Moscow loses European Dressage Championships

  • After nearly a fortnight of negotiations, the FEI has announced that the 2005 FEI European Dressage Championships will no longer take place in Moscow.

    The event was scheduled to take place from 29 to 31 July at the newly renovated Olympic equestrian centre, 10km from central Moscow. The competition was seen by many to be an important opportunity for Russian equestrianism.

    A report produced last month by Will Connell, performance director for the British Dressage team prompted the FEI’s investigation into the organisation of the Moscow Championships and it later emerged that event organisers had overlooked the need to certify that the championships had the authorities’ support.

    After two weeks of discussions with Russian government officials, the Russian Equestrian Federation and the organising committee were unable to provide sufficient funding to guarantee the competition would be run competently.

    Mariette Whitages, chairman of the FEI Dressage Committee said: “I feel very sorry for the hard working organisers of the championship. All technical matters could have been arranged and the site of Bitsa would have played a beautiful host to the championship.

    “However, without the necessary guarantee, the FEI could not take the risk of shipping the top Dressage horses in Europe to an event where there were question marks surrounding a number of areas.”

    The FEI is currently in discussion with several National Federations in a bid to ensure the championships will still go ahead. The FEI have stated that full details of the relocated competition will be announced shortly and all National Federations advised accordingly.

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