All Digital Dressage for Global Circuit Starting Wednesday as World’s First International Show for 2019,

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Anne Caroline Valtin of Equestrian Sport Productions; Sweden’s seven-time Olympian Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén; ESP President Michael Stone; CEO Mark Bellissimo; Adrienne Sternlicht, Liza Boyd, and Margie Engle at the Global Dressage and Winter Equestrian Festivals opening news conference. © 2019 Sportfot


WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 6, 2018–Electronic, paperless scoring for all international classes to provide results faster and state of the art scoreboard presentation is being implemented for all international competitions at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival that begins Wednesday.

The move to virtually complete digital back office operation will be used in all seven CDIs of four World Cup qualifiers, a CDI5*, CDI4* and CDIO3* Nations Cup and the international range of small and medium tour classes, amateurs, youth and young horse divisions, and comes after trials at a handful of European competitions last year.

The impact, according to the organizers, will enhance the experience of spectators as well as riders and owners.

The Global organization and the Munich-based Black Horse company that has spearheaded software development for dressage and teamed up with SAP on spectator judging is bringing the new applications in an effort to reduce what up to now has been paper-based and time-consuming management, as well as delays in providing results to fans in the stands.

For the first time at an American dressage show, movement-by-movement scoring by all judges for rides will be available that, organizers say, will improve transparency and make it easier for riders and owners to conduct their own analyses.

Thomas Baur, the Global sport director, worked with GDF show secretary Monica Fitzgerald and Black Horse’s Daniel Göhlen to bring the changes to Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Stadium complex where GDF has been staged since its creation in 2012.

Global, an offshoot of the Winter Equestrian Festival celebrating its 40th birthday this year as the world’s largest hunter/jumper show, has been the major impetus for dressage in the Americas in recent years.

This year, The Dutta Corp., the GDF/WEF official air shipper, estimated that about one-third of the more than 700 horses coming from Europe for the Florida circuit are for dressage.

Among the highlights of this year’s Global circuit are:

–America’s Laura Graves on her Verdades seeking to qualify for the pair’s fourth World Cup Final. The combination that became the first in history from the U.S. to top the global rankings and now stand at No. 2 plans to go to Gothenburg, Sweden in April to challenge German superstar Isabell Werth for the freestyle championship that she has twice been runner-up on Verdades, now 17 years old;

–Several nations qualifying horses and riders for the Pan American Games, held once very four years and this year in Lima, Peru will qualify teams from two nations for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The U.S. with its silver medal team at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon last September already has a start in Tokyo, but Brazil, Canada, Mexico and others do not, and

–A new Developing Prix St. Georges as one of eight national qualifying competitions in a Future Stars Performance series patterned after the German Nürnberger Burg-Pokal for seven to nine-year-old small tour horses. The final of the top two in each qualifier will be staged in the Global’s international arena with $10,000 in prize money.

The electronic, paperless results is being introduced after trials at CDIs in Achleiten, Austria; Leudelange, Luxembourg and Cappeln, Germany last summer.

Instead of paper scoring sheets, marks for every movement will be entered on an iPad.

The scores for each movement will be displayed on monitors in the VIP pavilion.

The innovative center scoreboard at the Londom’s Olympia World Cup event designed to engage spectators along with other changes to draw in more fans for the sport. © 2018 Ken Braddick/

As soon as approved by each judge, the scores will be displayed on the arena scoreboard, typically before the horse and rider have left the arena.

Judges’ remarks can be added and amended after the scores have been posted, emailed to the rider but not available at this stage to others such as the media.

And not previously available at shows in the Americas, the complete movement-by-movement result sheets for every ride will be available at the end of the class. This is available at some European shows.

Spectator judging, as it has in the past, will also be used in Wellington.

The scoreboard presentation has not yet been decided but under consideration for the Friday night Grand Prix Freestyle is a brief introductory video of each competitor as the pair ride around the arena.

However, brief interviews with the riders immediately after each ride as occurred at London Olympia last month and has been for many years at Stuttgart, Germany is unlikely.

Posting of the scores with a photo of each judge is also under consideration.