One of Britain’s most successful and well known Dressage riders has been announced as a guest judge at this weekends opening Express Eventing Series 2011 qualifier at Bolesworth Showjumping Classic and Grand Prix.

Richard Davison has competed for Great Britain in three Olympic Games, two World Equestrian Games and four European Championships as well as being a four time World Cup finalist. He was also six times British number one in the international dressage rankings, and in 2010 he was the official dressage trainer for Express Eventing.

Davison will judge the dressage to music phase of the competition alongside two other judges, and competition is likely to be fierce with well known names such as Mark Todd, Oliver Townend and Alex Hua Tian all vying for a place in the Series final at the Horse of the Year Show in October.

The first element of Express Eventing differs from the traditional phase of dressage in three day eventing, as there are optional movements which can improve the rider’s score and it is performed to music. It also allows music with lyrics, which is another departure from traditional dressage in eventing. This not only provides the audience with a truly entertaining start to the competition, but also allows the riders to select music which reflects the movements and personalities of their horses. Flora Harris who won the competition in 2010 included music from Lady Gaga and The Rocky Horror Show!

Richard is renowned for his own dressage to music skills. He has used music by Sir Elton John, which was specially recorded for him by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and he is currently working on a test to a Robbie Williams compilation, so he will be expecting creativity and expression this Saturday at the qualifier, even though some of the riders will never have performed a dressage test to music before. He gave a hint of what he’ll be looking for in a horse ““I like my horses hot and with a good engine. They have to have character, be real triers and tough – that doesn’t always make them the easiest.”


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