Top class competitive dressage is back at Belmoredean

Top class competitive dressage has returned to Belmoredean in Maplehurst, West Sussex this year thanks to resident trainer Robbie Carpenter and his team. The highlight will be a Championship Show on September 13, which has so far attracted 70 competitors in three classes. Trophies, sashes and rosettes will be awarded in mounted prizegivings on the day.

Belmoredean, owned by Louise Hartnett, is a superb venue which has been the scene of outstanding dressage demonstrations and competitions in the past. This year’s highly sucessful summer series of dressage has resulted in positive feedback about the friendly and well-organised shows.

Dressage in Belmoredean's top class arena

In Belmoredean’s top class arena Photo: Joanna Whittaker

Robbie said: “When I was eight years old, I sold my Scaletrix racing car track to buy my first pony, and riding has been my passion every since. I was a GB talent spotting finalist in the mid 90’s and competed nationally and internationally as a GB Young Rider.

“After completing my law degree, I continued to ride and train dressage in the UK, Mexico,and South Africa before returning to England to settled down in the beautiful Sussex countryside at Belmoredean, West Grinstead. I was classically trained from an early age and have continued training with various elite trainers including Emile Faurie and Conrad Schaumacher.

“For me there is nothing more satisfying than training a novice horse through to Grand Prix. of course it is nice to win at a competition too- winning the Hickstead Maters was a great day!

“At present I ride a few selected horses in my stable ranging from Novice to Grand Prix and spend the majority of the day training clients. Educating a rider to train a horse in dressage is very rewarding when results start to happen.Having been a British National trainer, an under 21’s trainer and British Dressage Young Riders Dressage Scheme trainer, it has been fantastic to help some riders to reach their potential.”

Enjoying excellent dreessage facilities at Belmoredean Photo by Joanne Whittaker

Enjoying excellent dreessage facilities at Belmoredean Photo by Joanne Whittaker

One of the organisers who has been working with Robbie is Luise Bashford, who previously trained with Robbie and joined him to help expand the Belmoredean goal. This is to provide progressive training by giving grassroots riders something to aim for in dressage with help to measure their progress. The ultimate aim was to run shows again that had the facilities and professional atmosphere of top level affiliated shows, but with the welcoming and friendly atmosphere of small local ones.

“Although I’ve never done anything like it before I didn’t hesitate in agreeing to get involved in working on this,” said Luise. She added: “Belmoredean is a fantastic venue and we have dragged dressage into the modern world. One of the first shows had a 100 per cent on line entry,” she added.

Top class dressage facilities at Belmoredean  Photo Joanna Whittaker

Working with the mirror at Belmoredean
Photo Joanna Whittaker

.The championship has some outstanding prizes, including a lesson with Olympic rider Emile Faurie, a spa treatment for two at Ockendean Manor and many more.Because of popular demand to continue with dressage events during the winter, there are plans to upgrade the surface of the outdoor arena in order to make this possible.

Local businesses are given support wherever possible with Joanne Whittaker as official photographer, Gregg Isaacson giving taster Alexander Technique lessons in the viewing gallery, while rosettes for the championship are being produced locally by Scrummy Rosettes and a display of equestrian artwork by local artist Judith Charman is planned.

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