English Heritage’s Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire has earned an impressive reputation over the centuries as a place of excellence when it comes to classical riding techniques, from the days of William Cavendish perfecting dressage movements to the current displays introduced last year in the iconic Riding House. Now, there is a chance to explore the art form in more depth at two exclusive evenings From Tradition To Today: An Evening of Dressage at Bolsover Castle on Thursday 25 September and Thursday 16 October.
Presented by Peter Maddison-Greenwell of El Caballo de España, the relevance of Classical Riding the recognised art form of the past leading up to today’s competitive dressage, will be demonstrated and explained in the arena of the spectacular 17th Century Riding House.
Each evening will see the horses and riders go through a series of exercises and movements, and each event will demonstrate a different aspect of this fascinating area of the equestrian world.
There will also be light refreshments on arrival and an interval when the audience will be able to explore Bolsover Castle’s equine heritage and the contribution made by William Cavendish to the modern art of dressage, in the new interactive exhibition in the Riding House stables. This spectacular building remains the finest example of this type of structure and today, just four schools of classical dressage remain in the world, with Bolsover Castle being the only place in the country to stage regular performances of this spectacular art.
Last year marked the welcome return for horses to the Riding House for the first time in over three centuries, and the Cavalier Horsemanship events, with three daily displays, running each weekend until the end of September, continue to attract and delight visitors. With breathtaking and intricate displays of classical riding introduced to England in the 17th century by William Cavendish, first Duke of Newcastle, the expert horsemen in flamboyant period costume, complete with feathers in their hats, put horses through their paces to baroque music in tribute to Cavendish.
From Tradition To Today on 25th September will explore the kinder training techniques championed by Cavendish than his contemporaries to perfect the complex art of dressage including leaps or airs above the ground the pinnacle of the dance-like moves which were once deployed on the field of battle to out-manoeuvre the enemy and lead right up to the present day with the type of movements that visitors may have witnessed during the London 2012 Olympics. The 16th October goes on From Tradition to Today to explore and demonstrates the dressage training required for combat and to perform the skill at arms
Tickets are priced at £30 per person or £25 for English Heritage members and must be booked in advance by calling the dedicated Ticket Sales Team on 0870 333 1183 (Mon Fri 8.30am 5.30 Sat 9am 5pm).