Show jumpers will lose the additional opportunity to qualify for a coveted place at Olympia this year, largely due to FEI rule changes.

Until this season, British riders who were not in the top 10 of the BSJA rankings had an extra chance to qualify at a special show. Among the recent riders who made it to Olympia through this system have been Nick Skelton, Keith Shore, Ellen Whitaker and Liz Edgar.

Shows may take up to 38 starters for the World Cup qualifier, which takes place on Sunday, 21 December at Olympia this year, but organiser Horsepower International has been instructed to invite 28 foreign riders, rather than 22 as in previous years.

Under the rules, the show can also invite five home nation riders and offer five wild cards, which will be available only to the top 10 riders on the September rankings list.

“We have limited space for stabling, and the timetabling is also very tight, so we have to restrict the numbers we invite,” says show director Simon Brooks-Ward.

“It is a shame that the rule change means that British riders lose the chance to qualify, but we may still invite one or two if they have had outstanding results but don’t make it into the show on the basis of the rankings.”

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