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Event rider disqualified after entering wrong dressage class

Eventer Emily Llewellyn has caused a stir by winning two British Dressage (BD) classes she was not eligible to enter.

As a BD group five rider (with points earned at advanced medium) and having ridden at Badminton, Emily is not eligible for the qualifying section for the summer regional finals at prelim nor the restricted section at elementary.

But at Crofton Manor’s affiliated dressage show (20-21 December) she entered and won both classes.

“It’s not very clear when you’re entering [BD] as they abbreviate everything, so I just entered what I thought was right,” Emily told H&H.

In eventing you can’t enter the wrong section, as the online system doesn’t let you.”

According to Paul Graham, BD’s sport operations manager, it was simply “a case of someone not reading the rulebook before competing“.

“It’s the rider’s responsibility to make sure they are eligible for the class,” he said.

“Once the results come in [to BD] and are validated, she will be eliminated. The next eligible person will get the qualification.”

Crofton Manor competitions manager Shelley Heath said: “We can only go with what riders put on their entry forms. It’s up to competitors to let us know if they are entered in the wrong section.”

Emily was also competing in a beagler hat, rather than a safety helmet, which became mandatory on 1 December 2011.

Paul Graham added: “We said when the new rule came in we would show leniency and this was the case with Emily.

“Judges have been notified that from 1 January that leniency should cease.”

This news story was first publishedin the current issue of H&H (19 January 2012)

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