Dressage competitions stripped from show centre

  • Norton Heath show centre in Essex will not be running British Dressage (BD) competitions in the foreseeable future and has had its affiliation removed due to a “change in priorities”.

    The centre, which hosted a Petplan Area Festival in 2013 and was due to do so again this year, has been ordered to return entry fees already made.

    H&H has learned of excessive noise from dogs and littered car parks.

    One rider, who had recently attended a show at the centre, told H&H: “The dogs appeared to be shut in a barn and were very loud, also there seemed to be more litter around than I remember. There were also some unfortunate organisational glitches — the judge in my arena had been given the wrong test, plus it took ages for the scoresheets to be released at the end of the day.”

    BD’s sports operations manager Paul Graham told H&H: “In view of Norton Heath’s change in priorities in the way they run their business, it was agreed that the environment was not the optimum for running affiliated dressage. When we communicated this [to the organisers] they raised no objection to the removal of affiliation.”

    BD has assured riders that it will be reallocating the Petplan Area Festival — the only one scheduled for the eastern region — which was due to take place on 25-27 September. It will notify members when an alternative venue has been confirmed.

    Norton Heath also hosts unaffiliated dressage, showing and Cashjumping, although it no longer runs British Showjumping (BS) shows.

    H&H contacted the venue, but nobody was available for comment.

    Ref: Horse & Hound; 16 April 2015

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