IF you’ve always dreamt of competing at a dressage championship, look no further than the Horse & Hound Festival of Dressage, the new three-day unaffiliated championship with classes from intro level up to medium.

This exciting inaugural event, to be held on 20-22 July at popular Lincolnshire venue Sheepgate Equestrian, could be the ideal championship for you and your horse to target this summer, whether you’re keen to experience the buzz of a championship, or looking for the perfect opportunity to step up a level with your horse.

With a prize fund of approximately £1,000 per championship, including winners’ rugs and top-quality prizes — plus prize money — and all classes taking place on an array of superb all-weather arenas with indoor warm-up facilities, you can be sure that this is a championship worth aiming for.

What’s more, this could be your chance to appear in the pages of Horse & Hound — the show will receive detailed coverage both in the magazine and online, with all champions interviewed by Horse & Hound reporters.

“A large percentage of Horse & Hound’s readers are successful, keen amateur riders. We know from experience how much anyone who fits that description needs clear goals to maintain focus and motivation. After all, it’s not easy getting up at 5:30am every day before work to keep your horse fit and progressing,” says Sarah Jenkins, Horse & Hound content director.

“Readers and their trainers told us how much they and their clients would value a Horse & Hound championship — somewhere they could aim for to offer a great stay-away show experience with the prestige of becoming a Horse & Hound champion, plus great prizes.”

Championship dressage — and so much more

Combinations at each of the five levels on offer will perform two championship tests across the Saturday and Sunday, with the combined scores from both days determining the champion at each level. Additional warm-up classes will run across all three days, and competitors are also invited to enter freestyle classes on the Saturday evening at prelim, novice, elementary and medium.

But it’s not just about the dressage — with a drinks reception on the Friday, a complimentary hog roast on the Saturday night, and further evening entertainment, you can enjoy the excitement and buzzing social atmosphere that only comes with a stay-away championship.

Permanent and temporary stabling will be available to keep your horse comfortable, and the Sheepgate Tack & Togs shop, featuring top brands including Ariat, Pikeur, Cavallo and Dubarry, will provide ample opportunity for retail therapy — or just the chance to pick up any extra essentials.

Every horse and rider needs a target to aim for — why not make yours the 2018 Horse & Hound Festival of Dressage?

Horse & Hound Festival of Dressage: all you need to know

WHERE: Sheepgate Equestrian, Sheepgate Nursery, Leverton, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE22 0AS. Sheepgate.co.uk
WHEN: 20-22 July 2018
LEVELS: championships at intro, prelim, novice, elementary and medium. Additional freestyle classes at prelim to medium levels
ENTRIES: enter online at Equoevents.co.uk/HHDressagefestival. Entries close on 13 July, or when classes are full. No refunds after close of entries.
FEES: £70 per championship to include tests on both days. £20 per freestyle entry, £15 per warm-up class
STABLING: Limited permanent stables available at £40 per night. Temporary stables available at £35 for one night or £70 for the duration of the show.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

In this week’s edition, out on 24 May, don’t miss our “cob special”, including how to find the perfect cob, meet champion cob Our Cashel Blue and more.