World Cup Qualifying Gets Tougher in North America, Western Europe Event Lineup Expands

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Isabell Werth holding the World Cup with runner-up Laura Graves and Carl Hester. Photo Jim Hollander/FEI

Mar. 21, 2018

Qualifying in the World Cup will get tougher in North America while more events have been added in Western Europe for the 2018/19 season while the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) develops “a new concept” for the annual championship.

To qualify for the final in 2019, the average of the three best scores will be required in the North American League of Canada and the United States, up from the average of two results that were needed to go to the championship final in Paris in three weeks.

Qualifying in Western Europe will be easier with an expansion of the calendar by adding events in Madrid and Mechelen, Belgium to the lineup for 2018/19, while the the same number of scores, four, will count.

The final in 2019 will be in Gothenburg, Sweden that will be the ninth time the city has been the host, and will do so for a 10th occasion in 2021 to bring it up to the 10 finals staged in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.

Of the 18 starting places in the final, Western Europe is allocated nine, Central Europe and North America two each, the Pacific one, one for the home nation, another for a non-league rider and a slot for a rider domiciled in in a league but not of a nationality able to qualify, plus the defending champion.

The World Cup comprises four leagues with three totally different qualifying procedures.

Western Europe had nine events to qualify for the Paris final, while Central Europe had 11 events.

Western and Central European leagues follow the same procedure with riders accumulating points for placings from the best four results .

Qualifying in North America–which had 12 qualifiers in 2017/18–was by the average of the two best scores, to be three best for the 2019 final.

In the Pacific league of Australia and New Zealand, the sole representative is determined by a league final though it’s not necessary to have competed in any of the five World Cup qualifying events.