Within four years, the national championships could take place in May instead of September. BD has set up a working party to examine the issues involved. It will be a long process, if it ever happens.

There are several major issues:

  • Many top riders want a national championships in May — as in Germany and Holland
  • Grass roots riders competing at preliminary to advanced medium want to compete alongside the professionals at one united national championships
  • If the nationals were in May, the winter championships would need to be in December
  • An overhaul of qualifying dates over the year wouold be needed

“BD’s finances depend on not making a mess of this change. Income comes from members, horses and levies. If you set up something they don’t want, you destroy the economics,” says Linda Whetstone, chair of BD’s rules and fixtures committee.

“Keeping all the classes together gives everyone an incentive and feels much more inclusive. Dressage has an elitist image, so it is important that everyone has a chance of getting to their national final.

“BD will examine the options in spring and then begin a long period of further consultation with those inside the sport.”

  • Read Horse & Hound’s exclusive news report on the future of British Dressage in the 25 December issue.