Proposals for sweeping changes to the format of dressage competition and the way the sport is judged were unveiled at an open forum at the Europeans in Windsor last week.

A dressage task force (TF) set up to tackle issues within the sport was appointed by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) last year.

TF member Frank Kempermann, organiser of CHIO Aachen said the TF wants a change to the European championship format of teams of four with three scores to count, explaining: “Drop scores are confusing for spectators.”

The TF proposes the first two days of competition dictate the running order for the second part — which would decide the team medals — with the top seven teams and top nine individuals going through.

It also wants one individual champion, not one for the special and one for the kür.

The TF is holding a judging trial at Aachen (7-8 September) to test formats.

This was the first of several forums to be held before proposals are submitted to the FEI bureau in November.

But Finnish Olympian Kyra Kyrklund said: “This won’t allow smaller nations into the team event. If individuals aren’t riding for a medal in the second part of the competition, why are they riding? Why not just do the last day?”

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (3 September, ’09)