Aachen 2010 as pilot project for new Olympic dressage format

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AACHEN, Germany, Feb. 7–The World Equestrian Festival CHIO will be a pilot project for the new Olympic dressage format of three team riders and one individual and other innovations.

The pilot project to be implemented during the CHIO from July 9 to 18 stemmed from a recommendation of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Dressage Task Force that studied the sport following the 2008 Olympics and approved by the FEI General Assembly .

Frank Kemperman, Aachen CHIO show director who was chairman of the task force and is now heads the FEI Dressage Committee, said: “We want to make the sport more entertaining and more comprehensible.”

The team competition will be more exciting as it will be decided in the Grand Prix Spécial with the teams starting in reverse order of their Grand Prix results.

Under the new format, the schedule for 2010 is:

Thursday, July 15–Prize of TESCHINKASSO, Grand Prix (1st rating competition for both individual and team classification)

Saturday, July 17–MEGGLE-Prize, Grand Prix Spécial (2nd rating competition individual classification and Final of the Lambertz Nations’ Cup)

Sunday, July 18–Deutsche Bank Prize, Grand Prix Freestyle to Music (Final individual classification)

Also the “3+1” (team plus individual)  will apply in which a country can bring up to four riders, but only three can officially start for the team so there will be no drop score.

New judging ideas will also be tested in what Kemperman said is a move “to make the sport more fair and transparent.”

The most important innovations are:

* Seven judges instead of five for selected competitions;

* Judges will be able to give half marks instead of full marks;

* In the freestyle to music, separate judges for rating the technical performance and the artistic performance, and

* A supervisory panel will oversee the judges’ work and will test whether to implement in the future a process to correct single judge marks.