Top dressage riders and judges are planning a June “Dressage Extravaganza” to raise money for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

The idea stemmed from a British Dressage (BD) website discussion in snowy January.

“Everyone was moaning about how difficult things were,” recalls Dressage Extravaganza show director and BD judge Gloria Leverett.

“So I suggested we stop complaining and do something for other people for a change. The response was amazing and it grew from there.”

Carl Hester has agreed to be patron of the event on 26-27 June at Hartpury College, which gave the venue free of charge.

“It’s a chance for people to do something,” said Carl. “So come and support us. It should be a great show.”

Classes run from preliminary to grand prix and Saturday night will host a gala featuring top riders such as Carl and H&H columnist Richard Davison.

There will be a Grand Prix Challenge, compered by David Pincus and featuring an X Factor-style judging panel.

“Riders ride against each other and the audience will be asked to join in the judging,” explained David.

Tickets for the gala evening will cost £5. To enter and for more details, visit www.dressageextravaganza.co.uk

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (4 March, ’10)