A speedy dressage contest that involves audience participation has been launched by a Finnish show.

Dressage Knockout was unveiled at the Helsinki World Cup leg (CSI-W) last year and is the brainchild of organiser Tom Biaudet, who wants to liven up the sport.

“Tom Gordin and I, both former showjumpers, wondered why dressage only appeals to a limited audience,” said Mr Biaudet.

It should be easier to understand for those who can’t see why one rider gets better points for a halt or a piaffe.”

The basic idea is as in any other knockout — where a competitor eliminates others round by round en route to a final.

“There are 2 riders in the arena doing the same movements as mirror images of each other,” he said.“The programme is only about 2min, consisting of 5 or 6 ‘flashy’ movements.”

No points are given, but 3 judges decide within less than a minute which of the riders is declared the winner. The audience also participates, supporting with applause.

Mr Biaudet told H&H he hopes to roll out it out to other shows.

“Its popularity seems to be growing, as we have had several inquiries from other organisers about how we did it,” he said.

Could this next be seen in Britain…?

This news story was originally published in 3 July issue of H&H