The Mercedes-Benz National Championships at Stoneleigh (25-28 September) will see many grass roots riders and as-yet-undiscovered talent fighting it out alongside the big names for a title.
Spectators can look forward to watching dressage at every level from preliminary through to prix st george, plus a new pas de deux class during the four-day show, which draws competitors from across Britain.
Mercedes-Benz is sponsoring the event for the third year and once again the national champion will receive a SLK-Class Roadster to drive for the next 12 months. Reigning national champion Nicky Barrett will be hoping to keep the sporty Mercedes-Benz for second year but is sure to face strong opposition from her rivals, which include British squad members Emile Faurie and Nicola McGivern and reserve rider Carl Hester.
Bronze medal-winning team member Richard Davison will be hosting masterclasses on Saturday and Sunday, and there will be a parade of Britain’s medal winning dressage squads on Sunday afternoon.
Taking part in the parade will be the bronze medal-winning European Championship team, the bronze medal-winning Pony European Championship team and the multi medal-winning World Championship GB Paralympic squad. The squads have won an impressive eight gold and three bronze medals between them this year.
Spectators will also be entertained between classes at the weekend by stunt riding from the Devils Horsemen, who will be arriving straight from the Mexican set of the Hollywood blockbuster Troy, starring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom.
Headset commentary will be available and, if your credit card can take it, a range of tradestands will be available for shopaholics, with a Albion SLK Ultima dressage saddle up for grabs in a free prize draw at the Mercedes-Benz stand.
Tickets can be purchased on the gate at the cost of £10 per person per day. Entry for children costs £3 per day. Uncovered ringside seating is free on all days with the covered grandstands free on Thursday and Friday and £8 per person on Saturday and Sunday.
For more information visit: www.BDChampionships.co.uk
Thursday 25 Sept
Equimax Elem Rest 7.11am; Equimax Elementary Open 8.32am; Derby House Saddlery/Dressage Horse International Prix St Georges10.26am; Ketterer Intermediaire II 14.02pm.
Friday 26 Sept
Dodson & Horrell Novice Open 7.28am; Strongid-P Disabled Dressage Rider 8.00am; Winergy Advanced Medium 11.00am; Equistro Intermediaire I 12.30pm.
Saturday 27 Sept
Solid Gold Medium Open 8.00am; Dodson & Horrell Novice Restricted 8.20am; Grange Hotels Grand Prix 11.03am; British Equestrian Vaulting Display 2.05pm; Easibed Intermediaire I Freestyle 2.15pm; Sheepgate Masterclass with Richard Davison 3.40pm; Goldeneye Video presents Devils Horsemen 5.35pm;
Close of Show 6.00pm.
Sunday 28 Sept
Prevac Pro 4-y-o pre-judging 8.20am; NFU Mutual Preliminary 8.30am; Solid Gold Medium Restricted 8.38am; Prevac Pro 5-y-o pre-judging;10.00am Prevac Pro Potential International Dressage Horse 11.45am; Kentucky Intermediaire I Pas de Deux 1.10pm; Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Freestyle 2.00pm; ACE ATV Pony Club/Celebrity Ride & Drive 3.15pm; Sheepgate Masterclass with Richard Davison 3.35pm; Goldeneye Video presents Devils Horsemen 5.20pm; Presentation of Mercedes-Benz National Champion 2003 5.40pm; Close of Show 5.50pm.