Top dressage riders will be competing at Liverpool International Horse Show for the first time this year.

The three-day show at the Echo Arena (29-31 December) will host an inter I freestyle class on the Friday evening (29 December).

The invitational class adds to the show’s packed schedule of international showjumping and entertainment, including a Shetland Pony Grand National, live music and motocross.

“We are really looking forward to adding dressage to our busy show schedule at the Liverpool International Horse Show,” said show president Nina Barbour.

“Dressage is now such a popular sport and the inter I freestyle will work brilliantly in what is fast becoming a much sought-after arena to ride and compete in.”

Dressage was first introduced to Bolesworth International, of which Ms Barbour is also president, in 2015, with its first CDI event taking place at this year’s show. When she announced the CDI3* in February, Ms Barbour said: “We have big ambitions for dressage at Bolesworth going forwards.

“We really feel that it is important to harness the amazing legacy from the last two Olympics which has really set the sport of dressage alight and truly inspired us as a nation.”

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British Dressage chief executive Jason Brautigam added: “Following a successful first CDI at Bolesworth International in June, the welcome addition of dressage to the programme at the Liverpool International Horse Show is fantastic news for our sport.

“We are immensely grateful to Nina and her team for including this exciting invitational class in their plans for the 2017 show and we’re very much looking forward to giving the crowd a real taste of top class dressage, showcasing some of our best riders, as well as up and coming equine stars of the future.”

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