The Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead will become one of only three CHIO shows in the world this year, thanks to the addition of a dressage Nations Cup.

Dressage at Hickstead will be running a CDIO*** alongside the Royal International Horse Show (1-4 August).

An event with both showjumping and dressage Nations Cups achieve CHIO status. The only other two in the world are CHIO Aachen and CHIO Rotterdam.

The Nations Cup team dressage event will be run during the freestyle competition rather than the grand prix, under a new FEI format.

Dressage at Hickstead

“It’s never been done before and will create excitement,” said Dane Rawlins, director of Dressage at Hickstead.

“This competition provides an exciting and innovative platform to showcase dressage.”

The Bechtolsheimer family have provided financial support for the event, although Dressage at Hickstead is still seeking further sponsorship.

We owe so much to Wilfried and Ursula [parents of Olympic gold-medallist Laura Bechtolsheimer],” said Dane.

Their support for dressage in the UK is remarkable. It wouldn’t be happening without them.”

He added that the FEI had been “very helpful”.

As well as the Nations Cup, the show will run international FEI pony, junior and young rider classes and prix st georges and intermediate tests.