North America Qualifiers for Omaha World Cup Begin Next Week, Western Europe in 3 Weeks

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Sept. 22, 2022

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Pursuit of a start in the dressage World Cup begins in North America next week and Western Europe three weeks later leading to the Final of the global championships of dressage, jumping and vaulting in Omaha April 4-8.

Competitions to fill most of the 18 finalists for Omaha begin for three  starting places from North America and in Western Europe for nine spots, plus defending champion Jessica von Bredow-Werndl of Germany that earmarks 10 from that area. North America has 10 qualifiers and Western Europe 11.

Experience of the Omaha experience from its inaugural hosting in 2017–from hassle-free transportation of horses from around the world, to stabling, warm up and competitions, hotels within easy walking distance of the venue along with Midwestern friendliness and support of the event has made it a much sought after championship destination.

Omaha was where Isabell Werth, the most decorated equestrian in history, began her run of three straight World Cup titles on Weihegold OLD.

Qualifiers for North America are all in the United States–none in Canada as has been so since 2015-16.

Florida provides the most opportunities for earning qualifying scores–the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington has four competitions with the newly created Terra Nova at Sarasota-Myakka City hosting one. Tryon, host of the 2018 World Equestrian Games, also has a qualifier.

A resurgence of dressage competitions in California, all at Thermal, built originally for hunter/jumpers but under new ownership has embraced dressage, offers three qualifiers.

Early indications are that Adrienne Lyle and Steffen Peters, both on the silver medal American teams at the 2018 World Equestrian Games and the Tokyo Olympics and most recently at the world championships earning a start for the U.S. at the 2024 Paris Games, will compete for a start in Omaha. Steffen is one of only two Americans ever to win the World Cup which he did on Ravel in 2009. The other was Debbie McDonald on Brentina in 2003.

The North American league schedule:

2022
Sept. 29-Oct. 2–Devon, Pennsylvania
Oct. 20-23–Sarasota-Myakka City, Florida
Oct. 27-30–Tryon, North Carolina
Nov. 17-20–Thermal, California
Dec. 8-12–Wellington, Florida
Dec. 15-18–Thermal

2023
Jan. 5-8–Thermal
Jan. 11-15–Wellington
Feb. 8-12–Wellington
Mar. 1-5–Wellington

The Western European League schedule:

2022
Oct. 17-23–Aarhus, Vilhelmsborg, Denmark
Oct. 26-30–Lyon, France
Nov. 9-13–Stuttgart, Germany
Nov. 24-27–Madrid
Dec. 15-16–London
Dec. 26-30–Mechelen, Belgium

2023
Jan. 12-15–Basel, St. Jakobshall, Switzerland
Jan. 25-29–Amsterdam
Feb. 16-19–Neumünster, Germany
Feb. 23-26–Gothenburg, Sweden
Mar. 9-12–‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands

The qualifier at Basel, St. Jakobshall in Switzerland Jan. 12-15 is new to the schedule, replacing Salzburg, Austria that hosted an event in recent years.

The Central European League that gets to send two combinations to the final has already held eight qualifiers with five more to go before the circuit wraps up Nov. 11-13.

Alisa Glinka of Moldova and Justina Vanagaite of Lithuania are tied at the top of the standings, each with 77 points.

The Pacific League has staged one World Cup event with two more scheduled by year’s end. A league final is set for Feb. 23-26. However, riders do not have to compete in a World Cup qualifier but can also earn a start in the in the league final by competing in at least one CDI3* or higher in the preceding year with a minimum score of 68% in a Grand Prix Freestyle.

In addition to nine from Western Europe, three from North America, two from Central Europe and one from the Pacific plus the defending champion, starts are available for one rider from a non-league nation and one extra starting place.