FEI Task Force Weighs Moves of North American Youth & World Young Horse Championships, Cancellation of 2021 European Championships
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
The coronavirus-triggered disruption of the international horse sport calendar could see the North American Youth Championships shifted from Michigan in August to Florida in December, moving the World Young Horse Championships from August to the fall and cancellation of the 2021 European Championships that clash with the re-scheduled Tokyo Olympics.
The sweeping review of the calendar of dressage events for the next two years is being undertaken by an International Equestrian Federation (FEI) task force whose first meeting was held online. The meeting included representatives of several groups including the FEI dressage committee and the European Equestrian Federation, according to details provided to dressage-news.com.
About 80 of the estimated 187 dressage shows have already been canceled so far this year, including the World Cup that was scheduled for Las Vegas last week and the Olympics in Tokyo deferred for a year from the end of July.
The upended horse show schedule for this year with no clear dates for resumption of the sport spill over into 2021.
Among the recommendations is for organizers to give notice of at least 10 weeks before cancellation of a championship.
For this year, the task force intends to recommend to the FEI board cancellation of the Nations Cup series with the CDOI3* in Wellington, Florida the only one held so far, two European team competitions were canceled leaving Falsterbo, Sweden in July remaining.
The North American Youth Championships are currently scheduled for Traverse City, Michigan in early August but suspension of shows in Canada and the United States has impacted qualifying.
If the August championship is canceled–a decision would have to be made by the end of May–Wellington, Florida, home of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, would be a possible alternative in December.
The World Breeding Championships, popularly called the World Young Horse Championships, was scheduled for Verden, Germany in August but the organizers have proposed moving it to December with the weather preventing it from being held outdoors. The task force said the championship should remain an outdoor event and suggested an October date.
The growing number of cancellations of 2021 World Cup qualifiers–10 of 18 in Central Europe, two of three in the Pacific league one of 11 in North America so far–raised questions with the task force about the 2021 Final scheduled for Gothenburg, Sweden next April.
The European Championships that were scheduled for Budapest, Hungary at the end of August 2021 and be a qualifying competition for the 2022 world championships clash with the dates for the Olympics deferred from 2020. As the organizer is unable to move the date, the task force will recommend canceling the championships.