As the Petplan Equine Area Festival Finals draw to a close and during the eight Area Festival Finals the judges have seen lots of beautifully ridden tests where riders have demonstrated the true partnership their each have with their horses.
Preparations are now well underway for the Championship held at Hartpury College, in April 2019. As well as crowning the champions, Petplan Equine are also celebrating 20 years of the Area Festivals.
Since 1999, the Area Festivals have grown year on year and now host over 4,000 competitors each series. The Petplan Equine Area Festivals give riders from Prelim to Inter II the opportunity to experience the thrill of taking part in a prestigious dressage championship.
The Petplan Equine Area Festivals have become a goal for many aspiring dressage riders.
One such rider is Wendy Garrett, who’s daughter handed over the reins of her horse Crystal while she was studying.
Wendy hadn’t ridden in over 20 years but after discovering a talent for dressage the pair headed to Moreton Morrell Equestrian Centre last year to take part in their first Petplan Equine Area Festival.
“I didn’t really have the confidence or interest in jumping anymore so I gave dressage a go,” explains Wendy. “I had always believed that we weren’t good enough, but I was encouraged to affiliate and aim for qualification for the Petplan Equine Area Festivals.”
Also, after being diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2016, Wendy decided to focus on gaining her qualifying scores for the Area Festivals around her treatment. Following her final radiotherapy treatment, Wendy placed in the top ten at her Area Festival at Moreton Morrell - and qualifying for the Championships.
“The Petplan Equine Area Festivals encourages you to give it a try and doesn’t make affiliated competition seem so daunting. I was determined to make it to the Area Festivals and I’m so proud that we made it to the Championships,” concludes Wendy.
Kate Hopkins, Marketing Consultant for Petplan Equine said, “As the Petplan Equine Area Festivals continue to grow and help many riders achieve their dressage dreams, we will build on the series’ success and look at more ways of encouraging competitors to take part. We have seen so many wonderful combinations riding down the centre line and our aim is to make the Area Festivals accessible to as wide a range of riders and horses as we can. We are very much looking forward to the 20th Anniversary celebrations!”
Jason Brautigam, Chief Executive at British Dressage commented on the success of the Petplan Equine Area Festivals over the last two decades, “British Dressage is delighted for Petplan Equine to be celebrating 20 years as sponsor of Area Festivals. It’s amazing to see how this series has grown over the years. The Petplan Equine Area Festivals have evolved and developed with the British Dressage membership into the inclusive and successful series it is today. This is largely down to the commitment and contribution of the series sponsor, who have really embraced the series throughout. Here’s to the next 20 years!”
Why don’t you make it your goal in 2019 to take part in the Petplan Area festivals?
To find out more head over to our dedicated Area Festivals website Here you’ll find lots of information about how to qualify, hints and tips from top riders to help you improve your dressage scores and much, much more.