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Exciting new format for popular Area Festivals series

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Rider competing in the BD Petplan

British Dressage’s (BD) Petplan Area Festivals competition series has been transformed with a fresh new format for 2020

From its advent in 2000, the Area Festivals have become BD’s most popular competition with over 6,300 dressage tests ridden over the 2018/19 series. That year, 24 Area Festivals took place up and down the country, with competitors at BD affiliated competitions required to achieve three scores of 62% or above from Prelim to Elementary, and two scores at 60% or above in Medium to Intermediate I, in order to compete at one. Combinations who finished in the top 10 at Prelim to Advanced Medium and the top five from Prix St Georges (PSG) to Intermediate I qualified for one of the eight Area Festival Finals.

The overhaul, however, will see Area Festival Finals scrapped. Instead, the competition will be split into a summer and winter series, which will comprise 17 and 10 Area Festivals respectively and culminate in a Summer and Winter Championship. Competitors will qualify for the Area Festivals via a new, points system and combinations who finish in the top two of their class at their Area Festival will qualify for the series championship.

Point it out

Competitors at BD afflilated competitions will now be allocated points that correspond to their scores, which will go towards their qualification for an Area Festival. Combinations will score…

  • 1 point for 60–61.99%
  • 2 points for 62–63.99%
  • 3 points for 64–65.99%
  • 4 points for 66­–67.99%
  • 5 points for 68–69.99%
  • 6 points for 70–71.99%
  • 7 points for 72–73.99%
  • 8 points for 74–75.99%
  • 9 points for 76–77.99%
  • 10 points for 78–79.99%
  • 11 points for 80%+

Riders competing at Prelim, Novice or Elementary in the bronze section will need seven points to qualify for an Area Festival, while riders in the silver section at these levels will need nine. Medium and Advanced Medium bronze riders will need four points, while silver riders will need six. Finally, riders in PSG and Intermediate I classes in the bronze section will need two points, while those in the sliver section will need four.

All systems go

The qualification period for the 2019/2020 summer series, which will include dressage to music classes, began in December 2019 and will run until 30 June 2020. The Area Festivals for the summer series will take place in July and August 2020…

  • Easton & Otley College on 6–12 July
  • Alnwick Ford Equestrian on 10–12 July
  • Moreton Equestrian Centre on 10–12 July
  • Speedgate Farm on 16–19 July
  • Kingsword Equestrian Centre on 16–19 July
  • Bicton Arena on 17–19 July
  • Myerscough College on 23–26 July
  • Brook Farm Equestrian Centre on 24–26 July
  • Beacons Equestrian on 25–27 July
  • The Cabin Equestrian Centre on 31 July–2 August
  • Port Royal EEC on 1–2 August
  • Onley Grounds Equestrian Complex on 7–9 August
  • Sheepgate Equestrian on 13–16 August
  • Kings Equestrian on 13–16 August
  • Addington Equestrian Centre on 20–23 August
  • Field House Equestrian Centre on 20–23 August
  • Sparsholt College 28­­–30 August

The Summer Championship will be held in September 2020, with the date and venue to be confirmed.

Dates are yet to be announced for the 2020 winter series Area Festivals, but the qualifying period will begin on 1 July 2020 and run until 31 December 2020. The Winter Championship will take place at Hartpury College in April 2021 as part of the British Dressage Winter Championships.

A positive step

The new format, points system and qualifying dates are now streamlined with BD’s regional offering, which, it hopes, will make for a simplified series and give members more opportunity to compete.

BD Chief Executive, Jason Brautigam, said, “We’ve listened to feedback from our members and taken their comments and suggestions on board. Petplan Equine has been a brilliant partner for the Area Festivals and we’re sure this will prove to be a very positive step in the next phase of evolution for our longest-standing championship series.”


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