Bolesworth International Horse Show 2017 Opens its Doors to International Dressage
Written by Amy Bennett
After two years of piloting invitational dressage freestyle classes, The Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show 2017 yesterday announced that it is launching a full CDI*** at this year’s show from 14th – 18th June. The new format includes not just a Grand Prix class, on the afternoon of the 14th, but also the Grand Prix Special test and the Grand Prix Freestyle the following day.
The announcement was made by the show’s president, Nina Barbour during the official launch of this year’s show from the yard of Olympic medallist and British Dressage’s very own ambassador, Carl Hester. After an incredible opportunity to watch Carl talk us through a very up close and personal demonstration from Charlotte Dujardin and the one and only Valegro, we got to hear just what Bolesworth means to Carl and why he is so thrilled to support the new classes.
“I’ve done some fantastic shows in my life, in fact I’ve probably been around all of them and last year I enjoyed myself as much as any other show at Bolesworth,” Carl said of the show. “The arena is wonderful and the footing is perfect, but more than anything it’s the atmosphere, it was such a lovely, friendly place with wonderful people.”
Having won the invitational Grand Prix Freestyle at last year’s show, Carl was seemingly delighted to see that so much investment is going into dressage at the show, “It’s growing, but anybody that goes there is not going to be disappointed as they are going to have some very good riders there,” he said of the calibre of horses and riders that visitors can expect to see, “it is a European championships year and most people will be wanting to ride in an atmosphere like that, so I’m sure there’s going to be some top combinations for them to watch.”
As for who Carl is going to compete… “that’s going to be a surprise, we’ll wait until nearer the time as we’ve got some great up and coming horses, and the arena and atmosphere at Bolesworth is such an education for them.” He said with a smile.
Alongside this full CDI***, there is also additional dressage on show for spectators wanting to find as much inspiration as possible. Not only will there be an invitational Prix St Georges and an Inter 1 Freestyle class, there will also be young horse classes which will be used as a viewing opportunity for future international success. All giving spectators the chance to see the stars of the future before they rise to fame.
As if that wasn’t enough, Carl will also be giving a demonstration on the Wednesday afternoon. “I know everybody loves to see the big stars but I always think that sometimes it’s more educational for people to see horses they haven’t seen before and watch how they cope.” Carl said of his plans for the demo, “Charlotte’s going to do the riding so, It will be a fabulous opportunity for people to see the Olympic gold medallist training young horses.”
The launch of this CDI*** aside, for me personally it’s great to see that dressage can exist in such a capacity north of Gloucestershire. Having attended the very first Bolesworth show all those years ago, when it was a small national show jumping event in a field with a plastic tent and a few stands, it is incredible to see the dizzying heights it has already reached in less than a decade.
There is a huge appetite for dressage in the north, and to see Nina Barbour’s vision of how she is going to deliver the sport to the masses is inspiring. It takes a lot to compete with the likes of Windsor Horse Show, but I really do feel that this show has what it takes to be justly compared. To have the backing of dressage’s best known name, is a true testament of how seriously The Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show is taking the inclusion, and promotion, of this wonderful sport and bringing it to a passionate audience.
I do honestly feel that if we had more events in the UK possessing the same passion and drive that the Bolesworth team is dedicated to producing, along with the support from the British Equestrian Federation and the discipline specific governing bodies, we would have more affiliated members than this nation could shake a stick at. But also, just maybe, if they could inspire just a few more mini Carl’s and Charlotte’s, we could be sure that our beloved sport can continue to see the rise in popularity and ensure it’s future at Olympic level for generations to come.
But I will leave the final word’s to Carl, after all, what better ambassador could you ask for? “Bolesworth is a true international show, I love it and I’m delighted the team is developing the dressage in such an amazing setting.”
For more information on the 2017 Bolesworth International Horse Show, please visit www.bolesworthinternational.com
For all tickets, including packages, please visit www.ticketmaster.co.uk