2020 Dressage Nations Cup Circuit Shortened by Tokyo Olympic Schedule

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The Swedish team that won the Falsterbo Nations Cup to clinch a third straight title in the annual trans-Atlantic series.

Oct. 16, 2019

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Summer equestrian competition calendar scrambled by an earlier than usual Olympics has led to the smallest dressage Nations Cup circuit with just five countries planning to host team events in 2020, four in Europe and one in the United States. There were eight events in 2019.

Organizers of Nations Cups in Denmark and Great Britain on Wednesday confirmed to dressage-news.com they will not stage events in those countries next year.

Nations Cups are on the preliminary schedule for Wellington, Florida Mar. 11-15; Compiègne, France May 14-17; Aachen, Germany June 2-7; Rotterdam, Netherlands June 18-21 and Falsterbo, Sweden July 9-12. All are five-star competitions except for Wellington that is three-star.

The World Equestrian Festival in Aachen is typically staged in July, Because of its stature as the globe’s premier show and a pivotal selection event for several nations it has been re-scheduled in 2020 to provide enough time for teams to be named and the show grounds to be one of pre-embarkation quarantine centers.

The Olympic equestrian schedule runs from July 24 to Aug. 9, with dressage the first week.

The Nations Cup series was launched in 2013 with four European competitions after a test circuit the previous year.

Since then, the events were staged at six different venues in the first three years in which Wellington was part of the circuit, seven in both 2017 and 2018 and eight in 2019.

Sweden has won in three years, the Netherlands twice and Germany and the United States one each.

The series has grown in participation with a total of 16 nations fielding teams this year.

However, there have been suggestions to change the format as the system employed by most organizers is considered too confusing to spectators as it requires competition in all three levels–Grand Prix, Special and Freestyle that was designed with the hope of adding suspense as the placings would not be decided until the end of the competition.

Some nations have also made it known they would prefer a head-to-head final similar to the jumping Nations Cup series and not determined by accumulation of points that has often made the outcome of the last event meaningless.

And the series champion with enough points to assure success sometimes does not show up for the final competition in the series but has a representative pick up the award–not a cup but a silver tray.