Stuttgart German Masters World Cup Event Canceled, 2nd West European Qualifier Dropped from Winter Championship Circuit

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Weihegold OLD being ridden by Isabell Werth at Stuttgart. File photo.

July 30, 2020

The German Masters in Stuttgart that was scheduled for November has been canceled for this year, the second World Cup event of dressage and jumping in Western Europe to fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic.

“After many months of planning and intensive discussions about alternative concepts in view of the corona pandemic, it is now certain–the 36th Stuttgart German Masters from November 11th to 15th 2020 must be canceled,” the organizers of a premier indoor winter event said in a statement Thursday.

Stuttgart joins Madrid in canceling World Cups this year. The Western European League is now down to eight of the what was originally 10 events on the dressage calendar leading to the World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden next April.

The Final that was scheduled for Las Vegas three months ago was canceled because of the pandemic for the first time since the annual world championship centered on the Grand Prix Freestyle was first staged in 1986.

Western Europe is allocated nine of the 18 starting places at the Final, with two from North America, two from Central Europe, one from the Pacific and the other four selected by other criteria. Among the four is the title defender, which is Isabell Werth of Germany who was expected to make the attempt in Las Vegas to ride Weihegold OLD to an unprecedented fourth straight championship.

Western European World Cup qualifiers are scheduled for Denmark and France ahead of Stuttgart and Madrid.

Andreas Kroll, managing director of the Stuttgart organization, said: “We ask all equestrian fans and, of course, the riders for their understanding. We have been hoping for a long time that the development of the corona pandemic will weaken and that we can count on easing visitor numbers, but we are far from that, according to the latest reports.”

“The health of humans and animals is paramount here; that’s why they decided to go with the tournament management, sponsors and partners. Although there are now a few small and medium-sized riding tournaments that are held outdoors and largely without visitors, this cannot be compared to a 5-star tournament in a closed arena.”

Without spectators and the atmosphere for which Stuttgart is renowned, he said, “it just doesn’t make sense” to hold the event.