top of page

What is Concours d'Elegance? 


Way back in the days of horse drawn carriages - the French aristocracy paraded them in the parks of Paris during Summer weekends and holidays.    In the 17th Century this pastime became known as the Concours d’ Elegance;  “A Gathering of Elegance”.  In England, the aristocracy also paraded in Hyde Park, London on Rotten Row; ladies would parade to attract a potential husband and ladies would have costumes made in a style similar to their loved ones military attire and that is why many ladies costumes are military inspired. 

It is sometimes described as the horse and rider the judge would most like a painting of, to hang over their fireplace.

These days, with riding both side saddle & astride more popular we still have these  “gatherings” or Competitions of Elegance with stunning horses & beautifully dressed riders either astride or side saddle.  A step back in time if you like so traditional values are an important part.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Concours d'Elegance!

The Concours Classes and Qualifiers are aimed at competitive amateur riders, aspiring professionals and professionals with novice horses who want to compete and have the opportunity of riding at a Championship shows. Concours d'Elegance Classes have become increasingly popular over the past few years but there haven't been any adopted rules, guidelines which has caused confusion for judges and competitors alike, until now!

Whether you’re a keen novice or competitive rider we’ve got something for you.

What championships do we run? 

The society does not run shows but offers the opportunity for shows to hold qualifying classes across the UK qualifying for our championships.  Shows across the UK have been invited to host Qualifying Classes giving competitors the opportunity to qualify for the Championship Show which is held at the central UK venue Arena UK at Grantham on Sunday 5th September 2021.  

How do I find out more? 

Simply click on this link to find out more about Show & Qualifiers  

About the Concours d'Elegance Society

The Concours d'Elegance Society of GB was created to adopt a universally recognised set of guidelines to create a fair and level playing field for this fast growing equestrian discipline.   Shows across the UK have welcomed the opportunity to affiliate to the society and adopt a regulated set of rules for both judges and competitors. 

Launched in 2018, the CDSGB has developed into a professional organisation thanks to the help, support and guidance of many individuals including show organisers, judges and costume designers.  Today the society is the governing body for Concours d'Elegance.  It maintains a register of members and a list of approved judges.  The objects of the society are to improve the standards within Concours d'Elegance and for shows to affiliate to the society, to abide by its rules and to endeavour to safeguard the interests of members in every possible way. 

The Concours d'Elegance Society of GB is managed and co-ordinated exclusively by a friendly team of individuals that provide a wealth of knowledge and expertise from the Concours d'Elegance world. We also pride ourselves in recommending highly respected accredited judges.  

The society runs an ongoing training and assessments programme to ensure continuity of standards within judging.  Training is available both on line and physical depending on location an availability.


The President is Emma Richardson-Steele, who actively looks to promote the Concours d'Elegance discipline.  Emma continues to develop the society and encourage qualifiers around the country culminating in a Supreme Championship which is held at Arena UK in Grantham.  Social events such as luncheons, seminars and teach-ins are organised throughout the year.   

Local Shows
tartan costume.jpg

Concours Classes can be held in any shows at any level.  Shows may choose to have just one Concours Class or a selection.

Your Choice

You can choose to ride and take part in the qualifiers or just enjoy the class for what it is.  There is absolutely no pressure either way .  

Everyone Welcome!

We are so lucky to have secured a championship venue at  Addington Manor Equestrian Centre in Buckinghamshire

bottom of page