Next year’s showjumping Nations Cup final may clash with Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

H&H has learned that next year’s final is provisionally scheduled for 9-12 October — the same time as HOYS.

“We are obviously small fry in comparison with the Nations Cup final, but I am confident in the level of show we put on and hopefully we will still attract top riders,” said HOYS spokesman Helena Pettit.

British showjumping team manager Rob Hoekstra added: “It is a shame for HOYS but, with the prestige and prize-money associated with the Nations Cup final, if we qualify I will be sending our top five riders there.”

Despite grumbles during the series about a confusing new structure and lack of parity in the qualifying system the new-look format final earned the thumbs up from riders and team managers.

Philippe Guerdat, chef d’equipe of the winning French team, said: “I had some fights with the FEI about this new format, but in the end John Roche [director of the FEI jumping committee] was more right than me — and I’m not just saying that because we won.”

America’s McLain Ward added: “In the past, the Nations Cup series has suffered at the hands of big money grands prix, but this [new format] has taken the whole sport to a new level.”

The format of the final, which ran over three days and included a rest day for the top-ranked teams, was popular with riders.

Scott Brash, who bagged a £83,000 bonus for jumping two clear rounds, said: “It’s a good change and the public really bought into it.”

The FEI will announce some modifications to the format for 2014 at its Bureau meeting in November.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (10 October 2013)