A lot of suggestions has been made over time to try to improve the dressage sport, both in terms of getting more people interested in the sport and also to make general improvements.
This time Swedish international top rider Patrik Kittel just got the point, in a very transparent and also easy way to implement.
This weekend the Swedish Ridsport published a chronicle (link below in Swedish) where Kittel expresses his thoughts about how to develop the dressage and bring it into 2018 level.
"It is the horses that must shine, not us riders look like circus artist."
"Even the most fanatic dressage entusiast finds 50-80 combinations too much for the big championships. It gets too boring even for the judges, and it does not show an accurate picture when the competition (team competition) is held over two days."
"I have a suggestion - here you are FEI!"
"The preliminary Grand Prix test (part of team competition) must be shortened and with own choise of music, with mandary exercises. Every exercise from the Grand Prix test as we know today must be done just one time, except for the piaffe & passage, which must be done twice. The rider must chose own music, but it is only the technical part which must be judged. The rider is making there own lines, but as described above."
"By doing the test with "own" music and own lines, every test becomes kind of unique, and it will become more interesting for the spectators and the judges. The excitement will reach another level because if you miss out an exercise you don´t get the chance later again later."
"And the 25 best individual combinations are like today qualified for the Grand Prix Special, as this test is really demanding and contains a lot of difficult exercises. Like today the 15 best from Grand Prix Special are ready for the individual freestyle. (This freestyle and the Grand Prix Special will be with same format as we know them from today)."
Link for the article in Swedish here.
The new Grand Prix test with 2 x 10
From H2R point of view this suggestion is exactly what the dressage sport need. As a kind of neard myself I must admit that the big championships are getting boring for the first two days with the team competitions - so this is a clear 10 for the initiative and a clear 10 for the outcome for the sport to Mr. Patrik Kittel.
More specific about the test H2R did ask Kittel for a bit of details.
Kittel tell: "The test should be as mentioned before with just one exercise of each exercise from today´s Grand Prix test, including both entering halt and final halt, but without halt with rein back as the exercise itself is about 40-50 sec., and cutting the three extented trot tour to just one, and the making the walk tour as 15 meters of collected walk and 15 meters of extended, and at the same time keep two times the passage/piaffe/passage tours instead of three times, that makes a reduction of 1 minute and 30 seconds in total."
"And yes of course I´ve tried it and it work very well. With this change we also save the horses, so they can be even stronger for day 2 and day 3. It is easier of course, but it also makes the dressage more attractive for countries which are not so familiar with the top of our sport," says Kittel.