Qualification Eased for North Americans Seeking World Cup Final Start

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Steffen Peters on Suppenkasper who finished atop the 2019-20 World Cup North American League at Wellington’s Adequan Global Dressage Festival. © 2020 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Aug. 3, 2020

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

North American riders seeking to earn a start at the dressage World Cup Final next year will have to compete in only two qualifiers and not three as initially required, an impact of coronavirus reducing the number of competitions.

Four qualifying competitions in North American have been canceled so far–Del Mar, California; two in Saugerties, New York, and Devon Pennsylvania–but others have been added to bring the total for the 2020-21 circuit to seven events. Eleven World Cup events were scheduled for the 2019-20 season, but two in California were canceled over organizer issues and one in Florida was a victim of the coronavirus lockdown.  

North America is assured of two of 18 places places in the annual championship, with nine allocated to Western Europe, two to Central Europe and one for the Pacific with four selected for a “home” rider, a non-league competitor, one chosen from world ranking and the title defender.

Isabell Werth is the defending champion, having ridden Weihegold OLD to the title in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and seeking to become the first partnership to win four straight championships. The 2020 Final scheduled for Las Vegas in April was canceled. The 2021 Final is scheduled for Gothenburg, Sweden next April.

The North American lineup is: Tryon, North Carolina Oct. 22-25; Temecula, California Nov. 12-15; Thermal, California Nov. 19-22; Wellington, Florida Jan. 7-10, Feb. 4-7 and Feb. 25-28, and Temecula Mar. 11-14.

Under the World Cup North America rules, the United States can host six to eight qualifiers, one to three can be in Canada and one in Mexico, though Canada often does not stage any and none are on the calendar for 2020-21.

The calendar of qualifiers has seen disruption in all four geographic leagues.

Of the 10 events in Western Europe, all indoors, Madrid and Stuttgart have been canceled. Aarhus, Vilhelmsborg in Denmark in October kicks off the remaining eight and ends with ‘s-Hertogenboch, Netherlands next March.

Central Europe has seen major changes, with 12 cancellations but others have been added and the total qualifiers is 11. The circuit this year began in Hungary in June and ends in Poland in October.

The Pacific league has seen three of its qualifiers canceled, leaving only one, at Boneo in Australia in October.