Wellington’s Nations Cup May Include Most Teams from Europe

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Wellington Nations Cup medal teams--USA I gold, USA II silver and Canada I bronze. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
The 2013 Wellington Nations Cup medal teams–USA I gold, USA II silver and Canada I bronze. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 31, 2014–Four European countries may field teams in the Global Dressage Festival Nations Cup in mid-February that will also host the first black tie VIP dinner celebration for the Friday night Freestyle since the dressage complex opened three years ago.

Teams from Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and Spain–the most from any continent–are expected to join Australia, Canada and the United States that have entered complete squads of riders from their own nations since the first non-championship Nations Cup in the Western Hemisphere was staged three years ago.

Colombia, however, may be the sole Latin American team in the CDIO3* that this year is a part of the second development year of the Nations Cup global series that includes Vidauban, France; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Kristiansand, Norway; Aachen, Germany and Hickstead, England.

This year’s Nations Cup presented by Stillpoint Farm will be the first fullscale trial of a new format of mixed small tour and big tour combinations for the 2015 Pan American Games to be held in Toronto. The goal of the mixed format was to raise the level of dressage at the Pan Ams that has been held at small tour, but was not considered appropriate as a qualifier for the Olympic Games that are at Grand Prix.

The first two years saw several teams of riders from different countries but growing international presence at the the Global Dressage Festival has led to more nations able to start squads made up riders from a single nation.

The schedule calls for three straight days of competition for horses and riders that complete the Nations Cup mde up of two separate tests, similar to the 2012 Olympic format that included both the Grand Prix and the Special for the team compettion and the Freestyle for individual medals.

Teams can comprise a minimum of three and a maximum of four combinations. A maximum of two can be Grand Prix.

The first stage of team competition will be Prix St. Georges and Grand Prix.

The second stage will be Intermediaire I and Grand Prix Special.

Grand Prix level combinations will receive a bonus of 1.5 percentage points. So if a team of four has two Grand Prix combinations the team can add six percentage points to its total–1.5 percentage points for each combination in each of the two competitions.

All rides will be judged by the same panel, with the small tour going first followed by the big tour.

The Prix St. Georges/Grand Prix will be held Wednesday, Feb. 19 and the Intermediaire I/Grand Prix Special on Thursday, Feb. 20.

The top finishing half of both the small tour and the big tour move on to the Freestyle to decide individual medals and held on Friday night, Feb. 21.

A request by Arlene “Tuny” Page of Stillpoint Farm for the Friday night VIP club to be a “special” black tie event and for judges and other officials to also be in black tie has met with widespread support for a rare opportunity to create a different atmosphere.