BD Nationals Announce Further Changes for 2020

Charlotte Dujardin riding Mount St John VIP. Image credit Kevin Sparrow Photography

Exciting changes announced for the British Dressage Nationals

  • Significant numbers boost for the BD championships
  • News follows shock change in venue for 2020

Following the landmark news last month of a new home for the LeMieux National Dressage Championships at Somerford Park Farm, British Dressage can now announce exciting additional competition opportunities for riders at this year’s inaugural fixture in Cheshire, which takes place from 24 – 27 September.

The additional facilities on offer at Somerford, including a third competition arena, has provided British Dressage with the opportunity to review the numbers of tests per day.  Working with Show Direct, we’re now able to boost the programme capacity by around 15% across the established classes from Novice to Advanced Medium.  This means that BD will be able to ensure that numbers in the Silver and Gold sections are more balanced to provide better representation across the sport

We’re also delighted to be able to add new classes to the timetable for both competitor and spectator enjoyment. Small Tour riders will now have Silver sections in both the Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges and Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Championships.  Additionally, the Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Gold Championship will now include a Freestyle element, bringing it in line with the Saracen Horse Feeds Inter I Gold and LeMieux Grand Prix Gold Championships.

For grass roots competitors, the BackinAction Prelim Championship will be expanded to include both Silver and Gold sections for the first time.

With the aim of developing future human and equine talent, there will be an invitational championship class for the Under 21 international riders, which covers Ponies, Juniors and Young Riders, while there will also be a new Advanced Medium Gold Seven Year Old Championship for horses foaled in 2013.

British Dressage Chief Executive Jason Brautigam commented;

It has long been our ambition to grow the LeMieux Nationals in terms of competitor numbers and Somerford’s outstanding facilities have brought that to reality.  The new venue has enabled us to produce an ambitious timetable to accommodate around 610 tests over four days, providing more opportunities for riders at all levels to compete at our championships.

Our Sport Operations team, headed by Lou Jones, has worked closely with Kelvin Bywater at Show Direct to put these plans in place and while the timetable is still in the process of being finalized, we are excited to make these announcements so members can plan their competition targets for 2020.

These changes offer the chance for us to welcome around 200 additional riders, underlining our commitment to growing the championships and introducing other innovations in this new era of the LeMieux National Championships.  Qualification got underway on 1 December and continues until 30 June, so good luck to all who are on that journey or can now make it part of their 2020 plans.”

Outline qualification details for the new classes are as follows:

BackinAction Prelim Gold

  • To qualify for a summer Regional, combinations must earn 20 points all from qualifiers with a minimum 66% (as per Silver in 2020).
  • Any eligible riders wishing to change to the Gold with Silver qualifying results will have until 14 February 2020 to ‘upgrade’ their sections (from Silver to Gold) from any qualifying competitions as of 1 December, to be used towards qualification.  Please contact the BD office to make the necessary changes.
  • Qualification Regionals to the Nationals will be on ratios with a minimum score of 65%.

Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Silver

  • To qualify for a summer Regional, eligible combinations must earn six points all from qualifiers with a minimum 64% (as per Gold in 2020).  There will be no direct qualification in the Silver section.
  • Any eligible riders wishing to change to the Silver Championship with Gold qualifying results will have until 14 February 2020 to ‘downgrade’ their sections (from Gold to Silver) from at any qualifying competitions as of 1 December, to be used towards qualification.  Please contact the BD office to make the necessary changes.
  • Qualification Regionals to the Nationals will be on ratios with a minimum score of 65%.

Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Gold Freestyle

  • Top placed competitors in the Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Gold class will qualify for the Freestyle. The final number is to be confirmed.

Saracens Horse Feeds Intermediate I Silver

  • To qualify for a summer Regional, eligible combinations must earn six points all from qualifiers with a minimum 64% (as Gold in 2020). There will be no direct qualification in the Silver section.
  • Any eligible riders wishing to change to the Silver Championship with Gold qualifying results will have until 14 February 2020 to ‘downgrade’ their sections (from Gold to Silver) from at any qualifying competitions as of 1 December, to be used towards qualification.  Please contact the BD office to make the necessary changes.
  • Qualification Regionals to the Nationals will be on ratios with a minimum score of 65%.

Advanced Medium Gold Seven Year Olds

  • All qualification will be via Premier Leagues in the Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold sections. The highest placed seven year old in each section will be awarded a direct qualification. No minimum percentage is required.
  • Wildcards will be allocated to fill the class based on the highest percentages achieved across all eight Premier League shows.

FEI Under 21 Championship

  • For 2020 there will be no direct qualifiers for the Under 21 classes, so places at the National Championships will be based on results achieved in the 2020 season. The selection criteria for this year will be issued following the next Board Meeting in February.
  • Under 21 Selectors will be responsible for managing the selection process and allocating places at Pony, Junior and Young Rider level.  A formal qualification structure will then be introduced from 2021 onwards.

With these changes there are some exciting sponsorship opportunities now available at the LeMieux National Championships for 2020, so please do get in touch with British Dressage if you’re interested in being a part of the sport’s flagship event in this landmark year and beyond.

Image for illustration only: Charlotte Dujardin riding Mount St John VIP. Image credit Kevin Sparrow Photography

Related posts