World Cup Dressage for Young Riders at Frankfurt Canceled, New Venue Sought

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2011 Young Rider World Cup Champions Sanneke Rothenberger and Deveraux OLD. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

The World Cup Dressage for Young Riders that has brought together competitors from around the world may not be held this year after organizers in Frankfurt canceled and no replacement championship venue has yet been found.

A World Dressage Masters competition that was announced earlier this year for Frankfurt to be the first European indoor CDI5* in the series will also not be held.

The status of the Nürnberger Burgpokal, the prestigious unofficial German championship for small tour horses aged seven to nine years launched in 1992 that was to be held at the same Frankfurt show Dec. 14-18, could not be determined.

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) on Sunday confirmed the withdrawal by Frankfurt to host the Young Rider World Cup.

Germany applied for a CDI5* in Frankfurt as a late entry in the calendar, the FEI said in response to questions from dressage-news.com, meaning after the deadline of Oct. 1 the previous year.

“As this would be a clash of dates with the Olympia (London) CDI-W, Germany’s application had to be turned down,” it said. “Frankfurt then withdrew as organizer of the YR WC Final.

“The FEI is hoping to find another organizer, but we realize that time is short.

“It is a clear goal of the FEI to continue the World Cup for Young Riders.We are very aware of the popularity of this, and the boost it gives dressage around the world.”

The Frankfurt show lost its World Cup qualifying event for this year in a realignment of competitions in the Western European League aimed at increasing interest in the indoor winter circuit.

The Young Rider World Cup at the lavishly decorated and festive Festhallen in downtown Frankfurt just 10 days before Christmas has been a glamorous showcase for the only annual global young rider championship.

Since the inaugural Young Rider World Cup in 2005, combinations from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States have competed. Top Young Rider combinations in the U.S. and other natinons have declared the World Cup Final their goal for the year.

The rules provide for five horses and riders from Western Europe, one from Central Europe, two from North America, one from Asia/Africa/Pacific and one from South America, plus the title defender if still a Young Rider and up to two wild cards. Germany’s Sanneke Rothenberger was aged 19 when she won the 2011 World Cup and thus is young enough to compete in 2012.

The family of Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff, a part-owner of Totilas, organized the dressage and jumper show to raise funds for UNICEF.

The family underwrote the costs of transportation for Young Rider World Cup horses and riders from outside Europe as well as covering most other expenses such as stabling and entry fees as well as accommodating horses at the magnificent 45-acre (18 Ha) family estate of Shafhof just outside Frankfurt ahead of the show.

The World Cup has become for Young Riders fulfillment of their dreams, especially outside Europe because of the opportunity it provided to compete against the best in the world in an environment that is not replciated elsewhere.

Fears were expressed in 2011 over the future of the event with the loss of the senior World Cup qualifier.

However, Trond Asmyr of the FEI and Klaus Martin Rath, Ann-Kathrin’s husband, said at the time that the Young Rider World Cup Final would return to Frankfurt in 2012 with longtime sponsor Schenker renewing their commitment. But Klaus Martin indicated it could depend on receiving approval of a high profile senior event such as a big purse CDI5*.

The 2012 World Dressage Masters comprised three outdoor shows–Palm Beach in January; Munich, Germany, in May, and Falsterbo, Sweden in July. Hickstead in England was canceled this year because of a conflict of dates with the London Olympics.

Frankfurt was announced in what WDM organizers indicated could be the first of an indoor circuit competing with the World Cup series.

WDM in Florida in 2013 is uncertain after four annual events during the winter circuit, although the organizers have announced it will be held next January. Two CDI5* events are on the U.S. Equestrian Federation calendar for Florida for next winter, one for WDM in West Palm Beach and the other for the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington.

The first two WDM events in the U.S. were organized by Equestrian Sport Productions, operators of the Winter Equestrian Festival of jumper and hunter shows and the newly created GDF that in 2012 staged its own $100,000 CDI5* and has announced a CDI5* for 2013.

The second two years of WDM were taken over by Wellington Classic Dressage with sponsorship from International Polo Club Palm Beach. Whether IPC will maintain its sponsorship after underwriting it in 2011 and 2012 is unknown.

John Goodman, IPC founder, is barred by court order from participating in public displays of a wealthy lifestyle while he is confined to his home on bail pending appeal of a 16-year jail term on conviction of driving under the influence manslaughter and vehicular homicide.

No WDM sponsor has been announced for 2013.