along a defined pathway towards the National Academy programme.

Foundation Academies will comprise of two 2-day camps running at four locations across the UK.

The Foundation Academies will be run inter-regionally and each camp will follow the same standard programme which will include:

·        A test riding session with feedback

·        30 minute individual training session

·        Shared 45 minute training session

·        Individual practical performance management workshops

·        Performance planning sessions

·        Sports psychology workshops.


For further information including eligibility criteria for 2018, please follow the link - Foundation Academy Key Facts 2018

If you would like to get involved, or would simply like more information about BD Youth, please contact your RDO or BD Youth Regional Rep.

Pony Team Test Riding Sessions
Want to perfect your Pony Team test riding? We're holding sessions for Pony riders on 13 - 14 January and 3 - 4 February 2018 at Onley EC, near Rugby in Warwickshire. These sessions will be open to combinations who have achieved 63% or above in FEI Pony Team tests or Medium 73/75/76. Combinations will ride through the Team test in front of an FEI judge and receive feedback to help pick up those extra marks and maximize scores. The following day, combinations will work with one of the Pony trainers on the judge comments received to help improve test riding and help our Pony riders to start their 2018 season in fine form!

Training fees for these sessions will £160 per weekend (stabling and catering costs are not included). Click here for the application form.

Squad training
The Prime and Progress squads are a vital stepping stone for Under 21s riders on their journey to International competitions and NAF Championship teams. Annual selection days see combinations submitted to either the Progress squad for developing riders showing great potential or the Prime squad for riders and horses with the ability to compete for Great Britain at CDI shows across Europe. Both squads offer highly valuable training camps which provide young riders with first class training both in and out of the saddle.

Dengie Progress Squad Rider Blogs:

To read the December blog from Lisa Wilson (Marketing Manager at Dengie) click here
To read Molly's blog click here
To read Charlotte's blog click here

Thank you to Dengie Horse Feeds for their generous support of our Progress Squads and NAF for their fantastic support of our Prime Squads.

Dates for Pony, Junior and YR training 2017/18

Pony Prime Squad Training
23 Sep 2017 Viewing Day - The Unicorn
23 - 24 Oct 2017 Onley EC
11 - 12 Nov 2017 Onley EC
16 - 17 Dec 2017 Onley EC
24 - 25 Mar 2018 The Unicorn
Pony Progress Squad Training
14 - 15 Oct 2017 Swallowfield
11 - 12 Nov 2017 Onley EC
16 - 17 Dec 2017 Onley EC
10 - 11 Mar 2018 Swallowfield
FEI Team Test Training
13 - 14 Jan 2018 Onley EC
3 - 4 Feb 2018 Onley EC
Junior/YR Squad Training
4 Nov 2017 Viewing Day - Onley EC
2 Dec 2017 The Unicorn
6 - 7 Jan 2018 The Unicorn
10 - 11 Feb 2018 The Unicorn
Young Professional Award Training Days

 Foundation Academy Locations & Dates


Camp 1

Camp 2

Alnwick Ford

1 & 2 September

3 & 4 November


15 & 16 September

1 & 2 December

Reaseheath College / Somerford Park*

11 & 12 August

6 & 7 October

The Unicorn Trust

8 & 9 August

22 & 23 October

*Please note that the camp on 11 & 12 Aug will be at Reaseheath College and the camp on 6 & 7 October will be at Somerford Park. Riders must commit to being able to attend both locations.