History of Hickstead

history of hickstead

Where it all started

Dressage at Hickstead started in 1993 after four years of work by International trainer Dane Rawlins and a small group of financial supporters, on a site at Douglas Bunn’s All-England Jumping Course in Hickstead, West Sussex. Its first year coincided with the demise of the famous Goodwood dressage venue. Within the space of only a few years it grew to become Britain’s premier venue for both International and National dressage competitions. Dressage at Hickstead has promoted Britain’s status in the sport of dressage and is now considered to be a world class dressage venue. It is highly regarded on the International scene, voted by riders as hosting the 3rd best International show after Rotterdam and Aachen.  The venue has also contributed greatly to the opportunities available for our own British riders. In 1998 Hickstead was selected by the FEI to host the Junior and Young Rider European Dressage Championships, a great honour not only for Dressage at Hickstead but also for Great Britain. This event was made even more memorable when the British Junior Team took the Bronze Medal.

Recent History

In 2003 Dressage at Hickstead was the home to the enormously successful FEI European Championships at which the British Team took the Bronze Medal behind Spain and winners Germany. Previously it had appeared that Team GB (Emma Hindle with Wie Weltmeyer, Emile Faurie with Rasher Hopes, Richard Davison with Ballaseyr Royale and Nicola McGivern with Active Walero) would not qualify for the Athens Olympics but thanks to the Dressage at Hickstead team, and the wonderful home support, the four team members secured the Olympic ticket.

Dressage at Hickstead continues to grow. In 2009 they welcomed the Exquis World Dressage Masters Series and Moorlands Totilas, who made history at Hickstead. He was competing for the first time abroad at Grand Prix level and scored a new World Record in the Kur. Laura Bechtolsheimer also scored a new personal best!

A small break ensued in 2011 due to the Olympics but in 2013 the FEI recreated the CDIO Nations Cup and four venues were chosen to trial the new format – Vidauban in France, Rotterdam in Holland, Aachen in Germany and Hickstead. Seven Teams competed at Hickstead with the Nations Cup being decided in the Freestyle Competition, this made for exciting viewing with Great Britain winning the Hickstead leg.

Previous winners

Last year saw Sophie Christiansen win the Para Dressage finals

Grand Prix Final photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.570849709633927.1073741837.559059310812967&type=1

Here’s a great video of Hickstead in 2010: http://vimeo.com/45692264

2014 Programme 

Tuesday 24 June 

1 Hickstead Dressage Masters Preliminary 19 2008 

2 Hickstead Dressage Masters Novice 38 2005 

3 Hickstead Dressage Masters +Farm Shop Lyne Elementary 57 2007 

4 Hickstead Dressage Masters Medium 73 2007 

Wednesday 25 June 

5 Hickstead Dressage Masters Advanced Medium 98 2002 

6 FEI Prix St Georges 2009 SQ

7 FEI Intermediate I 2009 SQ

8 FEI Young Rider Team 2009 

9 FEI Junior Team 2009 

10 FEI Pony Team 2012 

11 Hickstead Dressage Masters U21 DRESSAGE MASTERS U21 CHAMPIONSHIP. Highest percentage from classes 8-9-10

Thursday 26 June 

12 FEI Intermediate I 2009 SQ

13 FEI Prix St Georges 2009 SQ

14 Horse Health FEI Intermediate II 2014 SQ

15 FEI Young Rider Individual 2009 

16 FEI Junior Individual 2009 

17 FEI Pony Individual 2012 


18 DRESSAGE MASTERS FEI Prix St Georges 2009 SQ

19 FEI Intermediate I 2009 SQ



21 Hickstead 5 YO National British Young Dressage Horse YHN5 2004 Q

22 Hickstead 5 YO FEI Int. British Young Dressage Horse YHP5 2009 Q

23 DRESSAGE MASTERS Freestyle Music Prix St Georges 2009 

24 DRESSAGE MASTERS Freestyle Music Grand Prix 2009 

25 Hickstead 6 YO National British Young Dressage Horse YHE6 2004 Q

26 Hickstead 6 YO FEI Int. British Young Dressage Horse 2009 Q

27 FEI Grand Prix Special 2014 W 

If you want to read more about Hickstead 

See the following sources...

Scores here: http://www.cso-scores.net

Wikipedia article about Hickstead here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hickstead_(horse)

British Dressage article here: http://www.dressageathickstead.com/

Hickstead Dressage Facebook Page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dressage-at-Hickstead-Premier-League/559059310812967





Steven Wood

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