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Dressage experts talk about Olympic success at UCLan event

08 May 2013

Press Office

Dr Hilary Clayton and Richard Davison reveal secrets behind Olympic success at UCLan event

Two of the most-respected names in equestrian sports are coming to Preston to give a unique, behind-the-scenes glimpse into the highly-competitive world of dressage.

Interest in the sport is at an all-time high following Great Britain’s first-ever team dressage gold at London 2012 and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has arranged for renowned equine expert Dr Hilary Clayton and four time Olympic dressage rider Richard Davison to visit as part of its distinguished guests programme.

The event, on 12 June, will look at the latest cutting-edge research into equine biomechanics and celebrate the contribution that Dr Clayton and Richard have made to the sport, from the differing perspectives of the scientist and the competitor.

Dr Clayton is an equestrian, veterinarian, author and researcher who is internationally recognised for her work in equine biomechanics and the interactions between horse, rider and tack. Her research covers an analysis of performance during Olympic dressage competitions and has guided the development of training practices that enhance the horse's performance and soundness, leading to changes in the rules for international competitions.

Richard is a four-time Olympic dressage rider who competed in the 2012 London Olympic Games. He is a six-time British number one in the international dressage rider rankings and has been at the forefront of international dressage for three decades. The end of 2012 saw him completing his term of office as the British World Class Performance Manager.

“We are delighted to be bringing two of the greatest British exponents of equestrian sports to Preston to share their wealth of knowledge and expertise with us”

Since taking on the role in 2008, he has been credited for masterminding the strategy behind Britain’s most successful period of international successes resulting in their historic Olympic and European team gold's and World Championship medals.

Dr Sarah Jane Hobbs, Senior Lecturer in Sports Biomechanics at UCLan, said: “Dressage has become increasingly popular in Britain since the fantastic performance of our team at the London Olympics and Paralympics.

“We are delighted to be bringing two of the greatest British exponents of equestrian sports to Preston to share their wealth of knowledge and expertise with us on what is sure to be an interesting and enlightening evening.”

This event will also include a drinks reception, interval buffet, a book signing and the opportunity to purchase a selection of Dr Clayton's books.

UCLan presents a Lifetime in Dressage: An audience with Dr Hilary Clayton and Richard Davison at UCLan’s Darwin Lecture Theatre, Darwin Building, Marsh Lane, Preston, PR1 2HE. The event takes place on Wednesday, 12 June, at 7.00pm.

Tickets are £15. For more information or to book contact the UCLan School of Sports Tourism & The Outdoors on 01772 894902 or visit