Dressage Nations Cup Series to be Tested in 2013
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
A Dressage Nations Cup series approved by the International Equestrian Federation is being organized for a test launch in 2013 with up to four outdoor events in Europe.
With the aim of creating the same level of excitement and support displayed at the Olympics in London and at Nations Cup jumping competitions around the world, the FEI Bureau last month approved the series with teams of a minimum of three horse and rider combinations or four with the lowest score discarded.
Shows that could host Nations Cup events in the inaugural trial year are Vidauban, France; Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Aachen, Germany and possibly Hickstead, England.
The organizers of Vidauban, France, confirmed that it had agreed to stage the inaugural event in the test series at its CDIO3* May 17-20. Vidauban has become an increasingly popular European spring outdoor destination for dressage.
The CHIO Rotterdam has also been asked to be part of the series. Although no final decision had been made, a spokesperson said, “we’re open for this.”
Rotterdam’s CDIO5* is scheduled for June 19-23. Rotterdam has hosted a dressage Nations Cup for several years and constructed a new permanent grand stand in time for the European Championships for dressage it staged in 2011.
The World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, which has also hosted a dressage Nations Cup for many years, is considered certain to be part of the series as the idea was proposed to the FEI Bureau by Frank Kemperman, the Aachen chairman and sport director and chairman of the FEI Dressage Committee.
The CHIO is scheduled for June 25-30 at Aachen, which held the World Equestrian Games in 2006 and will host the European Championships in 2015. Dressage at Aachen is sold out months ahead of the CHIO and led to a decision to expand the permanent Deutsche Bank Stadium from its present capacity of 5,000 spectators.
Hickstead, England, was considered a possibility but the official calendar lists the event Aug. 1-4 as a CDI3*. Two separate groups of organizers are seeking to create new dressage/jumper events geared to spectators in the city of London to capitalize on the popularity of the summer Olympics.
The CDIO3* Nations Cup scheduled for April in Wellington, Florida, would not be part of the initial series as it is formatted in 2013 with combined small and big tour combinations and restricted to teams from the Americas as a trial for the Pan American Games, held once every four years and that is an Olympic qualifier. The Wellington CDIO is the first non-championship and only Nations Cup in the Western Hemisphere.
The long term goal of the dressage Nations Cups is to create a worldwide series.
The trial year calls for the best three results to count toward the final classification, determined by points accumulated depending on the level of the Nations Cup, from CDIO3* to CDIO5*. More points will be available at higher rated events.
The FEI said that no prize money was commited at this stage, and the winning nation would receive a Nations Cup.