Wellington Nations Cup to be Finale of 2015 12-Week Global Dressage Festival

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USA (gold), Canada (silver) and Spain (bronze) on the 2014 Nations Cup podium.  2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
USA (gold), Canada (silver) and Spain (bronze) on the 2014 Nations Cup podium. 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

June 4, 2014

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

The Nations Cup in Florida will be the finale of the winter-long Adequan Global Dressage Festival as a full dress rehearsal of the unique format designed for the Pan American Games in Toronto just a year away while four World Cup events are on the schedule to qualify for the Final in Las Vegas next April.

Wih prize money of about $600,000 for eight CDIs over 12 weeks, the Global Dressage Festival will be staged at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Stadium complex without the threat of local government opposition for the first time since the inaugural event in 2012.

The 2015 calendar of events was being shaped at the same time as the Pan Am Games test event was staged this weekend with a World Cup event at the rebuilt Caledon Equestrian Center outside Toronto which will host the equestrian events July 10-26, 2015.

Thomas Baur, the German show organizer who was sports director of this year’s GDF for the first time and will return in 2015, said he expects many more horses and riders from Central and South America on teams preparing for the Pan Ams as well as more Europeans competing at the multimillion dollar Wellington show grounds.

“I’m already dealng with the first requests from Europe,” he said, “from people who have not been here so far.”

Indications are that Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela will field teams and individuals in the Nations Cup as well as Canada and the United States. Australia and some European nations are also expected to enter teams as they have in the three previous Nations Cups at Wellington.

Tha Wellington Nations Cups, the first non-championship team event in the Western Hemisphere, have previously been held at the midpoint of the season.

In 2014, the event was included for the first time as one of six Nations Cups–five in Europe–on the FEI global series of dressage team competitions.

The Van Kampen covered arena being used for the first shows allowed to be held in summer will also be available.

“At the moment, we don’t know when, how often or for which purpose we will use the covered arena, but we will have the option,” Thomas said.

Thomas Baur. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Thomas Baur. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

“Maybe there is a chance to have a World Cup event in there.”

The World Cup Final is scheduled for Las Vegas April 15-19, less than three weeks after the conclusion of the Global circuit.

The format of the Pan Ams provides for mixed small and big tour combinations for the first time, having previously been at small tour for the Olympic qualifying championships.

Developed by Maribel Alonzo de Quinzaños of Mexico, a FEI 5* judge and Thomas Baur, both on the six-member International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Dressage Committee, after more than two years of discussions with national federations, riders and others in the Americas.

The format is:
1. Teams can comprise up to four horse and rider combinations with the top three scores counting toward the final result;
2. The teams can include up to two Grand Prix combinations;
3. The Nations Cup will comprise two phases-Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special for big tour and Prix St. Georges and lntermediate I for small tour;
4. Grand Prix combinations will receive a half percentage point “bonus” for both the Grand Prix and the Special, so a team with two Grand Prix mounts could earn up to an additional two percentage points;
5. The Freesyle for lntermediate and Grand Prix, with no “bonus” points will decide individual medals;
6. Only teams with at least one Grand Prix horse will be able to qualify for the Olympics, and
7. Any team whether all small tour or mixed can win Pan Am medals.

The proposed GDF CDI schedule for 2015:
Jan. 7-11 — CDI-W
Jan. 21-25 — CDI-W
Feb. 4-8 — CDI-5*
Feb. 18-22 — CDI4*
Mar. 4-8 — Palm Beach Dressage Derby World Cup
Mar. 11-15 — CDI-W
Mar. 25-29 — CDIO3* Nations Cup