The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) is concerned that draft rules for the revamp of the FEI’s Nations Cup showjumping series “throw up more questions than they answer” and may not be resolved in time for the 2013 season.
At the FEI’s sports forum in Lausanne (30 April-2 May), it was agreed that the current Nations Cup league is “confusing, unexciting” and fails to include some of the fast-evolving showjumping nations such as the Middle East, China and South America (news, 10 May).
A new format has been drawn up on regional lines, with teams accruing points to try to qualify for two semi-finals and then the final, to take place in September or early October next year.
It will be introduced in 2013 if approved by national equestrian federations.
Speaking at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show (15-19 August), FEI director of jumping John Roche said: “A draft copy of the proposed rules is about to be sent to national federations, chefs d’equipe, organisers and the International Jumping Riders Club for comments.
“Their responses will be considered by the FEI jumping committee at a meeting on 12-13 September. The jumping committee will then present a proposal to the FEI Bureau for its consideration and approval.”
But Andrew Finding of the BEF said: “We understand there is a need for change, but feel these proposals need a lot of detailed debate.
“We are worried about the risk of it not being right for 2013 and that shows and organising committees may decide not to take part.”
One concern is that the semi-finals could be held anywhere in the world and countries would not be automatically allocated their nearest competition, making it impossible to budget for travel.
He feels more time should be given to discussion, especially as federations have been preoccupied with the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (6 September 2012)