Australia Reverses Wellington Nations Cup Team Rejection–But Too Late

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Australia’s 2016 Nations Cup team of Ilse Schwarz, Kelly Layne and Kim Gentry. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 17, 2017–The Australian equestrian federation on Friday reversed itself and agreed to allow a team to compete at the CDIO3* Nations Cup, but the decision just four days before the veterinary check came too late.

American-based riders who have participated in the only Nations Cup outside Europe since it was first staged in Wellington in 2013 made other arrangements for the horses after Equestrian Australia notified them it would not endorse a team. The federation cited “criteria” required to qualify but never informed riders of the “criteria.”

The Nations Cup is scheduled for next week with only Canada, Spain and the United States participating as the kick off of the second year of the official trans-Atlantic series. The Wellington event typically gets six or seven teams.

Entries closed Mar. 7, 10 days ago, and the veterinary check is scheduled for next Tuesday for the teams that can be mixed Big and Small tour. The formula unique to Wellington was approved because the Pan American Games, held once every four years, use a format of small and big tour combinations.

A team that Germany intended to field could not get enough riders when Michael Klimke was injured and unable to ride and a change in air travel schedules forced Christoph Koschel to withdraw.