Mar 152014

There is now a new page analysing the qualification scores for the 2015 Winter Championship.

Using the results of all qualifiers from the Regional Championships on 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:

Competitors to Watch

The scores in the Regionals are a guide to the scores at the Winter Championships. My list of “competitors to watch” are listed below for each class. The list is simply the horse & rider with the highest qualification score from any of the Regionals. Where there are two or more competitors with scores within a fraction of a percent the competitors are listed as joint “competitors to watch”.

Debbie MurrayFancy Man MFS
RCharlotte McDowallFelinmor Buddy
OSara-Jane LanningMi Amigo
Georgina WeedonRomano’s Rafiel
Rebecca KingswoodDrees
Sarah PayneSheepgate Bommel
Novice Freestyle
RDawn GrundyRough Lee So Schufro
OSara-Jane LanningMi Amigo
Robert WaineRhodesia
Alys MatraversTiger Tim
REllena DempseyWembley Z
Caroline DawsonJim Jam II
OJess BennettJB Dukaat
Elementary Freestyle
RSarha HarnettOkey Dokey
ODaisy CoakleyCleopatra II
RGary CaddyDonna Charisma
Helen AskeyBoston HS
OMatthew HicksDon Carrismo
Medium Freestyle
RDaisy CoakleyCleopatra II
Stephanie ToogoodFlorian Himself
OHannah BiggsDon Caledonia
Advanced Medium
RLouise BellW Get Smart
Lucy PincusSheepcote Doncalisto
OBecky MoodyCarinsio
Alex HardwickRoyal Chester
Lucy CartwrightFergana
Julie HugoAlivia II
Advanced Medium Freestyle
Victoria AppleyardSir Willy
PSG Freestyle
Matt FrostAMD Don Rosso II

Return to top of page

Average Qualifying Scores

Analysis shows that, as expected, the average qualifying scores for the open classes is 2.5% higher than the restricted classes. This is about 0.5% higher than last years Winter Championship so the gap between Open and Restricted riders is getting bigger.

Average Qualifying Scores for British Dressage Winter Championship 2014: Restricted & Open

Average Qualifying Scores includes Freestyle & Normal tests

The Freestyle qualifying scores across both open and restricted are almost 3% higher than the qualifying scores for the standard (non-Freestyle) tests. This is about the same as last years Winter Championship.

Average Qualifying Scores for British Dressage Winter Championship 2014: Freestyle & Standard Tests

Average Qualifying Scores: Freestyle & Standard Classes

The average qualifying score over all classes is very similar at all venues:

Average Qualifying Score:RowallanMyerscoughBishop BurtonAddingtonPatchettsMerrist WoodKingston Maurward

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 Winter Championship Qualifying Scores 2014 – Min Max Avg Qualifying Scores by Test

Scores by Test

This chart shows that:

  • Freestyle scores are higher than the marks in the standard dressage tests
  • the scores at Elementary level have the highest maximum scores for Restricted and Freestyle tests (both Open and Restricted)
  • For Open competitors the highest qualifying scores are in Medium tests
  • As a general statement scores get lower as the level (and therefore the complexity) of the dressage test increases

Elementary tests had the highest maximum scores in last years Winter Championship. I am not sure why Elementary level should get the highest score but with the exception of the Open classes in 2014 Elementary tests got the highest scores in both 2013 and 2014 for Restricted and Open and Restricted Freestyle. If anything I would have expected Novice tests to get the highest scores because I believe that there are more competitors at Novice level than any other level. Maybe there are now more competitors at Elementary level than any other level. Unfortunately, I do not have any stats for the number of competitors at each level.

Return to top of page

Which Regionals had the most qualifiers?

British Dressage Winter Championship 2014 Number of Qualifiers from each Regional

Number of Qualifiers

The pie chart has the venues in north to south order in a clockwise direction from 12 o’clock. 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 from the Regionals in the south of the country.

Kingston Maurward qualified the most competitors for the Winter Championship with Merrist Wood not far behind in second place.

  • The more southerly Regionals each qualify about 18% of competitors to the Winter Championship
  • The more northerly Regionals each qualify about 10% of the competitors to the Winter Championship

Since I have used the highest score from all Regionals to decide my “horses to watch” I thought it would be interesting to see which Regional got the most highest qualifying scores i.e. qualified the most “horses to watch”. And while doing this it was also easy to find out which Regionals got the lowest qualifying scores across the country. This table includes competitors who qualified with a wildcard entry.

Number of:RowallanMyerscoughBishop BurtonAddingtonPatchettsMerrist WoodKingston Maurward
Highest qualifying scores1202066
Lowest qualifying scores3414311

The Regionals at Merrist Wood and Kingston Maurward both got 6 of the highest qualifying scores which was significantly higher than any of the other venues. The lowest qualification scores were reasonably evenly split between all the venues. However, the wild card allocation process helps this even distribution of lowest scores.

Return to top of page


British Dressage Winter Championship 2014 Wildcard Qualifications

Wildcard Qualifications

Automatic qualification is achieved by the winner and some of the higher placings depending on BD’s qualification criteria for each venue. After the Regionals BD will also offer “Wildcard” entries to the highest scores that did not automatically qualify. I believe that wildcards are offered by allocating entries by working down the list of results sorted by score (%) from all Regionals.

Kingston Maurward and Merrist Wood competitors got lots of wildcard entries because they had some high scoring classes which meant that high scores that deserve to qualify, did not automatically qualify by getting a high placing in the results.

Return to top of page


As a competitor you want to maximise your chances of qualifying so do these stats tell you anything useful?

If you agree that judging across the country by all judges is consistent and that judges do not tend to mark higher when there are a lot of consistently good tests. In other words that you and your horse will score X.XX% irrespective of the judge or the quality of the other tests in the class then I don’t believe there is any benefit in travelling half way across the country to a Regional.

The Wildcard process will ensure that if XX.XX% is good enough to qualify then you will qualify with a Wildcard even if you do not qualify automatically.


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+