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An equestrian centre in the West Midlands has been praised after streaming a dressage competition live on the internet last weekend.

Kingswood Equestrian Centre attracted 2,168 viewers to its live streaming of the Petplan Area Dressage Festival via its website, www.kingswoodec.com.

Although the majority of the viewers came from the UK there were also hits from USA, Spain, Canada, France, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and the UAE-the latter including equestrian artist Dianne Breeze who was able to watch her stallion finish second in the novice open.

With people sitting in with the judges with laptop in hand the centre was also able to relay the marks live to the internet and to the screens dotted round the centre.

Feedback through an online survey had a hugely positive response.

One competitor said: “What a brilliant idea, I’ve never been to Kingswood and couldn’t make the arena walk but at least I was able to get the feel of the place watching the day before’s classes.”

The system is the brainchild of owner Rob Lickley who has also written the computer software for it.

“Initially this came from a desire to streamline the business,” said Rob.

“We started being able to send all competitors their dressage times using SMS and have kept developing it. I felt with so many professionals in terms of business involved in the horse world we were missing an opportunity.

They expect this sort of technology at work, why not in the horse world?