The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has confirmed alternative Olympic qualification arrangements for the Asia-Pacific dressage teams following the cancellation of last weekend’s original qualification event because of the equine influenza outbreak in Australia.
The New Zealand, Japanese and Australian teams, who are competing for the region’s two team dressage slots, are all affected. Of the three nations, only Australia has previously fielded a dressage team in 2000.
To avoid having to travel horses to Australia, five FEI judges will assess riders within or near to a country near their current base. European-based horses will be assessed in Cannes, France, in January, while those in New Zealand and Australia will be assessed in their respective countries in early February.
Following the ground jury’s assessment in New Zealand, the FEI will announce which two Asia-Pacific teams have qualified for Beijing 2008.