Hickstead Jumping to Host its First Premier League Dressage Competition Next May

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Carl Hester competing at Hickstead. File photo. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Nov. 26, 2020

The All England Jumping Course at Hickstead will host its first Premier League dressage competition next May after the neighboring Dressage at Hickstead show ground was closed.

A three-day event to include Advanced Medium to Grand Prix has been scheduled for May 21-23.

Rider Dane Rawlins and Hickstead founder Douglas Bunn founded dressage at the sister site to the All England Jumping Course. It hosted the European Dressage Championships in 2003, an open competition in which United States and Canadian riders participated and an annual Nations Cup.

“We understand that many riders were saddened to lose the venue,” said Lizzie Bunn, director of Hickstead, “and while it was unsustainable to keep running the dressage side as a separate entity, we have been working hard this season to formulate plans to hold dressage competitions within the main Hickstead site.”

Recent investments of more than £500,000 (US$668,000) was used to convert some grass rings into all-weather arenas, an area large enough for a number of international dressage arenas along with a full sized warm-up.

“We want to test the water with our first Premier League show, to gauge the initial levels of support and interest,” Lizzie said, “with a view of going on to potentially bigger events.”

Carl Hester welcomed the “fabulous” news to help keep up the momentum of British dressage and build future teams.

Hickstead was the first purpose-built show jumping venue in Great Britain, and it now hosts two major international fixtures each year, the Hickstead Derby Meeting in June and Royal International Horse Show in July.