British Dressage (BD) is aiming to breathe some fresh air into the sport with the launch of a new event.
The organisation unveiled the Team Quest event which is designed to make dressage both accessible and fun. Members of BD have described the new competition as the "most fun you'll ever have doing dressage" and aims to attract more and more people to the sport. It has already gained the backing of Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin who said the new event was "great news" for the sport.
Team Quest involves teams of three or four riders of differing ages and abilities compete as individuals. The top three scores are then tallied up to give an overall team score and BD is keen on developing team spirit between the riders. BD stated that all the teams are divided into age categories including 16 and under, 25 and under and mixed giving entrants a level playing field in their group. There is also the option of riding an intro, prelim or novice test.
An invitation to Team Quest has been sent to all 180 BD venues and the organisation has already seen 50 sign up. The league will kick off on March 1st and run until September 21st with a grand final scheduled for November 2nd at the group's Bury Farm in Buckinghamshire. BD stated that a full fixture list will be published on its website in the new year.
Amanda Bond, BD chief executive, said: "While British Dressage is synonymous with affiliated competition, we have a duty to look after the sport of dressage and we’re hoping that new riders will be tempted to try the sport that we all love so much. But this will also be fun for our current members who really love the team format."
BD is hoping that the new competition will help to attract more people to dressage that may have been inspired by Team GB's performance at the London 2012 Olympic Games.