Expertise of Davison drops in to Bishop Burton to provide dressage masterclass

Great Britain's Richard Davison riding Artemis
Great Britain's Richard Davison riding Artemis
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ONE of Britain’s most successful dressage riders, Richard Davison, will bring his masterclass to Bishop Burton College near Beverley next month.

Davison has competed in four Olympic games including London 2012, where he scored 72.812 per cent in the grand prix on Hiscox Artemis.

He will be joined next month by Alex Hua Tian, who has become something of a golden boy as the only Chinese rider competing internationally.

He was the youngest-ever Olympic event rider, competing at Beijing in 2008 at the tender age of 18.

Hua Tian is also an old Etonian and while still at school was taken under the wing of former world champion Clayton Fredericks and his wife Lucinda.

Completing the line-up at next month’s Olympic Dressage and Eventing Training Methods Masterclass at the college on Wednesday, November 21 will be Richard Davison’s wife Gillian and son Tom.

Gillian Davison is a former point-to-point, national hunt jockey and event rider and in recent years has concentrated on producing the family’s young dressage stars.

She has competed a number of horses on the international stage at Grand Prix level.

The couple’s son Tom has been a member of Great Britain’s jumping team and is heavily involved in the competition, management and production of the family’s young dressage, jumping and event horses.

Kim Knightley, equestrian director at Bishop Burton College, is excited about the prospect of next month’s event, admitting the Richard Davison masterclass has a “huge following”.

“You can’t be at the top of your game for as long as Richard Davison has without having plenty of gems up your sleeve to pass on,” said Knightley.

“What I love about this format is that everybody will go home having learnt something as well as them having had a really entertaining night out.

“Although Richard and the other riders are top class professionals, they pass on their knowledge in such an audience-friendly way that everybody can learn something from them.

“The number of different riders is also a great idea; making for a lighter and – again – audience-friendly atmosphere.”

The Davison family’s appearance at Bishop Burton will be a further boost for the Yorkshire equestrian scene with several White Rose stars having shone at the recent Horse Of The Year Show held at the NEC in Birmingham.

Leading the Yorkshire HOYS success story was Thirsk ace Vicky Smart and her chestnut Rogers Revenge, who scooped the illustrious South Essex Insurance Brokers Racehorse to Riding Horse Championship.

Smart is the wife of Hambleton House trainer Bryan Smart with seven-year-old Rogers Revenge having returned to showing after a season eventing last year.

Fifteen-year-old North Yorkshire starlet Zoe Hulme also shone, finishing fifth on Heather Hulme’s horse Goliath’s Boy, while Samantha Osborne and Stevey’s Lad finished seventh.

A fantastic performance also came from 22-year-old Huddersfield show-jumper Joe Clayton, who took second place behind John Whitaker in the highly competitive Zinc Management Trophy class.

Riding the nine-year-old bay stallion Antello Z, owned by Michael Whitaker, with whom Clayton is based, the partnership posted a double clear, just 0.3 seconds behind Whitaker in the jump off.

Clayton – on the British Equestrian Federation’s UK Sport funded World Class Development Programme – also took fifth place in the Thistledown Stakes on Wild Rose II – a nine-year-old bay mare owned by Nick Ward.

“This was my first time competing in the International classes at HOYS – so it was a fabulous experience,” said Clayton.

Tickets in advance for next month’s Olympic Dressage and Eventing Training Methods Masterclass at Bishop Burton College cost £20, rising to £25 on the night (subject to availability). For further information and to book tickets call 01964 553087 or visit www.bishopburton.ac.uk/equestrian.

Timings for the evening are 6.30pm for a 7pm start.