Local riders qualify for Equine Area Festivals Championships

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A total of ten amateur dressage riders, competing at novice through to Prix St Georges have qualified for next year’s prestigious Petplan Equine Area Festivals Championships after a great performance in the Petplan Equine Area Festival that took place at Gordon Dressage Group, in Newmachar, Aberdeenshire.

The following horse and rider combinations won their respective classes with each posting scores high enough to earn them the chance to compete in the Championships, which take place at Hartpury Arena in Gloucestershire next April.

Preliminary - Ellon-based, Pippa Ross (16) riding My Best Buddy.

Novice Restricted - Newmachar-based, Kerri Wright (21) riding Ultimate.

Novice Open - Peterhead-based, Claire Smith (33), riding Elstar Van De Smishoeve (pictured above).

Elementary Restricted - Inverurie-based, Sam Turpitt (36) riding Busilus.

Elementary Open - Potterton-based, Katie James (29) riding Pauldary’s Zarla Blue.

Medium Restricted - Duns-based, Katherine Tullie (18) riding Arctic Jazz.

Advanced Medium Restricted - Stonehaven-based, Sharon Lindop (43) riding Sandhaven.

The Petplan Equine Area Festivals, or ‘The Petplans’ as they are known among competitors and fans of dressage, is a series of 17 dressage competitions that runs from August 17 to October 29.

Held at top competition venues across the UK these events give riders the chance to compete in top class arenas and experience true championship conditions.

Isabella Von Mesterhazy, Petplan Equine’s head of marketing said: “This is the 13th year in which Petplan Equine has supported this series and it has certainly been lucky for these accomplished amateur dressage riders!

“Dressage is UK’s fastest growing equestrian discipline and this trend is likely to continue thanks to the outstanding efforts by members of British Dressage riders in Greenwich who claimed team and individual gold and individual bronze medals.

“We wish all those who have qualified here at Gordon the very best of luck in the Petplan Equine Area Festivals Championship next April.”

The growth of series such as the Area Festivals relies upon the financial and promotional input of its sponsors.

British Dressage’s chief executive Amanda Bond explains: “Since its inception, this Petplan Equine sponsorship has helped the British Dressage Area Festivals which now attract around 2,500 competitors, go from strength to strength.

“The Area Festivals give grass roots competitors the chance to compete on the ‘big stage’ and we are seeing the standard improve year on year - could we be hosting a future Olympic Medallist at this year’s Festivals?”

Further information is available from www.petplanequine.co.uk/events.