Following the success of the European Dressage Championships at Hickstead last year, Dressage at Hickstead has unveiled plans for a new nationwide competition series which gets underway this year.
Hickstead Dressage Masters’ League will incorporate five classes open to riders from Prix St George through to Grand Prix, and combinations can qualify for Small Tour, Large Tour or Inter II Championships, with qualifiers taking place at premier national shows and affiliated classes around the country.
Dane Rawlins, the international rider and trainer who founded Dressage at Hickstead in 1993, explains: “This has to be good for the development of new talent in our sport, and we will be testing our riders and their horses at the highest levels, expecting them to set new standards of excellence.”
Hickstead has held a Dressage Nations Cup for the last ten years, with the exception of last year when it played host to the European Dressage Championships. This year the event is being run concurrently with the Royal International Horse Show (RIHS), although not strictly as a part of it.
Traditionally the Nations Cup takes place in August at the same time as the Hickstead jumping derby, but the Olympics this year have necessitated a change of date, and the championships will take place at The Festival of Dressage and CHIO from 19 – 25 July.