There’s only one sleep to go before the event we’ve all been waiting for – the LeMieux National Dressage Championships 2017! (14 – 17 September 2017). With four days of mouth-watering dressage to look forward to, this great national gathering of British dressage is a dream show for followers of the sport.
The centrally situated Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire will welcome the country’s leading riders alongside talented amateurs who’ll provide us with great dressage competition at all levels, from Prelim through to the crowning of the LeMieux National Champion at the ultimate level of Grand Prix.
Charlotte Dujardin, one the world’s all-time dressage greats, will be playing a bigger part than ever as the busiest rider of the four-day show. She has an astonishing total of 17 competition starts with her ten rides, and is riding every day. So whether you’re lucky enough to go during the week or have to wait until the weekend, you’ll have the chance to see her in action. Follow this link to get the lowdown on her Nationals campaign.
Defending his LeMieux National Champion title, Carl Hester will be riding Katherine Bateson’s Alcazar in the LeMieux Grand Prix, starting at 11.40 on Saturday. This class promises to be an exciting affair with several combinations likely to give Carl a run for his money. As well as his teammate Emile Faurie with Bohemo Tinto, 2017 team reserves Lara Butler and Hayley Watson-Greaves, who are on flying form, will be amongst the favourites.
Others to watch are Michael Eilberg and the Eilberg family-favourite Marakov, Louise Bell with former working hunter champion Into the Blue, Steph Croxford with the charismatic Mr Hyde and bringing a touch of Spanish flair will be Vicky Thompson Winfield with the PRE stallion Mango Jacaro.
Charlotte may be dubbed ‘the busiest rider of the show’ but she’s not the only one faced with the challenge of memorising multiple tests!
Yorkshire’s Becky Moody has an incredible six horses qualified including Carinsio who, if his form at this year’s Hickstead CDIO is anything to go by, is in with a shout in the Grand Prix. He’s only young, at the age of 10, but is really coming into his own this year. In Becky’s words, “It’s starting to get exciting now!”
Jayden Brown, who rides for the Mount St John Stud, has four of the stud’s horses qualified and will feature in the Childéric Saddles Elementary Gold with Atterupgaards 02 and the TopSpec Medium Gold aboard MSJ Top Secret, as well as the Shearwater Young Horse Championships with the stud’s rising stars. Another British breeding operation making waves is the Headmore Stud which, with Sarah Oppenheimer and daughter Alice at the helm, is bringing some super British-bred dressage horses into the world. Alice will be representing Headmore with four horses, and Dannie Morgan joins her riding Headmore Davina in the TopSpec Medium Silver.
The Shearwater British Young Horse Finals are always a feast for the eyes with the top young horses in Great Britain going head-to-head for the titles. All finalists will compete on Saturday performing their age-specific tests, then the top four from each age group will go through to Sunday’s final where Eva Möller, who returns as this year’s ride judge, will put the horses through their paces to claim the top prize. The quality in the start lists is incredible, the line-ups include Kerry Mackin with four-year-old Izonik who took top honours when qualifying at Hartpury, Ashley Jenkins with five-year-old His Highness bred by Cat Austin, Charlotte Dujardin and the mare Hawtins San Floriana bred by Judith Davis, whose Hawtins Stud also bred a number of runners over the four days, and Tom Goode with FEI World Breeding Championships contender, Saint Julian.
On Saturday and Sunday, Olympic, World and European medallist Laura Tomlinson will be presenting the LeMieux Master Class in the main arena, at 15.57 on Saturday and 15.56 on Sunday. Also not to be missed, on Saturday afternoon, is the salute to the 2017 Para and Pony medallists parade and a fabulous display by the Young Rider Quadrille display team which takes place on both days at the weekend.
Don’t forget there’s a huge range of trade stands for that much-needed retail therapy and food outlets for refreshments during your day out. If you haven’t yet got your tickets for the Nationals, don’t worry! Although advance ticket sales are now closed, tickets are still available on each day of the Championships at the gate. On arrival at the showground, get your show-essential Programme (available on the gate, at the Secretary’s Office, at the BD stand and from the roving programme sellers) for exclusive interviews, all the essential reading on the competitors as well as the all-important schedule. For the full Nationals experience, why not purchase a Radio Nationals headset? These pre-tuned headsets (available from the Secretary’s Office and the BD stand), give you detailed commentary on the classes and help keep you up to date with what’s happening and where, ensuring you don’t miss a thing.
And, if you can’t make it to the Nationals, you can keep up-to-speed with all the goings-on, scores, results and more by visiting www.britishdressage.co.uk, www.bdchampionships.com, Twitter and Facebook.
Click here to visit the Championships website for detailed information on the event, ticket prices and schedules.
7.47 3. Equine Construction Advanced Medium Silver Championship
7.50 1. BackinAction Preliminary Silver Championship
10.15 4. Childéric Saddles Elementary Silver Championship
12.05 2. Fairfax Saddles Prix St Georges Gold Championships
14.35 5. Monarch Equestrian Intermediate II Gold Championships
7.50 Dodson & Horrell Novice Gold Championship
7.58 8. Gold Para Dressage Championship
10.10 9. Dodson & Horrell Novice Silver Championship
13.15 7. Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Gold Championship
14.10 10. TopSpec Medium Silver Championship
7.50 11a Assessment & Pre-Judging Shearwater 4yo Young Horse
7.50 16. TopSpec Medium Gold Championship
9.05 12a. Assessment & Pre-Judging Shearwater 5yo Young Horse
10.25 13a. Assessment & Pre-Judging Shearwater 6yo Young Horse
11.40 14. LeMieux Grand Prix Gold Championship
14.59 15. Saracen Horse Feeds Intermediate I Freestyle Gold Championship
7.50 19. Childéric Saddles Elementary Gold Championship
7.50 17. Equine Construction Advanced Medium Gold Championship
11.55 11b. Final of the Shearwater 4yo Young Horse
13.40 12b. Final of the Shearwater 5yo Young Horse
14.25 13b. Final of the Shearwater 6yo Young Horse
15.20 18. Horse Health Grand Prix Freestyle Gold Championship