Dressage fans can look forward to a bonanza 2015 season, with potential senior British team horses being offered ample opportunities to earn their riders decent prize-money.
The line-up for the invitational inter I freestyle at Bolesworth International reads like a “Who’s Who” of the best small tour horses in the country.
The Cheshire show — which boasts £2,500 to the winner — is one of the richest in the sport in this country.
Many hope the inclusion of dressage this year will be a stepping-stone to the venue running international dressage at future shows.
The class is likely to feature Woodlander Farouche (pictured), Carinsio and Duval’s Capri Sonne Jr going head-to-head. Charlie Hutton is also planning to ride Douglas IV.
Woodlander Farouche (Michael Eilberg) and Carinsio (Becky Moody) competed against each other at Somerford Premier league. While Woodlander Farouche won, Carinsio had been trending on higher scores until he spooked. If both horses are on top form at the Cheshire venue, it’ll be nip and tuck.
Laura Tomlinson’s new stallion Duval’s Capri Sonne Jr is also a talented horse capable of high marks. Though the partnership is in its infancy, with Laura buying the eight-year-old just weeks ago, they have already won a Premier League prix st georges (PSG) with 74.82%.
Bolesworth is bolstering the trend for lucrative opportunities at the level, which are popping up all round the country.
The Mount St John Future Elite Championship class — which most competitors qualify for through a performance-based league system plus there are two invitational spots — will be running again at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) in Birmingham (9 October). Last year, Danish rider Anders Dahl and Selten HW scooped the top prize, with Woodlander Farouche second.
New prix st georges opportunities
A new series joins the ranks for 2015 in the shape of the Elite Stallions young PSG horse classes, which will be held over two days at Hartpury Festival of Dressage in Gloucestershire (8-12 July).
The classes are open to horses between seven and nine years old, and has the backing of Olympic judge and grand prix rider Isobel Wessels. The prize fund is £2,400.
“It’s wonderful we’ve got this new showcase at PSG level; it’s been missing for a long time,” said Isobel. “I’m really excited that Elite Stallions have made it happen as I’ve judged the final of the equivalent class in Germany and my vision would be to build up to something similar over here.”
After each test, there will be judges’ feedback and a mini interview with each rider to get reaction on the test and insight about their horses.
Isobel added: “Hopefully we’ll get some top class horses and this can be developed into a real international talent class.”
Wellington, who have been running an evening showcase freestyle for many years, will this season hold a £1,000 PSG freestyle class during their Premier League show (4-7 June). It takes place on Saturday 6 June and, for the first time, it is an open class with no qualifiers.
Spectators will be able to check out the venue’s new three-floor clubhouse, which includes double aspect viewing galleries to both indoor arenas and an electronic scoreboard.
Many of these sorts of classes aim to emulate the popular young horse PSG classes on the continent, which are used to showcase the best of upcoming talent and help identify and support future team horses, as well as giving horses big atmosphere experience and improving the dressage spectator experience.