#1 Mount St. John Freestyle – aka Mrs Valegro
Charlotte Dujardin looks forward to an impressive book of rides at this year’s festival, but none more so than the brilliant Mount St John Freestyle. Owned by the Mount St John Stud, this super mare helped the British team secure bronze at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon last year. Freestyle is already a mum too, having had three foals by embryo transfer.
#2 An international flavour
There’s a true international feel to the Hartpury Festival of Dressage with 14 nations represented this year. In addition to Great Britain, the countries of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal and the United States will also be represented.
#3 Anna Ross Demo
The Saturday night gala has become a real highlight each year. This time around, former British European team member, Anna Ross, will provide an entertaining and informative insight into preparing the young horse for Grand Prix.
#4 Para-Dressage Perfection
The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games are now just over twelve months away and British Paralympian Lee Pearson has his sights firmly on Tokyo 2020. The 11-time Paralympic gold medallist represented Great Britain in Sydney, Athens, Beijing, London and Rio. He brings Styletta and Breezer to Hartpury this time and promises another bold show.
#5 Carl Hester in action
While Carl is part of the Hartpury family, it’s always great to see him in action. This year, he’ll partner the talented 11-year-old Hawtins Delicato, with whom he achieved an individual sixth placing at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon last year. The combination has been in good form lately too, with a second placing in the CDI3* Grand Prix Special at Bolesworth.
#6 A strong home contingent
Students and graduates are out in force at the Festival of Dressage once again. Hartpury graduates Lucy Pincus and Sarah Rao will compete in the CDI Big Tour and CDI Small Tour respectively. Graduates and students Stef Eardley, Olivia Oakley, Jess Hickley, and Tesla Whittaker will compete in the Premier League.
Head to the Equikro stand at this year’s festival to shop exclusive offers and to check out a wide range of quality products from brands including Samshield, DeNiro Boots and Kentucky. A visit to the Christian Schwetz Photography stand is a must to see how this talented artist transcends the boundary between photography and oil painting.
#8 Free entry on Wednesday and Thursday!
While the competition truly hots up during the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the festival, Wednesday and Thursday are great days to attend too. And the great news? Entry is completely free on Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 July.
Here’s how to attend this year’s Festival of Dressage…
Entry to the festival on Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 July is free for spectators. Entry on Friday 5, Saturday 6 (daytime) and Sunday 7 July costs £6 per person. Tickets for the Saturday Gala Evening cost £17 including admission to the festival for the entire day. A combined ticket is available for Friday – Sunday at a cost of £15. Tickets can be purchased here.