The opening day of the Dodson & Horrell Bolesworth International Show welcomed the NexGen Dressage Qualifiers to its International Arena today, Wednesday 29 June.
Now in its third year, the NexGen young horse series caters for all three Olympic disciplines; Dressage, Eventing and Showjumping with qualifying events throughout the UK. Successful qualifying riders from all three disciplines then compete at the two-day NexGen Final at Hickstead in September – the only event in the UK to host all three specialties at the same time.
This is the first NexGen qualifier to be held at Bolesworth, one of its largest qualifying venues.
NextGen is headed by four directors; Martin Schleicher, Rachel Wakefield, Victoria Wright and Julia Dungworth. It was created as a company specifically to run the series and has grown in stature, year on year.
Commenting on the Dressage qualifiers at Bolesworth, Martin Schleicher said; “We have wanted to be included at a venue like Bolesworth for some time now and are very grateful for the opportunity. It’s rare for the young dressage horses to have the chance to compete somewhere like this with its great atmosphere and infrastructure, without the pressure of it being a main championship. The experience they gain is invaluable and will help them in the future.
“We’re also thrilled that we could incorporate the NexOne class, which is in its first year. This is a class for developing Grand Prix horses which we brought in as a steppingstone to go from Small Tour to Big Tour. It’s a new concept, a world first actually. The riders can choose their own movements from a series of options and can basically build their own test. It’s a class for 8-to-10yo horses.
“We have been made to feel very welcome at Bolesworth and felt we mixed well within the showjumping arena. We’re looking forward to returning next year.”
NexGen Dressage Qualifying class winners:
Kirstie Clarke, age 23.
Kirstie won the 4yo class with horse Nureno. She has been riding since the age of eight years and this is her first time at Bolesworth. She said everyone was encouraging and found it to be a great atmosphere for young horses.
Matthew Procter, age 17.
Matthew won the 5yo class with horse AB Milton D. He only started competing in dressage around 18 months ago and this is also his first time at Bolesworth, he was told only yesterday that he would be taking part. “It’s a big atmosphere but my horse coped well. It’s a great learning exercise.”
Gregg Sims, age 29.
Gregg won the 7yo class with horse Waverley Fellini. He has been riding dressage for three years. “Bolesworth provides solid exposure and is one of the few places that gives you a championship feel. It’s a great place to come and ride.”
Rhiannon Hinton, age 42.
Rhiannon won the NexOne class for developing Grand Prix horses. She won with her 9yo horse Quaiking Horatio. She’s been competing in dressage since the age of 19 years. This is her first time at Bolesworth, but it’s been on her bucket list to ride at the venue. “The whole environment plays a huge role, particularly if you’re training and producing Grand Prix horses that have the kind of future where they benefit from such big shows. To showcase them and get them used to it all is a test for us they can be a little nervous, and it’s hard to keep them relaxed, however, it’s all part of the learning experience.”
Day 2 of the Dodson & Horrell Bolesworth International Horse Show opens tomorrow, Thursday 30 June at 8am. It will be a fast-paced Speed & Style Day with a host top-quality showjumping and a fun Drive & Ride relay event.
Click here for further information and to book tickets.