Dressage riders will be battling it out in the West Country on 16 November in a new “X-Factor” style competition at The Hand Equestrian Centre, Clevedon.

The Sprout Rocking Horses X Factor Dressage to Music Championship is being held in aid of BBC Children In Need and Penny Brohn Cancer Care.

Competitors will ride a freestyle test at medium level and above before facing the criticism of the judges — Olympic trainer Conrad Schumacher, Olympic rider Emile Faurie and FEI list one judge Isobel Wessels.

But the audience will have the final say, voting on who will take home the £500 prize-money.

Some of the riders will be in top hat and tails, others in fancy dress — all trying hard to get the audience’s vote.

Last year, organisers Helen Griffiths and Celia Gadd raised £7,500 for BBC Children In Need and are hoping to exceed that figure this time. There will also be an auction of promises and the chance to win a Sprout Rocking Horse worth more than £2,000 in a raffle.

The following day, (17 November), Conrad Schumacher, Emile Faurie and Isobel Wessels will be revealing the secrets behind their phenomenal successes as trainers, riders and judges in their Preparing To Win seminar. They will focus on getting the rider mentally fit to perform and giving riders that competition edge.

Conrad will discuss exercises to improve long-term training and working patterns that can be used in the two weeks prior to an important test ensure riders get every mark from the judge.

The Sprout Rocking Horses X Factor Dressage to Music Championship starts at 7pm and tickets are £25 on the door, £20 in advance. The seminar costs £45 in advance, £50 on the door.

For information or tickets contact Celia Gadd tel: 01934 751171 or email celia@equinecanineandcountry.co.uk