Germany Pulls Nations Cup Team from Wellington CDIO3*, Citing Requirement for “Certain Standards”

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Nations Cup teams in the 2015 CDIO3*. The German flag will not fly at this year's event. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Nations Cup teams in the 2015 CDIO3*. The German flag will not fly at this year’s event. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 18, 2016–Germany has pulled its team from the CDIO3* Nations Cup, the inaugural event of the FEI, International Equestrian Federation, series launched after three years of testing.

The federation cited “certain standards” required by Germany as the reason for withdrawing the four Small Tour combinations that had been entered for the only non-championship Nations Cup in the Western Hemisphere and scheduled for the end of this month. A request for an explanation of what was meant by “certain standards” was not provided in response to questions from dressage-news.com.

Florida organizers were clearly disappointed by the German action in the four years of the competition that this year kicks off the series of seven competitions the FEI is seeking to promote as a means of generating more excitement for dressage worldwide.

The United States has supported the entire series at enormous cost as Wellington is the only event outside Western Europe which means maintaining horses and riders on the other side of the Atlantic, including fielding teams at multiple events held the same week as occurred last year in Germany and Sweden.

The German team entered for this year all at Small Tour was Michael Klimke on Royal Dancer, Neve Myburgh on Belissima, Kevin Kohmann on Fritz San Tino and Sarah Stanuschewski on a horse to be determined. Michael Klimke and Neve Myburgh were on Germany’s 2015 team on Small Tour horses.

All four riders are in Wellington so the German federation would not incur any transportation costs.

Denmark and Spain are among countries to have entered teams for this year’s Nations Cup, the first time a Danish squad has participated.

Germany entered a team of three Small Tour and one Big Tour combination in the Wellington event in 2015 and the seven points it won enabled the country to finish atop the Nations Cup standings for the year, beating out the Netherlands by just four points.

The FEI included the Wellington CDIO3* among the six countries in the second of three years of testing the Nations Cup format.

The Nations Cup at the Adequan Globa Dressage Festival is unique in that it allows a mix of Big Tour and Small Tour combinations so as to include as many countries as possible, especially those with a few or no Grand Prix horses such as in Central and South America.

The Wellington competition has won widespread praise for raising the level of the Pan American Games with the mixed format. It includes full Big Tour teams this year for the first time. The United States and Canada have entered teams of four Grand Prix horses and riders and some other squads will include Grand Prix horses.

The other six Nations Cup events in the series for this year are: CDIO3* Odense, Denmark May 12-15; CDIO5* Compiègne, France May 19-22; CDIO5* Rotterdam, Netherlands June 22-26; CDIO5* Falsterbo, Sweden July 7-10; CDIO5* Aachen, Germany July 13-17 and CDIO3* Hickstead, England July 28-31.