Neumünster World Cup Canceled, Close to Wiping Out Western European Circuit

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Dec. 21, 2020

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

The Neumünster, Germany dressage World Cup event was canceled Monday, wiping out most of the Western European qualifiers for the joint dressage-jumping final in Sweden in April. 2021. All 13 jumping events have already been pulled from the schedule in Western Europe.

Cancellation of Neumünster Feb. 17-21 amid renewed lockdowns to cope with a resurgence of the coronavirus in Europe means that only one, in Denmark, of 10 dressage events scheduled for Western Europe has been held so far. Two dressage competitions remain on the calendar in Western Europe–Salzburg, Austria in a month and ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands Mar. 11-14.

Lyon, France; Stuttgart, Germany; Madrid; London; Mechelen, Belgium; and Amsterdam were called off before the Neumünster cancellation.

Western Europe is allocated nine of the 18 starting places in the final, plus the reigning champion, Isabell Werth of Germany who won the last three championships–2017, 2018, 2019 on Weihegold OLD.

Isabell, the most successful dressage rider in the world and the new president of the International Dressage Riders Club, said the organizers of the final in Gothenburg, Sweden are working on an “alternative admission model,” a move she described as “important for our sport.”

The organizers have already announced a major rearrangement of the lineup of events in hopes of saving the annual championship that was called off in Las Vegas in 2020 because of coronavirus.

In North America, that like Central Europe gets two slots, has already held four World Cup events, two in Thermal, California, one in Tryon, North Carolina and one in Wellington, Florida.

The Global Dressage Festival in Wellington that begins in three weeks has three qualifiers still on the calendar while there is one in Temecula, California.

Central Europe undertook a major reshuffle of events and completed seven qualifiers by year’s end with one remaining in Slovakia at the end of February.

The Pacific League of Australia and New Zealand has had no events and the league final was also called off to decide its single starting place.

“With a heavy heart we are forced by the current CoVid situation to cancel the VR CLASSICS Neumünster Feb. 18-21, 2021,” said Show Director Paul Schockemöhle.

“The latest development in Germany and also in Schleswig-Holstein is worrying, so the government currently decided a hard lockdown with a ban of any kind of public events until at least January 10, 2021. Despite severe restrictions, the infection numbers are continuing to rise dramatically. This must be urgently stopped and get under control. Every individual must contribute to this, including us. This is why we had no other choice but to cancel the VR CLASSICS, because even in February an incidence value of less than 50 can hardly be expected, and in addition there are entry restrictions, so that the internationality of the tournament can probably hardly be guaranteed.”