Bates National Championships 2020 Rescheduled

The Dressage NZ Board has further considered the status of the 2020 National Championships.  

Initially an announcement was made to postpone. Owing to the rapid development of the pandemic in New Zealand it has now been decided with the support of the naming rights sponsor, to reschedule the event to 19 -22 November at the Taupo NEC as a national show (no CDI component).

A new schedule will be available for the November event in due course subject to resumption of ESNZ competition. Further consideration will be given to qualifying time frames and scores (these may be relaxed) and the format of our popular national series.

Dressage NZ is also continuing dialogue with ESNZ Para Equestrian in respect of the Para Equestrian National Championships.

Dressage NZ wishes to acknowledge the huge amount of work undertaken leading up to the event by Amber McGovern-Wilson and Celine Filbee, and key volunteers Heather Hilder, Nicole Powrie, Jos Gresham and Peter Jenkins. We thank them on behalf of all competitors who had entered. Many hundreds of hours had collectively been spent in the lead up.

All competitors who had entered the March event will receive a refund of all fees paid less a $30 (incl GST) administration fee per horse. These refunds will be actioned during the next ten days. We thank riders for their patience, giving Dressage NZ time to make a decision based on the situation as we know it today.

Many of you will ask why the November date.  Whilst considering the current situation, the Board also took the opportunity to review the annual calendar and the effects of having two key events quite close together at the end of a six-month season. Up to 30% withdrawals were anticipated for the March 2020 event. This has a considerable impact both financially and in respect of organization of class draws, external stable hire, and the number of judges and writers required, to identify just a few factors.  It was clear that several competitors from both islands had made a choice this year between the nationals and HOY; this choice was also made around several factors including financial, annual leave available, time away from home base and horse welfare.  To separate these key events may benefit both the events and the participants longer term.  If a horse or rider has an injury for example, then hopefully no longer both events are lost to them in the same season.

Following the November event, competitors will be surveyed about the date change for future seasons calendars.  If the new time frame proves popular, then it may be continued in 2021.  If it is agreed at this point an autumn date is preferred, it is anticipated the next championships date will be deferred until 2022.

Wherever you can over the next few months, please continue to support our loyal events and national sponsors and our suppliers, in order everyone is in a better position to assist as we look forward to resuming competitions in the future.  It was disheartening to have to call our many service suppliers of the event to advise them of the cancellation of their services.

The next few months will undoubtedly provide us all with many uncharted challenges. Change is inevitable. We look forward to keeping in touch with you all during the competition down time and hope kiwi resilience and ingenuity will prevail as we look forward to the spring season.

Scott McKenna
Dressage Chair