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Spectacular Dressage is set to kick off Royal Windsor Horse Show, as the organisers today confirmed both the return of The Defender CDI4* Dressage, and new British Dressage International Young Horse classes as part of the line-up of sport and entertainment for the revamped 2024 Show.

Opening the Show on Wednesday 1 and Thursday 2 May, The Defender CDI4* FEI Dressage attracts some of the world’s top riders – and will be of particular interest in this Olympic year as one of the last opportunities to see international Dressage on home turf before Paris 2024. Held across two days with the Grand Prix on Wednesday 1 May, and the Freestyle to Music on Thursday 2 May, the competition starts the week off in fine style.

The CDI4* at Royal Windsor has been home to some remarkable Dressage performances in previous years. The last three competitions have all been won by the ‘Queen of Dressage’ herself Charlotte Dujardin, on Mount St John Freestyle (2018), Erlentanz (2019) and Imhotep (2023). This year, the standard of Dressage from the home country is promising to be particularly high following a British 1-2-3 at London International Horse Show in December.

The Defender CDI4* Dressage will once again be supported by the Show’s Principal Partner, Defender, whose involvement with Royal Windsor stretches back over three decades.

Alongside the CDI4, the Show will also play host to new British Dressage International Young Horse classes for five-year-olds, six-year-olds and seven-year-olds, who will compete in the Frogmore Arena on Wednesday. These sections are also aimed at those looking to achieve selection for the FEI WBSFH World Breeding Championships, hosted in Ermelo (NED) from 4–9 September. Promoting excellence in British breeding, these classes will be watched closely by those looking for the stars of the future with the selection panel aiming to reward excellent home-grown talent born and trained in Great Britain.

The FEI WBSFH World Breeding Championships have been the launch pad for some of the world’s top Dressage horses and breeding stars. British team rider Lottie Fry is a former winner at the event, with her current World Championship winning ride Glamourdale rising to fame in the seven-year-old category, where he claimed the world title in 2019.

“The British Dressage International Young Horse classes provide riders, breeders and owners with a first-class opportunity to educate their rising stars in tests that are relevant for the age group with the horse’s progression and welfare in mind,” said Lou Jones, British Dressage’s Sport Operations Manager. “We’re thrilled to partner with Royal Windsor on this exciting opportunity for British Dressage members to compete at an iconic venue.”

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming both The Defender CDI4 Dressage and British Dressage International Young Horse classes to Royal Windsor Horse Show. These classes are a highlight of the Show for many of our spectators, offering top level competition in the heart of the Home Counties and the chance to see some of the most talented combinations up close in this Olympic year. We are once again very grateful for the support from Defender; an amazing partnership which has shaped the Show for over thirty years.”

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