Thank you to the riders who entered the nationals and took the time to complete the recent survey.
Survey Results can be found here here
The next step will be a wider stakeholder survey prior to the date being confirmed for the next event.
The 2020 event was rescheduled to November owing to the Covid crisis and at the same time a decision was made not to proceed with a March 2021 event just a few months later. The late cancellation of the March event meant many deposits and other payments were at risk, but by negotiation much could be held over until November, and current sponsor obligations could be met. Some trust funding could be held over until November, some had to be returned immediately and the future of trust funding in the future did not look bright. Dressage NZ sincerely thanks everyone who stayed alongside and worked with us during that very difficult lock down period. Financial implications for the sport, supporters, sponsors, funders remained unknown for March 2021. It was not an easy decision at the time.
The change of date within the season did give an opportunity to trial something different and the results of the survey show that there is an array of thought about the optimal date for the nationals. However, within that 80% of riders who responded and had competed at the nationals preferred 21 days or more between the Nationals & Horse of the Year Show with 40% preferring more than 30 days.
There are many factors which will need to be taken into account when deciding the next nationals date. These include stakeholder feedback, venue availability, the season calendar (national and international) and series.
Overall, feedback from the November event was very positive. We have been very lucky in New Zealand compared with other countries.
The stakeholder survey will be available in early 2021