Strickly horses M’Lord
31st October 2008, 1:40 pm By Principality Stadium
Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips and musical mastermind Andrew Lloyd Webber are to be guest judges at the very first Express Eventing International Cup.
The two TV favourites, who are famous for working with the very best musical and dance talents on the stage and screen, will critique the dressage (or ‘dancing’) section of this exciting new form of the equestrian sport of eventing at the Millennium Stadium on 30 November.
Express Eventing, in association with British Eventing, is a condensed version of three-day eventing – dressage, show jumping and cross country – packed into just half a day and under the roof of the international sporting arena, the Millennium Stadium.
Arlene and Andrew will be giving their outspoken views on how the very best riders from around the world interpret the music in the dressage arena.
Arlene, who has choreographed many stage musicals, including Starlight Express and the Sound of Music and is also Director of the upcoming Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour, and Andrew, who is the world’s most successful composer and producer and has recently been recruited by the BBC to write the UK’s next Eurovision song, will join international dressage judges Jennie Loriston-Clarke, Isobel Wessels, Frances Verbeek and Andrew Gardner to assess each rider’s dressage performance.
The all-star line up of international riders, which will include Olympic medallists, World Cup winners, European champions and winners of the most prestigious eventing competitions in the world, such as Badminton and Burghley, will each perform a four-minute ‘freestyle’ dressage test, set to their own choice of music.
There will be a list of compulsory movements and some optional ones. The test will be assessed by judges: two for technical correctness and paces, one for overall impression, another for use of the arena and inventiveness, and the fifth for the successful interpretation of the chosen music.
Andrew, who is excited about the task in hand, said: "My wife Madeleine was an international eventer, so this sport has been a big part of our life – though I will admit that I still have a lot to learn about horses. I am delighted to be asked to play a part in what is a great new sporting event."
Arlene said: "It is so much fun using my experience in all sorts of different arenas and this is a first for me. I always enjoy working with Andrew on a project and this is certainly an original one. With 20 different riders choosing 20 different pieces of music, it is going to be fascinating to see how the horses respond and the competition evolves."
For more information and to buy tickets for Express Eventing International Cup, go to www.eeicup.com or call the Express Eventing Ticketmaster hotline 08705 582582.