Laura Bechtolsheimer (pictured) and Maria Eilberg have been invited to represent Britain at the inaugural FEI Young Riders World Cup in Frankfurt (16-18 December).

However, the competition clashes with Olympia where the two British stars are trying their luck in the senior World Cup Qualifier.

“British Dressage has two views on the Young Riders World Cup,” says David Holmes, Chief Executive of British Dressage. “We think it is a fantastic idea, but far too close to Olympia. It was dropped into the calendar without much consideration, an object example of how to make other organisers unhappy.”

The FEI has been planning the Young Rider World Cup for some time, but it is only through the support of Germany’s Ann-Katrin Lisenhoff and Schenker Logistic that it is able to take place at short notice this year.

The Young Rider World Cup replaces the former Euro Future Cup. “[The Future Cup] has been extended to include the world, not just Europe,” explains an FEI spokesperson. “The concept is in the early stages – there is only a final this year, rather than a series.”

Australia, South America, Japan and New Zealand have all received invitations to the final, as well as the eight best riders from the European Young Rider Championships. North American Young Rider Champion Catherine Malone and the highest placed Canadian rider Julie Watchorn will be among the 16 invitees.

The competition will follow the format of the World Cup finals, the winner being the top finisher in the freestyle class.

Next year’s FEI Young Rider World Cup Dressage series will work along similar lines to the senior World Cup, with qualifiers held around the world. “It is a fantastic idea,” Holmes enthused, “Just bad timing”.


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