With the imminent arrival of the Olympics the countdown has started for Rio 2016.
One of the last opportunities to watch some of Britain’s Olympic athletes in action on home turf is at Somerford Park Premier League Dressage Show on bank holiday weekend 28th – 30th May.
Check out these Top 10 Facts about
1. Somerford Park Premier League Dressage Show has been running for 14 years
This is the 14th year that Somerford Park Farm has run the Premier League Dressage Show. It is one of a series of 8 Premier leagues which take place from March to July. The season starts at Myerscough in Lancashire, and culminates with Hickstead in July. The shows are intended as a stepping stone to International competitions.
2. London 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist Charlotte Dujardin will be competing at Somerford
Following her domination of last year’s young horse classes, London 2012 Olympic Gold medalist Charlotte Dujardin makes a welcome return to Somerford Park and has her sites set once again on the stars of the future.
3. Somerford Premier League Dressage Show is one of the Selection Trials for Junior and Young Rider European Championship Teams.
Somerford is one of the selection trials for Juniors (14-18) and Young Riders (16-21) teams. The selectors will be in attendance to watch and observe horse and rider combinations with a view to being part of Team GB at the European Championships this July in Valencia, Spain. A number of our Olympians made their first impression in these teams and with Rio 2016 just a blink away many of these youngsters will have their sights set on Tokyo 2020.
4. It will take a vast team to create this Dressage spectacular
How many volunteers are at the show over the weekend? It’s a good questions, and the answer must run well into three figures. As well as the team of scorers, there are the ring stewards working in pairs from dawn ’til dusk’. There are sheet collectors, arena stewards, writers for the judges, live score inputters and the people who provide food and drink for all of them.
5. Approximately 20 judges officiating over the weekend including 5 star dressage judge – Isobel Wessels and International Judge Trond Asymr.
Most classes require 3 judges except the Grand Prix where there are 5 judges positioned around the arena. There will be in excess of 1,500 dressage sheets used over the weekend!
Isobel Wessels has been involved with riding, training and judging dressage for more than 30 years. Her inspiration started as a teenager whilst living in Vienna and working with Ernst Bachinger from the Spanish Riding School.
6. Action Packed Saturday – Grand Prix – Freestyle to Music – Bottega Prosecco!Somerford Farm Park has scheduled an action packed programme throughout the weekend – Saturday plays host to a fab party atmosphere incorporating a Grand Prix during the day and a dazzling Freestyle to Music in the evening with a Bottega Prosecco reception to top it all off!
7. Retail Therapy on hand
From riding crops to food outlets and everything in between, the shopping village will be filled with, saddlery, branded clothing and so much more. Visitors will be able to pick up all of their essential bargains in one place, as well as having somewhere for the children to let off some steam in the ‘kids zone’.
8. Bottega Prosecco on hand over 3 days of the show.
Enjoy the ringside hospitality at this fantastic show where you can enjoy an unrivalled view of the action in the arena. There will also be a VIP Bottega Prosecco reception on Saturday evening. Tickets can be purchased online click to buy
9. The show is expected to attract competitors from all over the UK.
A host of competitors and spectators will head to the show for 3 days of sporting action, glamour, all round family fun and a huge selection top dressage action.
10. Multi tasking – Maria Eilberg
It will be no easy ride for World Class Performance rider Maria Eilberg – as well as competing at this year’s show – she is also one of the judges!