Wellington Nations Cup Starts Wednesday in Largest Dressage Show Ever in Western Hemisphere
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 24, 2015–Canada leads off the Nations Cup of nine teams Wednesday that is a final test for the Pan American Games at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, the biggest international dressage event ever held in the Western Hemisphere.
The CDIO3* Nations Cup with teams from four continents–North America, South America, Europe and Australia–is the second in the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) calendar of seven such events this year and the only one outside Europe.
The first of two teams from Canada kick off the fourth year of the pioneering Nations Cup designed to create a format of mixed Big Tour and Small Tour squads for the Pan Ams that are a qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The leading team at the Pan Ams that includes a Grand Prix combination will win the single slot at the Rio Games reserved for the Americas aside from Brazil that automatically is awarded a starting place as the host.
This event includes 338 rides in international events that bring the total of starts to 1,631 over the seven weeks of CDI competitions.
In addition to the entries in the CDI competitions, the Global organization manages competitions that include national shows almost three times larger that are held held simultaneously with the international classes at the PBIEC Stadium complex.
The Nations Cup is the finale of the Global Dressage Festival as the largest and richest lineup of dressage shows in the world spread over 12 weeks–seven CDIs made up of the CDIO3* Nations Cup, four World Cup events, a CDI4* and a CDI5* that has the largest purse of any dressage event in the world in 2015. Total prize money in 2015 has been more than $650,000 (€595,000).
The Global Dressage Festival is staged at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Festival as a companion to the Wintef Equestrian Festival that has been the largest jumper and hunter show in the world for more than 30 years. Both GDF and WEF draw competitors from about 40 countries from around the world.
The Nations Cup teams: