The FEI has made changes to the FEI World Cup eventing series to try and attract more of the world’s best riders. The final will now take place in the spring rather than the late autumn and the prize fund at the final has been increased to €100,000.
Unlike its sister show jumping and dressage finals, the eventing FEI World Cup has received disappointing levels of support in the past, with many top riders choosing to contest other events instead. The FEI hopes that these changes will help the eventing World Cup final to achieve the same levels of prestige as the dressage and jumping finals.
While welcoming the changes, Winnie Murphy of British Eventing is not sure they go far enough to bring the eventing final on to a par with the FEI World Cup finals for other sports.
Murphy told HHO: “I think the riders will welcome a spring final, provided it fits in with the three-day calendar. Horses at World Cup level will be targeting Badminton, Saumur, Bramham and Punchestown so the date will require careful consideration.
“The increase in prize money will certainly make the final more attractive but it’s still along way away from what is on offer at the show jumping and dressage finals.”
The 2007 series is already underway with the first of 19 qualifying events taking place in Bonn-Rodderberg in September. The series includes two new venues with Mansfield (Ontario) in Canada and Minsk in Belarus making the 2007 FEI World Cup Eventing season truly global. Britain will host two qualifying events at Burnham Market (6-7 April) and Chatsworth (12-13 May).
For more information about the series visit: www.feiworldcup.org