TWO LOCAL businesses have united to provide a brand new dressage championship.

Goldeneye Photography in Chippenham has teamed up with Lime Tree Dressage in Kington Langley to sponsor a series of unaffiliated preliminary competitions.

Terhi Ikonen, of Lime Tree Dressage, and Bernard Simpson of Goldeneye have been keen to give something back to local grassroots dressage riders.

Ikonen, originally from Finland, has owned Lime Tree Dressage for 12 years and has run many successful dressage competitions at the venue.

Simpson recently relocated his photography company to Chippenham from Fairford and has been covering equestrian events for 15 years. Goldeneye is the official event photographer at Badminton Horse Trials and is also the official event videographer at the Hickstead International show jumping venue.

The first of the championship qualifiers will take place on Sunday, April 17, with a further seven qualifiers over the next few months before the championship final on September 4.

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PAUL TAPNER is going from strength to strength in his preparations for Badminton.

Last year’s winner has been enjoying a winning streak of late with two successes at Aldon last month and a fourth on Carlito III at Larkhill on Saturday.

Tapner is hoping for glory on his mount Kilfinnie. On his Twitter feed last week he announced that everything was ‘still going according to Plan A’ and Kilfinnie was ‘feeling awesome’.

The eventer from Highworth has been drawn 71st in the competition over the Easter weekend.