Breeders of dressage horses are to get anothershowcase for their stock with the launch of a new young horse and breeding championship organised by British Dressage and to be held at Addington Equestrian Centre on 19-20 July, 2003.

Sponsored in part by Shearwater Insurance, the show will include in-hand sections as well as ridden classes four-, five- and six-year-old horses and ponies.

This year, entrants will not need to qualify but must be registered with a DEFRA-approved society, with foreign importsre-registered with the relevant British equivalent.

British Dressage chief executive David Holmes said: “There has been much discussion at international level over the effect that early training has on the development of the horse.

“We have a chance of steering these championships in a positive way that will help build a good foundation in this country for the breeding and training of horses as well as educating competitors and judges alike. Thus we plan to bring overone of the top foreign judges to officiate.”

The consensus from competitors and judges is that, while there is room for more of these classes, the restructuring of current tests to echo German classes, where way of going is rewarded rather than accuracy, may be of as much benefit in the long term.

One prominent competitor commented: “These classes are only as good as the judge. If they have not trained horses to top level, how are they ever going to know if a youngster has what it takes?”

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