Dane Rawlins Stops Running Dressage at Hickstead After 27 Years Organizing a Premier European Event
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Aug. 11, 2020
Dane Rawlins announced Tuesday that he will stop running events at Dressage at Hickstead that for 27 years has been a premier European show hosting top sport near London such as Nations Cups and European Championships, including the open version in 2003.
Hickstead, with numerous national shows as well as international competitions run by Dane and his wife, had been “financially challenged” for several years, said Dane, 64 years old, despite efforts to broaden the appeal of the event. The show was supported by many individuals, such as the Bunns that own the property, the Bechtolsheimer family and more recently contributions from competitors and other participants.
“However, even with all the continued support, each year there is a large financial shortfall that has to be met by my family and me,” said Dane, known for a strong driving personality that kept Dressage at Hickstead going.
“This at times has been significant and, therefore, I have concluded that economically I can no longer continue to carry that financial burden.”
The international show that was scheduled for this summer was already canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dressage at Hickstead, staged separately but alongside the All England Jumping Course, was the scene of many memorable moments in the sport.
Among them was the first Big Tour competition outside the Netherlands for Totilas ridden by Edward Gal in July 2009 that attracted celebrities such as Ringo Starr, as well as performances by Great Britain’s own Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro in 2011 and 2013 and for many years of Carl Helster on several horses including Uthopia, his 2012 Olympic gold medal mount.
“I am very proud of all that has been achieved over the last 27 years,” Dane said. “Nations Cups, European Championships for young riders and senior Open European Championships in 2003 plus innumerable national shows.
“Many riders and officials have had their beginnings at Hickstead and it has been a fantastic journey with so many people from all walks of life getting involved.”
Competitors at the 2003 open Europeans included Lisa Wilcox of the United States who placed second on Relevant as well as George Williams on Rocher, Ashley Holzer then riding for Canada and team mates Christilot Boylen, Shannon Dueck and Belinda Trussell and Australians Mary Hanna, Heath Ryan and Kristy Oatley.