Horse & Hound‘s dressage editor Alice Collins has qualified her mare Faconnable, known at home as Fab, for the Petplan Equine Medium Restricted Area Final at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships (15-19 April).

Fab is a 15.2hh eight-year-old British warmblood mare by Faberge 50 out of a mare by Rubels, who was world young horse champion with Hans Peter Minderhoud. Although she is bred for the job, unfortunately Fab’s conformation doesn’t make life easy for her or Alice. In particular her neck conformation is such that it can be quite challenging for her to work ‘on the bit’. Despite this, she has been successfully trained by Alice from prelim up to medium level.

The pair are heading up to Hartpury from their Hertfordshire base today (Tuesday) ahead of their class on Friday. They have to travel today because Alice will be busy reporting for Horse & Hound throughout the show and won’t have time to transport Fab to Hartpury once the show gets underway.

Alice will be keeping us updated with Fab’s progress throughout the show with her video diaries, so keep an eye out for her latest updates.

About the Area Festivals

The Area Festivals were set up to give amateur riders of all levels the opportunity to enjoy taking part in prestigious championship-style dressage shows. There are 19 Petplan Equine Area Festivals held at leading dressage venues across the UK from August to November each year. The shows give amateurs the chance to compete in true championship conditions and enjoy the experience of riding in the atmosphere of a top show.

Competing at the Area Festivals is an achievement in itself and more than 3,000 riders taking part each year. Those riders placed first to fourth at prelim to elementary and riders placed first or second at medium to prix st georges at each Area Festival during are invited to compete at the Area Festival Championships at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships.