Olympia to Trial Revitalise Grand Prix Dressage Format
British Dressage has announced that a new-look Grand Prix Dressage format will be trialled at this year’s Olympia.
HPower Group, organiser of Olympia, The London International Horse Show and host to the UK leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup, has consulted with the FEI and international dressage riders to revitalise the format of the FEI Dressage World Cup competition.
A re-styling to the format of the Grand Prix aims to draw in a wider audience, appealing to both the equestrian community and the general public.
The new format will be piloted for 2 years, as agreed by the FEI Dressage World Cup Committee. They also seek to actively engage the audience, broadening dressage’s appeal, particularly within Grand Prix competition.
Although there will be changes to the format, the new-style Grand Prix will still be judged the same as other FEI technical tests, and demand the same accuracy and precision from horse and rider, during ridden performance.
The trialling format of the Grand Prix will be shorter, the technical test set at five minutes. Additionally, music will be selected for the individual horse and rider combination, by a professional music director, reflecting the partnership’s personality. The combination will have to stay in the arena after their test too, witnessing the scoring of the judges, which will allow the audience to feel connected with the competition and provide the riders immediate, un-filtered reaction.
After each Grand Prix test, rider’s will discuss their performance in a short interview. This will give the audience a snap-shot insight into the thoughts and feelings experienced by the rider, during competition.
Excited for launching the trial format, Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, commented;
This new format is not a gimmick or a theatrical experiment. I have been convinced, for some time, that Dressage in the World Cup Series has been underperforming against its potential. Unashamedly – and I believe quite rightly – we want to make the Grand Prix evening at Olympia as meaningful, relevant and exciting as the Freestyle night. Two cracking nights of elite competition will do a lot to improve Dressage’s visibility amongst those who have not been initiated into the complexities of the sport.”
The new trialling format will be set into motion on Monday 17th October and Tuesday 18th October 2018, at Olympia.