World’s First Lineup of International Amateur Competitions Ends on Historic Note
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WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 29, 2015–International amateur competitions that were launched this year with the first event in the world at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival ended on an historic note with the first Venezuelan, an amateur, ever to win a CDI in the United States.
Riders and horses from eight nations in Europe and North and South American competed in amateur classes from Prix St. Georges to the Medium Tour Intermediate A and B in all seven CDIs staged at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Stadium complex.
Katharina Stumpf of Austria on Nympenburg’s Love was the first combination to ride in the debut CDIAm in Wellington in January.
The new division was approved by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) that governs global horse sports after a years long campaign launched by American John McGinty.
During the course of the Florida winter circuit, entries grew from three in the first Prix St. Georges to 11 by the 10th week.
In the seven Global CDIs, there was a total of 84 rides down the centerline by riders from Austria, Bermuda, Chile, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, the United States and Venezuela.
Show organizers throughout North America and Europe are considering adding the amateur division to their programs.
Katharina Stumpf, an amateur whose option usually was to compete in Europe and the U.S. against CDIs dominated by professionals or at national level, said that it was “more than interesting and instructive to become acquainted to the amateur system established in the U.S. during my shows in Wellington.”
“We have to be more than grateful to the efforts,” she said, by Chrystine Tauber, president of the U.S. Equestrian Federation, John McGinty who was the driving force for the division and supported by Thomas Baur, a member of FEI Dressage Committee and the Global show director.
“I am so glad that the international amateurs now have the chance to compete against each other with the incentives to make some good rankings and to earn some ribbons in an atmosphere of great and impressive international shows like the GDF in Wellington where you can still learn and compare with the international elite,” Katharina said.
“It is motivating for an amateur to participate in a separate division as the professionals or even against the professional rider on a horse owned by an amateur. So this format will be a benefit for the sport, the shows and the business.
“I hope for a big future for this tour with a lot of competitors and I think the more amateurs are asking at shows for a CDI-Am division the more show managers will add this format to their schedule.”
John McGinty, who continued to push for creation of the division even after it was initially rejected by the FEI, said: “To say that I am happy with the overall response nationally and internationally to the new CDI Amateur division would be a gross understatement.
“I am exhilirated!
“We still have a lot of work to improve the division, such as tightening the definition of who is an amateur to the possibility of adding the Grand Prix and Freestyles to the program.”