9 reasons the Horse & Hound’s Festival of Dressage is a must-do show this season

  • For the dressage aficionados among you, there is one show that should not be missed this summer — the Horse & Hound Festival of Dressage taking place from 20 to 22 July

    Not entered yet? Don’t panic, there’s still time and combinations do not need to qualify beforehand. Here’s why you cannot miss out…

    It is open to all

    This three-day unaffiliated event is absolutely open to everybody and there is no qualification process. Therefore, all riders can come along, have a go and, most importantly, have plenty of fun.

    A top-class venue

    Sheepgate Equestrian is a top-class venue located just north of Boston in Lincolnshire. It is a well-established, family run show centre with brilliant facilities. All the classes at the H&H Festival of Dressage will run on excellent all-weather surfaces. There are three outdoor competition arenas, plus an outdoor and indoor warm-up arena.

    The Sheepgate Tack & Togs shop is also there should you need any last-minute bits and the Sheepgate Savoy will be open daily serving drinks, snacks and meals.

    Magical prizes

    Don’t miss out on the fab range of prizes, including a total prize-fund of approximately £1,000 per championship, including rosettes from first to 10th, prizes in kind and winners’ rugs.

    The warm-up classes will award rosettes from first to sixth, plus prizes sponsored by Sheepgate Tack & Togs, including gift vouchers or a range of prizes in kind from the large selection stocked by Tack & Togs.

    In the music classes, rosettes will be given from first to sixth, plus prize money. There are also goody bags for all championship entrants on arrival.

    A great party

    The show is a great way to meet new people and socialise over three days. Welcome drinks will take place on Friday (20 July) and then there will be a hog roast on the Saturday evening alongside the music classes.

    Give yourself a goal

    For keen amateur riders, it can be hard work fitting horses around a busy work schedule — it takes motivation and dedication. Therefore, a clear goal is a great way to get through those early starts or getting soaked in the unpredictable British weather and the H&H Festival of Dressage is the perfect goal this summer to work towards. Why not work towards the prestige of being a Horse & Hound champion?

    Catering for all levels

    It doesn’t matter what level you are currently riding at because the H&H Festival of Dressage caters for all levels and is unaffiliated.

    The championship classes are available to enter from intro to medium levels and these classes will be run over two days — the Saturday and Sunday.

    The horse and rider with the highest combined scores from their test over those two days will be crowned champion at each level.

    There will be warm-up classes on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, plus freestyle to music classes on the Saturday evening.

    Appear in the pages of Horse & Hound

    H&H reporters will be at the show throughout the three days and a full report will be going in the magazine the week after.

    We will also be covering the show extensively online, with daily reports and other features, so our reporters will be on the look out for fun, interesting stories and can be found in the H&H hub.

    Nutritional advice

    Horse feed specialists Spillers will be on hand to give free nutritional advice for your horse, plus they will have a weighbridge on site.

    WOW saddles sponsor the medium championship and Equestrian Surfaces sponsor the novice championship — both will have a tradestand at the event.

    ‘I had so much fun’

    The proof is in the pudding that we can pull off a great event, with plenty of H&H magic thrown in.

    The second running of the H&H Festival of Eventing was held in May and received glowing feedback from competitors.

    “I learnt to ride in my late 30s and bought ‘Barny’ two years ago. I went to the last year’s H&H Festival of Eventing and returned again this year because I had so much fun,” says competitor John Spear, a yacht rigger who also does leatherwork and made Barny’s bridle.

    “Each time, I camp for the three days and there is always a great atmosphere, everyone talks to each other.

    “Unfortunately, my horse is not keen on water so I haven’t completed the cross-country but I am returning next year and am determined to get round. However, for me it is all about having fun and we both enjoyed it so much. It was great that we were allowed to do the showjumping on the final day and finish on a good note,” he added.

    “The H&H Festival of Eventing had much more of an atmosphere compared to the local shows I am used to and it gave me something to focus on. I had never done a three-day competition before last year’s event but everyone was so helpful and made it easy for me.”

    The Horse & Hound Festival of Dressage is being held at Sheepgate Equestrian, Lincs, from 20 to 22 July, with classes from intro to medium levels.

    To read the full schedule: click here

    To enter click here

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

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