Sep 062013

There is now a new page analysing the qualification scores for the 2014 National Championship.

Using the results of all qualifiers from the Summer Regional Championships from the venue’s website and the wildcard qualifiers from the British Dressage website I have been able to analyse the results and answer the following questions:


  • Prelim to Advanced-Medium levels qualify for the National Championship via the Summer Regional Championships and are included in this page.
  • PSG, Inter 1, Inter 2 and Grand Prix qualification is via the Premier League as well as the Regional Championships and have not been analysed on this page.

Competitors to Watch

The scores in the Regionals are a guide to the scores at the Winter Championships. As with many things in life past performance is not a guarantee of future performance and this is especially true with horses so this is only a guide. The following list of competitors to watch are competitors whose qualifying scores indicate that they may be in the Top 3 of their class at The Nationals:

Advanced Medium – Open
Michael EilbergWoodlander Farouche
The stunning Farouche is a strong favourite with a qualifying score over 3.5% ahead of the next best qualifying score.
Matt FrostAMD Don Rosso II
Victoria AppleyardSir Willy
Maisie ScrutonHot Chocolate 43
Beth BainbridgeFreiedrichshein
Medium – Open
This class will be one of the most competitive with 7 competitors with qualifying scores that indicate they could be on the podium at The Nationals.
Charlotte FryZ Flemmenco
Gareth HughesClassic Briolinca
Maisie ScrutonRembrandt DDH
Lisa HopkinsCoole Contender
Jo HamiltonCorchapin
Michael EilbergFuerst Sinclair
Alice OppenheimerTantoni Sir Socratates
Elementary – Open
Jo HamiltonCorchapin
Robert WaineRhodesia
Sharon EdwardsRivaal
Nathalie KayalDHI Bravo
Becky MoodyCarinsio
Nadine GregoryCandover Dramatico
Novice – Open
Rebecca CowderoyCelicia
Daisy CoakleyCleopatra II
Garry WilliamsFurst Edition II
Jo HamiltonCantos
Advanced Medium – Restricted
There are 9 competitors with qualifying scores that indicate they could be on the podium at The Nationals so this should be the most competitive class at The Nationals.
Claire RandallDecree
Fiona BullPipers Ustnar
Elizabeth BarnettSheepcote Delight
Charlie SawyerZandiego
Lucy BakerLlancloudy Phantom Menace
Julie CoopeDon Dimitri
Casey MckennaDHI Zanzibar
Craig MillardWorldly Wise
Ben MartinDimaggik
Medium – Restricted
Helen PhilipRubens
Hannah BatesEssentially M&S
Kate WaltersFreddy
Louise Jenkinson-DixCadifor Harry
Elementary – Restricted
Daisy CoakleyCleopatra II
Daisy Coakley has qualified two horses and achieved the two highest qualifying scores so as a rider she has to be favourite to win at The Nationals the question will be – which horse!
Jade ClarkUno Diamond
Anna LawsonCarentino Z
Novice – Restricted
Vickie ArcherBurlyn’s Bold as Brass
Amy FrancisFables First Magnum
Hilary CarrOldencraig Weslie
Helen LoweryDer Rubin
Georgia HerbertMegastar
Gemma MossDomandatelo
Julia StockleySambuca II
Jasmine ClareRohdstar
Ashley JenkinsLukien Von Tespe
Caroline BunceMoonlight Serenade

Return to top of page

Average Qualifying Scores

Dressage Regional Championships: Average Qualifying Scores in Restricted & Open Sections

Average Qualifying Scores in Restricted & Open Sections

Analysis shows that the average qualifying scores across all classes for the Open is almost 2% higher than the Restricted sections. Obviously this is as expected since Open riders are more experienced than Restricted riders and would therefore be expected to be able to achieve higher scores.

This is almost exactly the same as the qualifying scores for the Winter Championships at Hartpury. So the “gap” between Restricted and Open sections is being maintained.

It is also possible to look at the average qualifying score at each venue. Wildcards effectively align the average qualifying scores at all the venues because more wildcards will be allocated to competitors at a high scoring venue. (See How are Wildcards allocated?). However, this table shows that Addington and Sparsholt do have qualifying scores just over 70% but this is only very slightly higher than the other venues.

Average Qualifying Score:RowallanFry’sSomerfordKeysoeAddingtonMount BallanSparsholt

If the wildcard qualifiers are removed and only the automatic qualifiers are left in the analysis then Addington has easily the highest automatic average qualification score:

Average Automatic Qualifying Score:RowallanFry’sSomerfordKeysoeAddingtonMount BallanSparsholt

The conclusion from these two tables is that the wildcard system is doing a good job of ensuring that the best competitors from across the country qualify for The National Championships even if they compete at a venue which has a very high standard.

Return to top of page

What are the scores for each class?

The chart below shows the minimum, maximum and average qualifying scores for each class at all the Regionals.

British Dressage Summer Regional Championship 2013 – Minimum Maximum Average Qualifying Scores by Test

Minimum Maximum Average Qualifying Scores for each Test

The chart shows that at each level the Open qualifying scores are higher than the same level as the Restricted class at the same level. This is obviously as it should be but it is good to see that the stats confirm this.

Return to top of page

Exceptional Qualifying Scores

  • Advanced Medium Open class includes a very high score by Woodlander Farouche, ridden by Michael Eilberg, which was over 3.5% higher than the second placed competitor.
    • 2nd placed Matt Frost & AMD Don Rosso II score was very similar to the highest score in the Medium Open class
    • Without Woodlander Farouche’s result the Advanced Medium results would have been in line with the results for the other levels.
    • Just in case you have not heard of Woodlander Farouche – this horse caused a sensation when she won the 5 year old title at the FEI World Championships for Young Dressage Horses 2011 in Verden, Germany with a score of 9.72.
  • The Elementary Restricted class includes two scores by a single rider on two different horses that are around 4.2% & 2.9% higher than the next highest score.
    • The rider is Daisey Coakley. With two scores on two different horse that are so far ahead of the other competitors she is clearly an exceptional rider and definitely worth watching at The Nationals
    • Without Daisey’s scores Elementary level would still have had the highest score of all the restricted levels but by a much smaller margin.

So ignoring the above exceptional scores the charts show that:

  • At each level the Open scores are higher than the Restricted scores
  • The scores get lower as the tests get more advanced

Again, this is as expected but it is nice to see that the stats confirm this. It also allows exceptional scores to be spotted.

Return to top of page

Which Regionals had the most qualifiers?

British Dressage National Championship 2013 Number of Qualifiers from each Summer Regional

Number of Qualifiers

The pie chart has the venues in north to south order in a clockwise direction. The pie chart shows that there are three venues on the left hand side of the chart compared to four venues on the right side of the chart which indicates that there are more competitors qualified for the championship as you move south in the UK (i.e. at Addington, Mount Ballon, Sparsholt).

To further compare the venues the following tables shows how many of the highest and lowest scores at each level were achieved at each venue.

Number of:RowallanFry’sSomerfordKeysoeAddingtonMount BallanSparsholt
Highest qualifying scores1111302
Lowest qualifying scores3120021

Addington has the most highest scores with the remaining highest scores fairly evenly spread across the country.

Return to top of page


British Dressage National Championship 2013 Wildcard Qualifications

Wildcard Qualifications

Automatic qualification is achieved by the winner and some of the higher placings depending on BD’s qualification rules. After the Regionals BD will also offer wildcard entries to the highest scores that did not automatically qualify.

Addington and Keysoe competitors got lots of wildcard entries because they had some high scoring classes which meant that many high scoring competitors did not automatically qualify by getting a high placing in the results.

Return to top of page

How are Wildcards Allocated?

I cannot find any formal rules or policy for the allocation of wildcards. However, by reviewing the scores in my spreadsheet I believe that:

  • Competitors scores from all venues are sorted into order
  • Wildcards are allocated to competitors with the next highest qualifying score from any venue
  • Wildcards are allocated until the class has the required number of competitors

In other words the competitors score is the only thing that is taken into account when allocating wildcards – the venue or other factors do not appear to have any influence on the wildcard allocation.

It is obviously not normally possible to compare dressage scores from different judges. However, Regionals always have 3 judges for each test. The use of 3 judges will “average out” the difference in the scoring between judges so that it is possible to compare the scores achieved at different venues.

This means that competitors competing in a very high scoring class should not be penalised because there is a good chance that the highest scores will be given a wildcard. Without wildcards competitors would all want to attend the lowest scoring Regional Championship to increase their chances of qualifying! The table of average qualifying scores at each venue shows that the wildcard system is working because the average qualifying scores across all venues is very similar.

Return to top of page


Author: Chris Atkin

Chris Atkin is a videographer specialising in high quality equine videos which are typically used to sell your horse, promote your stallion or equine business or as a memento of a big competition. Videos can be uploaded to YouTube and adverts can also be produced for broadcast on specialist equine satellite TV channels.

Videos: YouTube channel or Google+