Britain’s dressage stars travel to Solihull to take part in the 2002 Horse & Hound Winter Dressage Championships

The H&H Winter Dressage Championships promises to be bigger and better than ever, with more classes added, taking the total to 23 championships on offer.

The event at Solihull Riding Club on 3-7 April will attract an estimated 450 horse and rider combinations who will compete for a share ina total prize fund of more than £12,000.

Elite dressage riders are preparing for the popular Patey Hats Medium Elite Championship. Riders joining the challenge this year are Emile Faurie, Carl Hester, Peter Storr, Laura Richardson, Kirsty Mepham, Charlotte Edmonds, Adam Kemp, Henriette Andersen, David Hunt and Erik Theilgaard.

The format for the championship, which is held on 5 April, starts with qualified combinations riding the medium 68 test. A draw willpair each horse in the competition with one of the elite riders, who have a short time to warm up before riding the same medium 68 test in front of audiences at the gala evening.

Kicking off the evening is the Nirvana Spa Young Prix St Georges Horse Championship – an accurate indicator of future equine stars.

In 1999, Peter Storr and Gambrinus won the class, with Emile Faurie and Reuters Rascher Hopes in second place. The championship next took place in 2001, when Vicky Thompson won with Jazz Dancer.

Completing the evening’s entertainment is an awards presentation to the leaders of the Woof Wear Rankings. Winner of the grand prix rankings Emile Faurie and the winner of the small tour rankings, Jane Bredin, will perform their successful freestyle tests.

Gala evening performances

Friday 5 April, 6pm start

  • Nirvana Spa Young Prix St Georges Horse Championship
  • Presentation of Woof Wear Rankings
  • Freestyle performance by Jane Bredin
  • Patey Hats Medium Elite Championship – elite riders section
  • Freestyle performance by Emile Faurie

Saturday 6 April, 7pm start

  • Oldencraig Equestrian grand prix freestyle to music
  • Pony Club/dog agility relay
  • Lecture demonstration by Vicky Thompson
  • Pas de deux by Carl Hester and Vicky Thompson

Tickets for the gala evenings are £10 per person (+50p credit card booking fee). The ticket hotline is open from 7pm-9.30pm, Monday-Friday; (tel: 07850 187955). Seating is limited and on a first come first served basis.

  • Don’t miss this week’s Horse & Hound (28 March) for an indepth preview into the winter championships, or click here to subscribe.