How to maximise your marks in freestyle dressage *H&H Plus*

From FEI to riding clubs, more riders are feeling the lure of dressage to music. Helen Triggs gives you the lowdown to help you show off your best moves

Dressage to music was born in 1980, when British Olympic rider Jennie Loriston-Clarke staged a demonstration with Gaynor Colbourn riding Dutch Courage and Dutch Gold. From there, music freestyle was debuted at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 — which was won by Isabell Werth and Gigolo — and has been a compulsory part of Olympic competition since.

In 2012, Charlotte Dujardin’s gold medal-winning Olympic performance on Valegro introduced a whole new audience to “dancing horses” and inspired riders at all levels to give it a go. Today, the freestyle bug has spread far beyond the international grand prix circuit, with classes at affiliated, unaffiliated and riding club competitions; this year, around 650 combinations contested the British Dressage (BD) music regionals from novice to advanced medium.


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