CDI Amateur Shows More Than Double Around World In 3 Years, Competitors Sparse So Far

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Amy Swerdlin and Scholastica, successful American amateur partnership. File photo © SusanJStickle.com
Amy Swerdlin and Scholastica, successful American amateur partnership. File photo © SusanJStickle.com

Dec. 6, 2016

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

CDI Amateur competitions have more than doubled to 37 scheduled for 2017 since the introduction of the division in 2015 and the number of countries hosting the events has grown to six from three the inaugural year.

However, the number of combinations competing in the amateur classes did not change much in the first two years. Only a single Prix St. Georges–the most popular class offered in the division–had entries in double digits of any of the 24 shows offering amateur classes, Dressage at Devon on Main Line Philadelphia in Pennsylvania with 10.

Amateur was added to the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) lineup of CDI divisions in 2015 after a lengthy lobbying campaign from American amateurs that won the support of the United States Equestrian Federation. Some European nations were lukewarm to the idea, perhaps reflected by the record of no events in Germany, Great Britain or the Netherlands.

The first year of the division saw a total of 16 competitions in three countries–10 in the United States, four in Spain and two in France.

The Adequal Global Dressage Festival circuit in Wellington, Florida included amateur division in all of its seven CDIs.

The first event in the world was at Global in 2015 with a single entry.

The total number of competitions in the world grew to 24 this year, 14 in the U.S., five in Spain, three in France and one each in Canada and Mexico.

A total of 23 combinations started in the seven St. Georges staged in Wellington in 2016–an average of 3.28 per class, according to a review by dressage-news.com of official records.

Americans were a third at eight of the total in the seven Global shows, with six from Germany, four from Austria, three from Switzerland and one each from Canada and Venezuela.

Of the total of 67 entries worldwide, the average was slightly below three per Prix St. Georges. Four competitions had a single entry. The Prix St. Georges at Tryon, North Carolina was cancelled because of a lack of entries.

The biggest class was 10 at Devon, with seven in the St. Georges at one Global show, six in Katy, Texas and five in Del Mar, California.

In the five St. Georges in Spain, three classes had a single competitor and two had two. At the three shows in France, one had one, another had two and a third three entries.

Organizers of the Global series added an Intermediate 1 Freestyle for 2017 after a campaign to expand the number of amateur classes beyond Prix St. Georges, Intermediate 1 and 2, Intermediate A and B and Grand Prix.