European Dressage Championships in 2011 to Include Under-25 Team Competition
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LEXINGTON, Kentucky, Oct. 1–A new permanent grandstand is being built in time for the European Dressage Championships to be held in Rotterdam next August. An under-25 team competition is also planned following the success of the inaugural event at Aachen, Germany this year.
The dressage championships, held once every two years, will be closed to non-Europeans and there are no plans to hold the CDIO that in recent years has been a part of the long-running CHIO, the premier event on the Dutch equestrian calendar.
Tineke Bartels, sports director for the event, told a news conference at the World Equestrian Games that the provisional schedule calls for the championship team competition on Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 17 and 18, with a break on Friday, Aug. 19, the Grand Prix Special on Saturday, Aug. 20 and the freestyle on Sunday, Aug. 21.
Asked whether the championships will be open to allow non-European participation as Rotterdam has attracted significant entries from North America, for example, she said: “It’s the European Championships, and should remain European.”
The same Europe-only stance will apply to the Under-25 competition that they hope to hold in conjunction with the championships.
The CHIO in Aachen, Germany staged the first Under-25 Nations Cup of six teams with two riders per team this year that was rated a huge success. The teams at Aachen were all European, but some non-European nations have asked the Aachen organizers to open up the class.
Tineke said that the championships will employ seven judges who will use half marks and will be overseen by a supervisory panel.
The organizers hope the European Championships will create Rotterdam as the “Gateway to the Oympics” as one of the last major events before the 2012 Games in London.