Gothenburg, Sweden World Cup Event Canceled, Fifth West European Qualifier Called Off Due To Covid

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Isabell Werth riding Weihegold OLD at the Gothenburg World Cup Final in 2019, the third straight title for the pair. © Ken Braddick/

Jan. 24, 2022

The Gothenburg Horse Show, a highlight of the World Cup winter circuit, has been canceled, the organizers announced Monday, the fifth Western European dressage qualifier for the Final in April to be called off because of coronavirus restrictions.

“We have considered every possible alternative, but unfortunately, this is the only decision we can arrive at,” said Tomas Torgersen, the show director of the event that was scheduled for Feb. 22-26. “We are truly saddened to do so.

“We were so looking forward to seeing our audience again and to give them the Scandinavium experience of greeting their Olympic team on home turf, but out of respect for our partners, suppliers, riders, officials and audience members, we can delay this decision no longer. Gothenburg Horse Show is close to so many people’s hearts, and we want to thank everyone for their support and understanding.”

The Gothenburg Horse Show, a frequent host of the Final, was on the calendar for the week following the Neumünster, Germany qualifier that organizers announced a week ago would be held without spectators, a costly undertaking aimed at improving chances that the Final will be staged this year after cancellation in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid.

With Gothenburg canceled and Neumünster still on, the only qualifier of the total of 11 on the calendar for Western Europe is ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands Mar. 10-13.

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has not indicated whether the Finals of dressage, jumping, driving and vaulting in Leipzig, Germany in April will go on.

Isabell Werth, the defending champion from Gothenburg in 2019 when the Final was last held, has so far completed only one of the minimum of two qualifiers required to seek a start in the Final.

Western Europe is allocated nine of the 18 starting places in the dressage Final, with two each for Central Europe and North America and one for the Asia-Pacific region. The other four places go to the title defender, one non-league, one extra and one “home” invite.

Germany’s Frederic Wandres, in Wellington, Florida for the Global Dressage Festival winter circuit, is atop the Western European standings.

Central Europe completed 18 qualifiers.

In North America, five of six qualifiers went ahead in 2021 with one already held this year at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida and two more scheduled.

Ashley Holzer of Wellington who rides for the U.S. has already clinched one of the two North American places in the Final