Two more shows follow Aachen in withdrawing from major series – but hopes ‘optimistic’ for its future

  • Two further fixtures have followed Aachen in withdrawing from the FEI Dressage Nations Cup series this year, in favour of running their own team competitions.

    The news means that the 2024 FEI series is down to three legs, from its original six. The remaining legs are Wellington in the US, which took place in February, Compiegne in France (2 to 4 May) and Pilisjászfalu in Hungary (8 to 12 May). Aachen, Falsterbø and Rotterdam will all go ahead with their own team competitions, not part of the FEI series, at their respective shows.

    The split has come about because of an updated rule, which now requires organisers to extend invitations to all national federations. If the number of teams applying would mean too many starters, the organiser must accept the best teams based on the average of world ranking points of participating riders.

    An FEI statement said that the “promoting inclusivity and transparency” were the reasons behind the changes.

    Patrick van der Meer, dressage sports director of CHIO Rotterdam, said the rule change would mean the show would “only be able to admit teams two weeks before”.

    “For us the interest of the athletes prevail. We had already invited teams before the rules changed, and especially in an Olympic year, you cannot keep participants in uncertainty for so long,” he said.

    “This was a very difficult decision for us, and we understand that it is disappointing for the FEI’s plans. For the last weeks we had good discussions and have been working together to find a suitable solution. Unfortunately, one has not been found for 2024, but we trust to find a workable solution together for the next season.”

    The FEI spokesperson added that all stakeholders will convene after this year’s series to “explore future possibilities” and that there remains “an optimistic outlook for its future success”.

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