A dressage rider based in the Middle East has been inspired to enter the prix st georges (PSG) and intermediate I at Hickstead CDIO after judges commented favourably on tests she had posted online.

Romanian Cristina Calin Thompson, who is based in Dubai, used the website Dressage Anywhere, which enables riders to film and submit tests and have them marked by British or FEI judges.

The horse that she will compete, Webster, came from Carl Hester’s yard 18 months ago. His owner Reem Alabbar is helping to fund the trip, as she is hoping to compete him in the Asian Games next year.

With only a handful of PSG competitions in the UAE, Cristina used the site to help prepare the horse to compete on the small tour circuit.

And feedback from List One judges has given her the confidence to make the trip to West Sussex (1-4 August).

“I was stuck. I didn’t know if was doing the right thing,” she told H&H. “But the judges’ comments are so useful and now I know I’m not going to make a fool of myself.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (25 July 2013)