British Dressage (BD) has revealed that Somerford Park, Cheshire, has been selected to host the Lemieux National Dressage Championships for a minimum of three years.
The September championship will move from Stoneleigh Park, Warks, where it has been held for 20 years, due to ongoing uncertainty around development of the site. The new-look championship will run from 24-27 September in 2020, but revert back to its usual slot — the third week in September — from 2021 onwards.
“Stoneleigh has given us a great home for the nationals for two decades, but Somerford’s excellent location and facilities provide us with the ideal opportunity to take the championships to a whole new level over the coming years,” said Jason Brautigam, chief executive of BD.
Somerford Park is a popular home to regular BD events, including regional championships and a Premier League, and it will continue to host these as well as the nationals. Three international standard arenas with Andrew Bowen surfaces are planned, with information on additional classes to be held at the championships expected in January.
“We’ve invested heavily in our facilities and infrastructure, so high calibre events like the nationals are exactly what we hoped to attract,” said Somerford’s event organiser Millie King. “Our venue is easy for visitors to access from the M6 and we hope to see as many of you as possible next September.”
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Title sponsor Lemieux has also committed to a new three-year deal.
“A venue change gives us the perfect springboard to take the nationals to new levels and make it a complete dressage experience, not just a show,” said Robert Lemieux.
Mr Brautigam added that BD aims to develop the National Dressage Championships into a “showcase fixture that appeals to the wider public, not just the dressage enthusiast”.
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