Pan American Games Equestrian Sport May Impose Quotas for 1st Time

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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

The Pan American Games’ three equestrian sports of dressage, eventing and jumping will be limited by a quota of a total of 130 horses–45 for dressage–under a proposal being considered by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).

Minimum qualifying scores proposed for dressage are 62 per cent for small tour and 58 per cent for Grand Prix in the draft format of mixed teams for the Pan Ams to be held in Toronto in 2015.

Under the proposal the scores can be attained at a CDN or CDI anywhere in the world or the South American Games scheduled for Chile next March or the Central American/Caribbean Games in Mexico in November, 2014 up to 24 months before the Pan Ams. CDNs are national competitions that can be organized anywhere while CDIs are international with stricter requirements.

A record 12 teams and a total of 47 combinations started in dressage at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The quotas and qualifying proposals are the latest details in a revamping of horse sports at the Pan Ams–the world’s largest multisport championships after the Olympics and held once every four years.

A decision by the FEI and its six-member Dressage Committee is expected in less than two weeks, along with Olympic qualifying procedures that have met with sharp criticism from the Americas. A draft proposal from the FEI cuts qualifying from the Pan Ams to one nation from two while increasing the number of slots available from the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France next year.

Creation of mixed Prix St. Georges/Intermediaire and Grand Prix teams to be implemented for Toronto is a key element in maintaining the Pan Ams as an Olympic qualifying championships.

Previous Pan Ams were at small tour only but experience showed that some nations successful in qualifying a team for the Olympics the following year could not develop a sufficient number of Grand Prix combinations in time for the Olympics.

Among the proposls is to restrict Olympic qualifying at the Pan Ams to teams that include at least one Grand Prix combination, but any team could be placed for Pan American Games medals.

Proposed Pan Am formats have been developed and tested by the FEI in conjunction with organizers of the Global Dressage Festival annual Nations Cup in Wellington, Florida.

The refined mixed-team format will be tested at the GDF Nations Cup in February, the third year of the CDIO3*, and may include some complete European national teams for the first time. In the previous two Nations Cups Australia was the only country outside of the Americas to field a team made up completely of its own nationals.