Summer Regionals 2017: Review of Venues – Average Score Drops

For the last few years after every Regional Championships I have analysed the results of all the competitors from Prelim to Advanced Medium that have qualified for the Nationals / Winter Championships. Since I now have the stats over several years I can produce a lot of interesting analysis and I have decided that rather than produce one (very) long article I will produce several articles in the build up to the Nationals.

The other articles are: (1) Summer Regionals: Review of Levels – Prelim to Advanced Medium, (2) Number of Starters at 2017 Summer Regionals Drops, (3) Easier Automatic Qualification from 2017 Summer Regionals and (4) National Championship 2017: The Ones to Watch.

Lower Average Qualifying Score than previous years

Hickstead was the only venue where the average qualifying score broke the 71% barrier.

In order to see how performance is changing over the years I have looked at the number of venues that had an average qualification score of over 71% over the last few years:

  • 2017 – 1 venue broke the 71% barrier
  • 2016 – 8 venues broke the 71% barrier. 3 venues broke the 72% barrier.
  • 2015 – 5 venues broke the 71% barrier.
  • 2014 – 3 venues broke the 71% barrier.
  • 2013 – 0 venues broke the 71% barrier. Only 2 venues broke the 70% barrier.

Reviewing the above stats the performance at the Regionals was improving year on year from 2013 to 2016. However, in 2017 with only 1 venue breaking the 71% barrier the overall performance of British dressage appears to have peaked in 2016.

When combined with my discovery that the number of Gold competitors has dropped for the second year on the trot the results from the 2017 Regionals concern me.

Which venues have the most starters & qualifiers?

The Regional Championships are run at 8 venues from Scotland down to the south coast and the following chart shows:

  • the venues in the order north to south
  • the number of starters at each venue using the scale on the left side
  • the number of automatic and wildcard qualifiers using the scale on the right side

Summer Regionals 2017 Starters and Qualifiers by Venue

Bury Farm with the largest number of competitors also achieved the largest number of automatic and wild card qualifiers.

The graph shows that venues with the largest number of starters also get the highest number of automatic qualifiers. This is because the 1 in X qualification criteria, where X is the number of starters, means there is a direct relationship between the number of starters and the number of automatic qualifiers so more starters leads to more automatic qualifiers..

However, there is no relationship between the number of wildcard qualifiers and either the number of starters or the number of automatic qualifiers. For example, Somerford got a similar number of automatic qualifiers to Mount Ballan but Mount Ballan got a lot fewer wildcards than Somerford. This is as expected because wildcards are allocated based only on a competitors score – the venue does not impact the decision on whether to allocate a wildcard.

Which venues achieved the highest scores?

This chart shows the venues listed with the highest average qualifying score on the left. The average includes both automatic and wildcard qualifiers from Gold and Silver sections up to and including Advanced Medium. The chart then shows for each venue the maximum and minimum qualifying score at each venue.

Summer Regionals 2017 Average, Minimum and Maximum Scores by Venue

The first thing that you notice when you look at this graph is the very high maximum score achieved at Mount Ballan which was scored by Charlotte Dujardin and River Rise Nisa in the Elementary Gold class. However, this was an exceptionally high score even for Charlotte who “only” achieved low 70+% scores on her other horses at Mount Ballan. The overall average score at Mount Ballan was therefore not affected by this one very high score because Mount Ballan was only 5th highest scoring venue out of 8.

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Hickstead achieved the highest average qualifying score which is a double edged sword. For spectators it is great because the quality of the dressage is higher than other venues but for competitors it means that it is slightly more difficult to qualify at Hickstead.

Distribution of Qualifiers from venues

The following pie chart shows the venues from north (12 o’clock) to south clockwise around the pie with the size of the slice representing the number of qualifiers (automatic & wildcard) from each venue.

British Dressage National Championship 2017 Qualifiers from each Regional Championship
Number of Qualifiers (automatic + wildcard)

The three slices slightly extracted from the pie show the 3 venues that had the most qualifiers: Somerford, Hickstead and Bury Farm.