Thursday is dedicated to Small Tour, with Intro, Prelim & Novice Championships, and NEW! this year, a Small Tour Elementary Championships. There’s the option to enter an Intro or Prelim Championship that can be called for you, and a warm-up class.
Friday offers every level of Championship, from Intro through to Elementary with a mix of Small Tour and Grand Tour classes. A good point to note is that if you and your horse are within the Small Tour restrictions, then there’s nothing to stop you entering a rand Tour class, you have the choice of either. So, if you fancy Prelim 12, Novice 28 or Elementary 44 then go ahead and enter. But, if you’re a bit less confident in those test, you can enter Intro C or Prelim 13 and have them called.
Friday also offers a warm-up class, with options to ride Prelim, Novice, Elementary and (NEW!) a Medium test.
Saturday includes the super-popular Junior Dressage Championships, with two Intro, two Prelims (one of each can be called) and a Novice & Elementary. Juniors (age 16 years on 1st January 2024) can also enter other dressage classes, there’s no restriction on age of rider in D1 to D20.
For those who are just getting going, but not yet ready to take on a full championship class or those with different needs, we have 2 options for you to enjoy. There’s a lead rein class and a have-a-go class, which can be assisted but not led. The test is a Sunshine Tour special test, which you can download from the website. Point to note: it’s one assistant or leader per competitor.
Throughout the Dressage Championship days, Thursday to Saturday you can book a bit of arena time for familiarisation (best of luck saying that word fast after a couple of beers!) These are 10-15 minute slots, shared between 2 riders to have free time in one of the dressage arenas to tootle about and allow your horse to sniff the flowers, ogle the judges hut and generally breath deeply and soak up the Hickstead atmosphere. Persons on foot are generally not allowed to accompany you, unless you book a double slot to ensure that you have sole use.
Last, but definitely not least ….. we have introduced two NEW! Taster classes (open), one at Elementary and one at Medium. If you’re aiming to move up a level, but not quite ready to go full championship, then you can ride Elementary 42 on Thursday, or Medium 63 on Friday and receive immediate feedback from the judge with hints, tips, and quick advice about how you could improve on your marks.