“Defreezing” Dressage World Rankings Under Review by FEI

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June 13, 2021

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) is considering “defreezing” the world dressage rankings that the coronavirus pandemic led to being extended to include the best eight results for well over two years instead of 12 months.

The rankings determine starting places–top ranked rider and horse combinations go later in competitions such as the Olympics next month–as well as used for selection for events, promotion and financial support.

The FEI Board approved to “defreeze” the Longines Rankings for jumpers as of June 1.

Other disciplines with rankings calculated on a 12-month rolling calendar–dressage, para dressage and eventing–”are currently discussing adopting the same principle,” an FEI spokesperson told dressage-news.com. “However, each discipline will study the impact of ‘defreezing’ the rankings separately to decide on the best way and timing to proceed.”

The freeze imposed as of April 1, 2020 for results going back 12 months instead of rolling over every month as numerous points-earning events were canceled.

Several combinations have maintained standings with few or even no results since imposition of the freeze.

Distortions created by the freeze, for example, include highly ranked combinations that have not been competed but the riders have not been involved with horses for more than 18 months. With no weeding out during the pandemic, the number of rider and horse combinations on the world rankings has swelled to 1,161 from 842 at the end of March 2020.