Petplan Equine, a leading UK specialist equine insurance provider, is continuing its support of one of the most popular events in the British Dressage calendar for a 17th year. The Petplan Equine Area Festivals series, gives amateur riders across the levels from Preliminary to Intermediate I the chance to compete in true championship conditions and last year attracted more than 3,680 riders - a 32% increase on 2013.
The Petplan Equine Area Festivals, which includes a series of 19 qualifiers around the UK from August to October, culminates in a final held alongside the British Dressage Winter Championships at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire the following April. It features 11 Championship titles ranging from Petplan Equine Area Festival Preliminary Champion to Petplan Equine Area Festival Intermediate 1 Champion. There is an open and restricted class at each level except Preliminary, Prix St George and Intermediate 1.
Developments to the Championships have included the creation of the High Achiever Award to recognise the outstanding achievement of the horse and rider combination who achieves the highest overall percentage score across all Petplan Equine championship classes at Area Festival Finals. The most recent winner of this award was Welwyn Garden City-based rider Kate Rowland who, riding her own and Roland Tong’s six-year-old Dutch bred gelding Erasmus, scored an impressive winning 76.08% in the Petplan Equine Novice Open Area Festival Championship. She was rewarded with a five-day intensive training course with the highly acclaimed Gloucestershire-based AM Dressage, owned and run by leading international riders and trainers Adam Kemp FBHS and Matt Frost.
To compete in the 2015 Petplan Equine Area Festival series the horse and rider combination must have achieved a minimum of three scores of 62% or above for Preliminary to Elementary level or two scores of 60% or above for Medium to Intermediate I at any affiliated competition since 1st January 2015.
The competition is also open to non-members of British Dressage, who may qualify for the Area Festivals on class tickets. However, the rider must become a full member of British Dressage in order to take part in an Area Festival and all horses must be registered before entering the Area Festival.
Charlotte Collyer, Senior Marketing Executive for Petplan Equine said: “We are really proud to be supporting this amazing competition for a 17th year. The significant increase in the number of riders who participated in last year’s series shows how important it is to amateur dressage riders and testament to the growing popularity of dressage in this country. The quality of combinations that go on to compete in the Petplan Equine Area Festivals Championships is improving year-on-year and we are looking forward to another exciting series.”
Maggie Jackman, British Dressage Sponsorship Manager, commented; “Thousands of riders of all levels gain valuable experience through the Petplan Equine Area Festivals and we are very grateful to Petplan Equine for their continued and enthusiastic support. Olympic success has undoubtedly increased interest in dressage in the UK and it is competitions like this that help to develop a strong grass roots foundation as well as highlighting horse and riders that have the potential to go on and compete at international level.”
The dates of the 2016 Area Festivals are as follows:
Venue County Date
- Guernsey (1/2)Guernsey 7 – 9 August
- Speedgate Kent 15 – 17 August
- Forest Edge Norfolk 15 – 17 August
- Myerscough Lancashire 19 – 23 August
- Bury Farm Bucks 21 - 23 August
- Gordon Dressage (1/2) Aberdeen 22 - 23 August
- KingswoodWest Midlands 4 - 6 September
- Manor GrangeWest Yorkshire 4 – 6 September
- Bicton Area Devon 4 - 6 September
- Summer House Gloucester 11 – 13 September
- Valeview Leicestershire 11 - 13 September
- West Wilts Wiltshire 25 - 27 September
- Sheepgate Lincolnshire 2 – 4 October
- AintreeMerseyside2 – 4 October
- Brook Farm Essex 9 - 11 October
- Holmside Hall County Durham 16 - 18 October
- Oldencraig Surrey 17 – 18 October
- Beacons (1/2) Carmarthen 24 - 26 October
- SNEC (1/2)West Lothian 25 - 26 October