Wellington Nations Cup Teams Restricted to Americas But Non-Americans Can Be On Teams

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2012 Nations Cup medals ceremony at Wellington CDIO3*. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

The Nations Cup in Florida will be restricted to teams from the Americas but riders from the rest of the world can be on the squads that can include both big and small tour combinations in an ambitious effort to upgrade dressage competition at the Pan American Games.

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) program drawn up by Maribel Olonso of Mexico and Thomas Baur of Germany over the past year has been dubbed an “Americas Championship” that wil be the finale of the 2013 $275,000 Global Dressage Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center April 11-14.

In the final draft of the program for 2013, the two officials stressed that the Wellington event is a test that will be closely monitored to make changes based on experience ahead of the 2015 Pan Ams in Toronto.

Held once every four years as the world’s largest multi sports event after the Olympics, the Pan Ams have been at small tour but are a qualifier for the suceeding Olympics that are at big tour.

Michael Stone, president of Equestrian Sport Productions that manages the shows in Wellington, pledged support for the Nations Cup that was held for the first time in 2012 at Prix St. Georges/Intermediaire I. The inaugural CDIO3* had eight teams, including from Europe and Australia. ESP is providing $35,000 in prize money.

The program will be circulated at next month’s FEI General Assembly in Istanbul which will be attended by Maribel, a FEI 5* judge, the highest ranked, and an official of her FEI geographic group, and Thomas, an organizer of top German and Austrian competitions and a member of the FEI Dressage Committee.

“We would like to have this CDIO more as an Americas Championship, so we propose to use only teams
from the Americas,” they said.

“But we also would like to give the opportunity to all riders from all over the world based in Florida during the winter to participate in this CDIO, so we had the idea to create composite teams (so) not a single rider will be lost in this concept.”

Here’s how the 2013 event will work:

* Combined teams of small and big tour horses that can be in various mixes–four combinations at small tour, or three combinations at small tour and one at big tour or two at small tour and two at big tour, and

* Only national federations from the Americas can create teams which are a minimum of three and a maximum of four combinations either small or big tour. The options are a full team with all members from the same country, a composite team, except for Canada and the United States if they have a full team, or one or two individuals.

A pool will be created of competitors from outside the Americas as well as those from Canada and the U.S. who are not selected for their national team.

A draw will be held to add riders not from the Americans to complete teams of combinations of mixed nationalities from countries from the Americas that decide to participate in composite squads.

Examples could be Colombia with a primarily Colombian team and, say, one Australian horse and rider; or a Mexican team with combinations from the U.S. and Sweden or a team from Venezuela with combinations from Canada, Germany and the U.S.

If there are three or more riders from Canada, the U.S. or the rest of the world after the draw, they wil have the option to form a composite national team such as USA II, Canada II or North America or to compete as individuals.

The tests will comprise:

Small tour–Prix St. Georges, Intermediaire I and Intermediare I Freestyle, and

Big tour–Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle.

The competition will be conducted over three days:

Day 1–Team competition of all participants;

Day 2–Individual competition of all participants who score above 58 per cent in the team competition, excluding bonus points, and

Day 3–Individual competition of 50 per cent of small tour and 50 per cent of big your except those who score less than 58 per ccent in the individual competition.

The small tour and big tour tests will be the same day with the same panel of judges. The small tour tests will be performed first.

Team riders in the big tour will get a bonus of three per cent for each test above 58 per cent. Thus, a team could get a maximum of six per cent added to the total team result. There will be no bonus for small tour rides. The team with the best total team result regardless of whether it is combined or small tour will win the Nations Cup.

Bonus points will be used only to determine team rankings. Teams with four combinations can drop the lowest score as in existing competitions.

No riders who start as individuals will be able to earn bonus points.

For individual results, the rider with the best scores in the Grand Prix Special/Grand Prix Freestyle or the Intermediaire I/Intermediaire I Freesyle will win. If there is a tie for any place, the big tour rider will be placed ahead of a small tour rider and the better result in the Grand Prix will break a tie between two big tour riders.

Bonus points for the Grand Prix will not count for the Dressage World Rankings, but the straight scores for the Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle may count.