British Dressage Winter Championship – scrutinise the scores

There is a new page scrutinising the scores at the National Dressage Championships in 2014 which includes a comparison with the qualification scores at the Regionals.

British Dressage have just completed another successful Winter Championship over 5 days at Hartpury. I have already shown some interesting graphs and charts on the results from the Regionals which are the qualifying competitions for the Winter Championships. I have now produced some more interesting charts and graphs about the Winter Championships.

The graphs, charts and comments below are all based on the Top 10 in each of the Championship classes – both Freestyle and normal dressage tests. (The Area Championship and Para Dressage classes are not included due to time constraints.)

Championship Winners – where did they qualify?

British Dressage Winter Championship 2013 winners qualification Regional ChampionshipThe pie chart on the right shows that the around 65% of winners at the Winter Championships qualify at either Myerscough or Addington.

British Dressage Winter Championship 2013 top 10 qualification Regional ChampionshipHowever, a similar pie chart for the Top 10, on the left, shows a much more even split. Addington Regional Championships qualifies the most competitors who go onto get into the Top 10 at the Winter Championship. However, the rest of the Regional Championships all qualify a reasonable share of the Top 10 competitors.

Are Championship Scores and Qualification scores significantly different?

British Dressage Winter Championship 2013 score change from Regional Championship score for Top 10 placesThe chart shows the difference between a competitors score at the Regional and their score at the Winter Championships. So the 0.0% vertical axis represents the same score in the Championship and the Regional.

  • Competitors who were 1st or 2nd, shown in red, at the British Dressage Winter Championships scored roughly the same at the Winter Championship as at the Regional Championship.
  • Competitors who come 3rd to 5th, shown in blue, at the Winter Championship scored about 1.5% less than they scored at the Regional Championship.
  • Competitors who are placed lower than 5th scored around 2.7% lower than they score at the Regional Championship.

The key to winning at the Winter Championship therefore seems to be to aim to score the same as you scored at the Regional Championship with an error free dressage test. Obviously this is a challenge with the additional pressure and “big competition” atmosphere at the Winter Championships with errors in dressage tests being penalised heavily at this level.

Do competitors who qualified with a wildcard do well at the Winter Championships?

British Dressage Winter Championship 2013 Wildcard Entries in Top 10Wildcard qualifiers do very well at the Winter Championships with 12% of classes being won by competitors who qualified with a wildcard. The pie chart shows that the the top 10 of all of the classes includes around 35% of competitors that qualified with wildcards.

So, if you qualify for a Championship with a wildcard you are not just making up the numbers you stand a reasonable chance of getting into the top 10.

I qualified for the Area Championship with a wildcard and came 3rd. So, from personal experience, I know that it is possible to get a rosette with a wildcard entry.

How do the top 10 scores for different classes compare?

The chart shows the minimum, average and maximum score for the top 10 in each class:British Dressage Winter Championship 2013 Top 10 Scores for each class

Note: It is possible to compare this chart directly with the same chart for the Regionals.

The chart shows:

  • Open classes, as expected, score higher than the restricted classes with the exception of the Medium Freestyle.
  • Freestyle tests score higher than “normal” dressage tests
  • At the Regionals the Elementary classes were always the highest scoring classes in the Open, Restricted and Freestyle groups. This slightly unusual stat that I could no really understand is not replicated at the Winter Championships.