British Dressage presents ‘Dressage for all’

2020 British Dressage Championships get the go ahead - Image credit Daisy Jackson Dressage

British Dressage presents ‘Dressage for all’

Plans launched for this year’s BD National Convention

Dressage is the foundation to all equestrian activity; a well-trained, responsive horse gives the rider the advantage to make that tight turn in the jumping ring or angle that skinny cross country fence.  But in its purest form, more and more horse and rider combinations are discovering that dressage is so much more than ‘flatwork’!  It’s a challenging sport with great rewards for the hours of training put in and, most importantly, it’s not just for gifted riders on warmblood horses.  So, it’s with great pleasure that British Dressage (BD) unveils ‘Dressage for all’ as the theme for this year’s BD National Convention.  The two day training spectacular, run in association with Harrison Clark Rickerbys and St Johns Chambers, will be held at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire over the weekend of 19 & 20 November 2016.

Following on from a successful change of format last year, a host of top riders, judges and trainers will examine a number of key topics to help get the best out of any combination, focussing on how to work with what you have, not worry about what you don’t. All our presenters firmly believe that, using the Scales of Training as a basis, any horse can achieve a high level of development in dressage; looks, breeding, conformation or movement needn’t be a barrier to success.

FEI ‘O’ level judge Stephen Clarke leads the judging input, Team GBR rider Gareth Hughes will look at the riders’ perspective while the coaching expertise is provided by internationally renowned coaches Ferdi Eilberg, David Hunt, Paul Hayler and Daryl Thickitt.  The daily sessions will cover the building blocks of dressage, with specific movements under the microscope, different types of horses and exercises to help their progression, as well as training youngsters (horses and riders) and how to get the best out of them.

BD Training Director Paul Hayler is excited by this year’s programme; “Last year was a triumph.  The new format coupled with world class presenters, horses and sessions was well received and a great learning experience for all who attended.  I knew it would be hard to beat so we’ve worked hard to come up with a theme with the impact of last year.  But in my daily life, and in my term as Training Director, I’ve been impressed with the increasing variety of horses and riders discovering dressage and their determination to prove the stereotypes wrong.  So, that was the inspiration for this year – with Quest Club and BD’s new associated championships increasing our membership, it seemed very ‘on topic’.  The confirmed speakers are top drawer and we’re honoured to be able to assemble such a knowledgeable cast to share their expertise with you.  We hope you’ll join us at Hartpury in November. I’m confident this year there will be something for everyone, to prove dressage really is for all!”


New this year will be ‘Speakers Corner’ where four hot topics will be discussed in the four corners of the main arena at lunchtime – a great opportunity to questions our experts, share your views and have some lively debate!  There will be a great range of tradestands as always, including the chance to talk to our sponsors, BD partners and legal helpline providers Harrison Clark Rickerbys about their full range of legal services and special value member packages.

So whatever your role in dressage – rider, judge, coach, owner, breeder, official, supporter or just interested in the art of training horses – the weekend will be a fantastic learning opportunity.  So many talented names under one roof, a variety of horses and riders representative of BD’s diverse membership and some of the best dressage brains in the world all ready to share their knowledge.

We’ve also got great news for you on tickets!  Firstly, we’ve frozen the prices at 2015 rates. The daily programme will be different each day and with a two day ticket costing just £80 for BD paid members and £90 for non-members, you’ll be guaranteed not to miss a moment.  Daily tickets are £50 for members and £55 for non-members.

Secondly, we’re going digital!  No more wristbands, lost post or a lengthy booking process to go through. We’re using e-tickets via this year, so your booking experience will be slick and you get to print your tickets at home.

The provisional two day programme is currently as follows:


Dressage building blocks – working on the fundamentals of dressage training with Ferdi Eilberg

Beyond the basics – introducing lateral work (leg yield, shoulder in, half pass) with Stephen Clarke
Championing changes – perfecting simple and flying changes with Gareth Hughes

Training children for competition – preparing youngsters for their debut in front of the judge with Darryl Thickitt

Bridging the gap – training young Grand Prix riders with Paul Hayler

International here we come – moving up to PSG and Inter I with Ferdi Eilberg


Not just about the warmbloods – training and judging a variety of horses with Stephen Clarke

Laying the foundations – training young horses with Gareth Hughes

Maximise your music marks – impressing the judges using your strengths with Stephen Clarke

An eye on the future – training for FEI young riders competition with David Hunt

Sky’s the limit – moving on to International Big Tour with Ferdi Eilberg

Rio review with special guests

Our planning will continue over the coming weeks so keep an eye out for further updates, but tickets are guaranteed to be in huge demand so make sure you book early to avoid disappointment.  Tickets are available through the BD website – or book over the phone with Katy Evans on 02476 698833 or 02477 087801.

Main image: Everything Horse sponsored rider Daisy Jackson Dressage

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