Fancy giving British Dressage Quest a go? Here’s what you need to know

  • The British Dressage (BD) Quest Championships are a highlight of the dressage calendar for many riders. But plenty may be asking, what is Quest dressage, and how does it work? With this year’s long-awaited championships just around the corner on 28-31 October at Bury Farm, Bucks, we explain all you might have wanted to know about Quest dressage.

    What is Quest dressage?

    Quest competitions, which are sponsored by Saracen Horse Feeds from 2021, are designed to act as an introduction to BD, with taking part and having fun as the main targets for participants. You can compete as part of a team in Team Quest, or as an individual in My Quest, or both. 

    Do I need to be a British Dressage member to compete in Quest?

    You do not have to have full BD membership to compete in Quest, but you do need to have Club membership, which is aimed at those starting out on their competition journey, including competing in Quest. You can register yourself and your horse as BD Club members for just £45 per year. 

    What levels are there in Quest dressage?

    There are three levels to choose from in both Team Quest and My Quest: intro, prelim and novice. You and your horse must be eligible for the level that you choose to ride at, so it’s best to check the BD rulebook in advance. Intro is the easiest level, with just walk and trot required in the test. Prelim is the next level up, and involves 20m circles in trot and canter, while novice is the highest of the three Quest levels and tests include lengthened strides in trot, and half 15m circles in canter. 

    There are also two age categories: under-21 and open. 

    How does Team Quest work?

    Each team is made up of three or four combinations riding at any level, with each pair riding a test and the best three scores contributing to the overall team total – just as in international team competitions. However, you can register up to seven riders for your team, with an unlimited number of horses, and changes can be made via email at any point during the Quest season. 

    Each team must also nominate a team captain, as well as a region for which they are competing. It is possible to change a team’s region via email.

    Riders can compete for more than one team, however they must ride at different levels for each team. 

    Every team should have an original team name, and wearing team colours is encouraged – there is no need for show jackets when competing in Quest, so you can get creative. 

    How do we qualify for the Team Quest championships?

    Every region will have a leaderboard, with rankings updated throughout the season and based on points awarded in accordance with team placings at competitions. Only a team’s best five placings will count, but you can compete as a team at as many competitions as you like. 

    The top 15 open teams and the top 15 under-21 teams from each region qualify for their respective regional final. From here, the top team/s (one, two or three depending on the number of teams on the regional leaderboard) will qualify for the Team Quest national championships. 

    What about My Quest?

    As with Team Quest, riders qualify for the regional final based on points accumulated over the season. Again, only the best five competitions will count, but a rider can compete in as many competitions as they like. Regional finals for both Team Quest and My Quest usually take place during September and early October. 

    The top four open, and top four under-21, combinations from each regional final will earn a place at the My Quest national championships. 

    You can compete at more than one level in My Quest, as long as they are consecutive (meaning intro and prelim, or prelim and novice – but not intro and novice). You can even aim for the championships at both levels if you wish.

    Don’t miss 11 November issue of H&H for the full report from the Saracen Horse Feeds Quest national championships. 

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