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Posted: 20/04/15

Hertfordshire dressage rider wins Petplan Equine Area Festivals Championship

Kate Rowland riding Erasmus to win the Petplan Equine Area Festival Champion 2015

Kate Rowland riding Erasmus to win the Petplan Equine Area Festival Champion 2015

Following qualification at Patchetts Equestrian Centre in Watford, Hertfordshire, 43 year old Kate Rowland from Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire has won the Petplan Equine Novice Open Championship of the Petplan Equine Area Festival Finals on Erasmus. These prestigious grassroots championships were held alongside the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire from 15th – 19th April 2015.

Riding Erasmus Festival Novice Open Championship from among 58 horse and rider combinations, a 6 year-old gelding owned by Kate Rowland & Roland Tong, Erasmus, impressed the judges who awarded the combination a winning score of 76.08% in the Petplan Equine Area.

‘To win feels fab, really good!” exclaimed Kate. “I knew it was a good test as soon as I came out of the arena. We just wanted him to have a very nice time with no pressure. This morning he was a little too sharp, whereas in the second test I could ride him a little more – having two tests in one day was a brilliant experience for him.”

Kate has ridden Erasmus, under the guidance of trainer and co-owner Roland Tong, since he was broken two years ago.

"We're very excited about his future," exclaimed Roland. "He's still very green and, with his state of training and mind, taking him indoors would have been the wrong thing to do. The Petplan Equine Area Festivals are the perfect opportunity to help build the confidence of a horse like him when in the arena."

Now in their 16th year, the Petplan Equine Area Festivals give riders across the levels from Prelim to Intermediate I the chance to experience the thrill of competing in true championship conditions, in a relaxed and friendly environment. More than 3,680 (an increase of 32% on last year’s series) grassroots dressage riders from all over the UK competed at 19 Petplan Equine Area Festivals across the country from July to November 2014, for a chance to qualify and compete for one of the coveted titles.

British Dressage’s Chief Executive Jason Brautigam said: “Since taking up the reins at British Dressage, I have been impressed with the success and popularity of the Petplan Equine Area Festivals series, which is most definitely one of the jewels in our calendar. Thanks to Petplan Equine’s on-going support of these championships, which goes above and beyond their sponsorship contribution, the series has seen a staggering 32% increase in participation year on year and next year we are adding a further three venues to the series.”

Charlotte Collyer, Senior Marketing Executive at Petplan Equine, added: “We are delighted to see how important the Area Festivals have become to amateur and aspiring dressage riders. Not only have we witnessed a meteoric rise in the number of combinations competing over the past year, with the introduction last year of Intermediate I classes, the popularity is clearly matched by the rising talent at grass roots level. We are delighted to be part of a series which provides the perfect showcase and celebrates the talent that is out there. We would especially like to Kate Rowland her fantastic win and wish her the very best of luck for the future.”

Further information about the Petplan Area Festivals and how to qualify for next year’s finals is available from the Petplan Equine website at:

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For more information please contact:

Name Telephone Email
Andrea Worrall at The GPC 01608 654040 [email protected]
Tilly Tayler-Levy 01608 654040 [email protected]
  • Petplan Equine offers comprehensive insurance cover for horses and ponies aged from 30 days. Established 25 years ago, Petplan Equine understands the evolving equestrian market and strives to enhance knowledge and understanding of the equine world through employing horse enthusiasts and working closely with the equine industry.
  • Petplan Equine is part of the Petplan brand. Founded in 1976, Petplan is the UK's largest pet insurance provider, offering comprehensive cover for dogs, cats, rabbits and horses.

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Media enquiries: for further information, please contact:

Andrea Worrall at The GPC by email: [email protected] t: (01608) 654040