California Gets two Qualifiers for 2011 Word Cup Final
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
California is scheduled to stage two World Cup qualifying competitions for the 2011 Final that will enable 2009 championship pair Steffen Peters and Ravel to seek a place at the Final in Leipzig, Germany at the end of April.
According to the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) competition calendar, CDI-W events are scheduled for Del Mar in San Diego Mar. 10-13 and at Burbank in Los Angeles Mar. 31-Apr. 3.
Del Mar is the closest competition center–literally just minutes from their barns–for Steffen Peters, Guenter Seidel and Sue Blinks, among others.
Under the North American League World Cup rules, riders can choose their top two scores to seek qualification for the Leipzig Final that will be held in conjunction with jumping and driving for the first time.
Two positions in the Final will be offered to North America, according to the rules, though the FEI has the right to issue additional invitations.
German-based Catherine Haddad, who was reserve on Winyamaro for the U.S. team at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, is in third place at the midway point in the West European League of 10 qualifiers. The pair won the World Cup qualifier at Devon while they were in the United States after the WEG selection trials.
California was without any World Cup qualifiers for the 2010 Final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. For Steffen Peters and Ravel to defend the title they won in Las Vegas in 2009 they would have to have competed on the East Coast of the United States, most likely during the Florida winter circuit, a distance of 2,250 miles (3,600km) and incurring higher horse air transportation costs than between Europe and the U.S. East Coast.
Prior to the California competitions, six World Cup qualifiers were scheduled for the North American League for the 2010/2011 season, all on the East Coast of the United States, two in Saugerties, New York and one in Devon, Pennsylvania in August and September and three for Palm Beach, Florida during the 2011 winter circuit. None were scheduled for Canada.
The Florida dates are West Palm Beach Jan. 21-23 and Feb. 11-13 and Loxahatchee Mar. 3-6.
The Dressage Affaire has been managed by former international rider Kim Keenan for the past several years.
Akiko Yamazaki, owner of Ravel, was the title sponsor of the Dressage Affaire in 2010.
The Burbank competition is at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center and operated by Glenda McElroy’s Cornerstone Event Management. Glenda is one of America’s most experienced managers of international level competitions, including the World Cup Finals in Las Vegas in 2005, 2007 and 2009 that were among the most successful in the history of the only global dressage championship.