BE puts forward Olympic format plans *H&H VIP*

  • Dressage, showjumping, cross-country, then a final round of showjumping for individual medals is the proposed Olympic format British Eventing’s (BE) working group is putting forward to the FEI.

    The working group recently hosted its final session ahead of the FEI eventing committee meeting at the end of this month.

    At that meeting, the FEI will finalise its recommendations for the format of eventing in the Olympics from Tokyo 2020 onwards.

    BE proposes all dressage would run on day one; day two would feature team showjumping followed by cross-country, after which the team medals would be decided.

    On the third day the second horse inspection and individual showjumping would take place.

    “Running the individual showjumping after the cross-country gives a greater chance of teams completing as well as ensuring a clear definition of medal efforts for the team and individual competition,” said a BE spokesman.

    BE also suggests the cross-country runs in drawn order and that combinations must achieve a minimum eligibility requirement to go on to the individual showjumping phase, which would be run in reverse placing order.

    Eventing Riders Association (ERA) president Bruce Haskell, who is part of the BE working group, said “a lot” of riders and national federations are behind this proposal.

    It is great to see cohesion within our sport,” he told H&H.

    He added that as individuals will be showjumping on the final day, the “strong degree of horsemanship” that exists in CCIs (three-day events) is retained.

    The proposed format is the same as that suggested by the European Equestrian Federation (EEF) last year (news, 12 November).

    Paul Tapner said ERA has been discussing various formats for a while and the proposals are “in line” with what most event riders have said they want.

    “There is definitely a difference of opinion as to whether cross-country or showjumping should be last, but probably 60:40 in favour of cross–country last,” he said.

    Paul added he would also like the dressage to be run in seeded order, then each phase to be run in reverse order of merit.

    That would be very easy for outsiders to understand,” he said.

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    The debate on eventing’s future in the Games reached deadlock at the FEI sports forum in April, with secretary general Sabrina Ibanez asking delegates to continue to provide their thoughts.

    BE working group’s recommendations have been submitted to the FEI, which will send its proposals to all national federations in mid July.

    Further feedback on the plans will be returned in October and national federations will vote on the proposed formats at the FEI general assembly in Tokyo on 22 November this year.