Lucy Higginson says . . .
“It’s been a while since British dressage had so much to cheer about: a bronze medal for our European championship team, qualification for the Athens Olympics in the bag and a cracking turnout from the public for this Hickstead-run championship.
“The weather, arenas, event presentation and amenities for spectators were smashing. The only drawback was the traffic. A lot of people endured dreadful jams. But this shouldn’t take the lustre off a fantastic result. Who’s to say Britain won’t become a dressage nation to be reckoned with?”
Pammy Hutton says . . .
“Two horses competing in the same preliminary class at a regional championships recently were bred, owned and trained by me, and had the same rider. While my correct plodder won the class, the “better” test in my view, anyway was awarded a staggering 35 marks’ difference between the judges.
“My very confused rider had also considered the variously marked test to be his better performance. A newcomer to our sport I could only explain that dressage can be complicated.”
William Fox-Pitt says . . .
“The hot topic at the weekend was Blenheim being forced to ballot 73 horses.
Balloting causes a lot of stress, not only for owners and riders, but also for organisers, who hate having to turn people away.
“The four-star balloting ruling, which goes on points only and has had to be deployed at Badminton and Burghley this year, is tough but fair. The two-horse rider rule is awkward for owners and causes logistical problems, especially for overseas riders. It means that some of the best horses cant run, which is a shame for the competition.”
Lynn Russell says . . .
“Once again, it was the British Skewbald and Piebald Association (BSPA) classes that pulled in both entries and spectators [at the RIHS]. With 119 forward, split between four classes, conformation judge Marjorie Ramsay and ride judge Tim Wiggett had a mammoth task. Both started and finished with a smile and appreciated the riders tremendous enjoyment and enthusiasm.
“This is still an area where the dedicated one-horse owner can get to the top. For many true amateur competitors, qualifying to ride at the RIHS is a dream come true.”