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Preview of dressage returning to Bolsover

The success of programmes like Dancing on Ice and Strictly shows how many of us enjoy watching such performances, but now "hoofing it" has got a new meaning because at Bolsover Castle they're gearing up for a summer of dancing horses.

It's where the sport we know today as dressage began and there's renewed interest following last year's Olympic and Paralympic triumphs. The first performance by the horses, complete with riders in traditional costumes, is tomorrow. James Webster's been for a preview.


Bolsover Castle gears up for summer of dressage

A rider performs dressage at Bolsover Castle Credit: ITV Calendar

Bolsover Castle is getting ready to host a summer of dressage displays. Every weekend from Easter to September horses will be performing in the site's Riding House where William Cavendish first introduced specialist 'horse ballet' techniques into 17th Century England.

Cavendish is widely considered to be the father of modern dressage which saw a rise in popularity following last year's gold medal success at the Olympic and Paralympic games. His techniques are now being brought back to life with baroque music and traditional period costumes.

Cavaliers are back at Bolsover

More than 300 years since Bolsover Castle saw its last Cavaliers, the Merry Monarch’s men will return for a weekend of horse racing, music, theatre and battle drills.

This will be a colourful, riotous, fun-filled weekend reliving Bolsover’s glory days as a Cavalier court. Visitors will enjoy displays of cavalry charges and battle tactics with pistols and swords at the ready. There will be Cavalier horse racing, duels, music and a play entitled ‘Claude Du Vall -The Ladies Delight’ during which the show is interrupted by a highwaymen and chaos ensues! Visitors will be able to meet the Cavaliers and their horses, and there will be special have a go activities for children too.

– Lucy Hutchings, Events Manager at English Heritage