Poland is to host the HSBC International Equestrian Federation’s (FEI) World Cup Eventing final next year.

Although the venue, Strzegom, has hosted several qualifiers, this will be the first time in the competition’s history that the final will be held in eastern Europe.

But it is the timing that is proving contentious (21-23 August) as it is close to several other events.

“Strzegom received high praise from the British riders who competed there in 2008 and it is great that the sport is expanding into eastern Europe,” said Paul Graham, British Eventing (BE) international teams liaison officer.

“But the date it has been allocated falls directly before the autumn run of major three-day events, and it is unlikely that the final will figure in riders’ preparation for these events.

“We have recommended to the FEI that a July date would be more suitable.”

The event is also just two days before the European Championships at Windsor — which makes it an additional concern for European riders.

But the potential date clash has not tempered the enthusiasm of reigning champion Clayton Fredericks.

The Australian told H&H: “Most riders at that level have more than one horse and there’s no reason why it can’t be used in the lead-up to a three-day. The World Cup is all about getting new faces into the limelight.

“It’s a great opportunity for a new champion and we’ve got to share this sport around.”

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (20 November, ’08)