The 2003 Global Dressage Forum is taking place today and tomorrow at Hooge Mierde in the Netherlands.

Ulla Salzgeber, Pictured current European Champion and winner of the 2003 FEI World Cup, will run the first clinic. As well as a theoretical introduction to her training methods, Ulla will use one of her top horses to demonstrate the preparation and warm up for international competitions.

Judging is high on the agenda at this year’s forum, with the participants hearing from Hans van Zetten this afternoon. A former national coach of Dutch gymnasts, Hans has worked on the judging procedures for other subjectively judged sports, including gymnastics and figure skating.

This year he was asked by the International Dressage Trainers Club to prepare a report on the development of judging in Olympic Sports, a project which revealed many similarities between dressage, figure skating and ice dancing.

These similarities included lack of transparency in the system, problems with explaining scores to television viewers and individual judges having too much influence on the end result.

Hans was invited to the Global Dressage Forum after his explanation impressed members of the FEI Dressage Committee at Aachen.

This evening’s session consists of an analysis of 12 riders’ tests from the European Championships at Hickstead using an ultra modern computer program from the Dutch National Olympic Committee. The tests will be analysed by two panels of top judges and trainers.

Organisers are hoping this year’s Forum will be as successful as those in 2001 and 2002.

“Reactions from all over the world on the first and second editions of the Global Dressage Forum have been quite unanimous. This Forum has contributed to the development of international dressage,” says Joep Bartels, Academy Director.

“It has been successful in increasing international communication among the insiders in dressage and it has been innovative.”

Tomorrow’s clinics and talks are given by Arthur Kottas, former “Oberbereiter” of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, seat expert Richard Weis and vet Gerd Heuschmann. The German Equestrian Federation’s head of education, Christoph Hess, and Germany’s national trainer Holger Schmezer will present the last session, which is on the quality of collection.

For more information about the forum visit: www.globaldressageforum.com