Moving to the UK for two years--shows to hit on vacation in Europe?
Well, the horse is leased, the work visa is on it's way, and in about a month I will be on my way to England to work for two years as a social worker (it's a shortage occupation, so getting in isn't that difficult). I have leased my horse to an INCREDIBLY competent rider with an ironclad lease in a barn he has been in with a trainer he's been with ever since I've owned him (more or less). I'm really happy and comfortable with the situation.
Now the question. I have made the decision not to ride while I am in England, I will have limited funds and I'd like to use them to travel. But in my travels, I'd like to see some competitions, events, clinics and horses that will feed my dressage queen soul. I don't speak anything other than English so I'd be sad if I went somewhere that I'd be totally lost without a translator, but maybe that's not a huge problem? Anyway, if you could make weekend trips out of European destinations to hit dressage highlights in the next two years, where would you go?
They have programs and order of go info and you will recognize the names and times, the scores are put up on the big screen so you don't have to understand spoken numbers. Sometimes when I got a bit lost I asked my friendly seat neighbours and they clued me in on some things. I understand some German so that helped, but dressage is so universal that you will get it!
England is full of native ponies and has a totally different scene for showing. I would take the time to go to some of the local shows and absorb the experience and the differentness of it at the level where you compete.
And, I would go pony trekking!
If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket
The London International Horse Show is a must see - it's in the beautiful olympia exhibition hall grand hall is just before christmas & as well as world cup qualifiers for dressage, there is also top class show jumping, plus great displays & a christmas performance at the end of every day. Horsey shopping is good plus you're right in central london for even more shopping
Other big british horse events are Horse Of The Year show (start of Oct), lots of eventing at beautiful stately homes, including badminton, burghley, gatcombe, bleinhem etc.
Hickstead has 2 big shows a year, combining show jumping (including the famous derby course), international dressage & top class showing.
you will be close to lots of things -- pycombe for 1 hickstead for another
we also have county shows like ardingly in that area at end of month this month theres
sounth of england horse trials which top interantional riders go to which is held in ardingly
there is also kent county show , heathfield horse show, three counties horse show , edenbridge and oxted county show,
borde hill firle place eventing , etc both have web pages www.bordehill.co.ukwww.firleplace.co.uk
there also plenty of others that hold clinics with top named trianers ie andrew gould mary king can etc to include competitions for qualifcations for all sort of things showing jumping eventing and dressage
British Dressage site - you can find almost everything you need here, including regional info for Bournemouth. It will show clinics, trainers, etc. http://www.britishdressage.co.uk/homepage You will be the Southwest region, though bordering Southern region so look at both.
The British Dressage National Championship is held in September each year at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, an easy journey from Bournemouth.
Holland is very easy to get to by ferry / train. Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation for dressage news and competition info. WELL WORTH a journey to the Netherlands while in the UK.
Ditto Germany well worth a trip. Easy to get to either ferry via Dover - Dunkerque (good motorway access forget Calais as an entry port). http://www.pferd-aktuell.de/
Or for mainland Europe easy and cheap access try a budget airline from Birmingham, Heathrow, Gatwick like Easyjet, BMI Baby, Ryanair but be warned often they fly into obscure secondary airports to known European cities that are in fact 2 hours drive from the city centre. Unfortunately Bournemouth or Exeter your local airports do not have budget airline service.
Unfortunately you've missed this years 2 big shows but you should go next year.
They are at the end of June and the end of July. They are not only high level dressage shows ( July one is an International) but also have top class International show jumping including the Hickstead Derby and lots of showing classes (hunters, breed classes etc etc).
I also agree with whoever said about going to Olympia in December. If dressage is your thing then go for the world cup qualifier and you will also get jumping classes, displays, shetland pony grand national etc etc. It's a wonderful pre christmas show with a real party atmosphere.