Plans Proceeding for USA Festival of Champions, Young Horse Championships in August

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Nick Wagman and Don John, USA Grand Prix champions. © 2019

May 26, 2020

The U.S. federation is proceeding with plans to stage the dressage Festival of Champions and young horse championships in the Chicago area Aug. 18-23 while international events in America except for World Cup qualifiers in Tryon, North Carolina and two in California have been canceled for the rest of this year.

Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, the host of the festival in recent years, has been taken over by HITS and announced the start of hunter/jumper competitions this coming week as Covid-19 triggered lockdowns were ending throughout much of the country.

World Cup qualifiers have been canceled in Saugerties, New York, in both June and September, and the Philadelphia suburb of Devon also in September, as well as a CDI2* in Sacramento, California in June and the North American Youth Championships in Traverse City, Michigan in August.

The remaining international events are World Cups in Tryon Oct. 22-25, Temecula, California Nov. 12-15 and Thermal, California Nov. 19-22. The organizers of all three confirmed Tuesday the events are on.

The Olympics in Tokyo would likely have kept the four top Grand Prix combinations from the championships before the Games were delayed for a year from the end of July.

The Festival of Champions has grown to 14 divisions, including: Grand Prix, Intermediate 1, Brentina Cup Under-25, Junior, Young Rider, Children and Pony while the young horse championships are for four, five and six year olds as well as both developing Prix St. Georges and Grand Prix.

Hallye Griffin, US federation managing director of dressage, reported that planning for the festival was proceeding.

Qualifying requirements were eased significantly because of suspension of competitions from mid-March to June 1 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For Grand Prix, Intermediate 1 and Under-25, qualifying has essentially ended with no more CDIs in time. But review of the Dutta Corp. rankings for Grand Prix and Int. 1 indicates that most prospective combinations have already met the eased requirements.