Nations Cup Lineup to Expand to Eight Countries in 2019 While FEI Reviews Series Future

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The Swedish team of Patrik Kittel, Antonia Ramel, Juliette Ramel and Jeanna Högberg that won the Nations Cup at Falsterbo in 2018. Sweden went on to win the series for the second year in a row.

Nov. 5, 2018

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

The Nations Cup series is scheduled to expand to eight countries in 2019, the most in seven years of the trans-Atlantic competition lineup whose future will come under scrutiny by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) that initiated the set of shows.

The series that was launched by the FEI in 2013 in hopes of generating excitement and pariticpation similar to jumping and eventing Nations Cups series has had up to 15 countries a season participating–despite lukewarm support from some national federations, and multiple competition formats that have made events difficult for spectators to follow.

Although called a series, the Nations Cups are essentially a string of individual events with no final. But the country that has accumulated the most points is declared the series winner. Of the six years of the series so far, the overall victor has had a team at the year’s final event three times.

The most Nations Cups in a season were seven staged in 2018, up from six most years. Sweden and the Netherlands have each claimed the series title twice, Germany and the United States one apiece.

“It is the goal of the DC (Dressage Committee),” Frank Kemperman, the chairman, said in a report for the FEI General Assembly later this month, “to start the discussion about the future of this series” with national federations. show organizers and athletes.

The FEI itself has provided less than wholehearted support, dropping distribution of news releases about events while providing complete coverage of jumping and eventing Nations Cups. It also turned down an offer of a donation of an actual cup as a perpetual trophy and miniatures for the annual series winning team combinations, saying it was working on a sponsor for the series. Seven years later there is no sponsor and the series winner still gets a silver tray.

The longest running dressage Nations Cup is at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany which began in 1977 and in recent years has had as many as nine teams.

The only Nations Cups outside Europe has been the CDIO3* at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida.

The Wellington CDIO3* event is the only one in the series to provide for teams of mixed big and small tour combinations in line with the Pan American Games format, but was not part of the series in the 2013 inaugural season and in 2017 did not get enough entries to meet the minimum requirement of four teams.

In addition to Canada and the U.S., Australia, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands have fielded teams, mostly made up of riders based in North America or in Wellington for the three-month long winter circuit. Costa Rica and Colombia have also competed.

For 2019, the Wellington Nations Cup has been moved to mid-March from its end-of-circuit date in an effort to attract more teams, especially in a year of the Pan Ams held only once every four years.

The competition schedule for 2019 is:

Mar. 12-17–CDIO3*-NC Wellington (USA)
May 16-19–CDIO5*-NC Compiègne (FRA)
May 23-26–CDIO4*-NC Uggerhalne (DEN)
June 17-23–CDIO5*-NC Geesterern (NED)
July 5-7–CDIO4*-NC Järvenpää (FIN)
July 11-14–CDIO5*-NC Falsterbo (SWE)
July 17-21–CDIO5*-NC Aachen (GER)
July 25-28–CDIO3*-NC Hickstead (GBR)

Järvenpää in Finland is an addition to the schedule while Geesterern in the Netherlands substitues for Rotterdam which will host the European Championships in August instead of the usual CDIO5*.