Top riders from across the world are set to descend on Portugal for a new winter eventing series.
The 2020 Portugese Eventing Tour, hosted by the Portugese Eventing Association (ACCE) and the Portugese equestrian federation (FEP), will run across three weeks; 19-21 November at Ota, and 26-28 November and 2-6 December at Barroca d’Alva, the country’s leading international event course. The tour will host classes from CCI* to CCI4*-L, giving individual riders an opportunity to earn a minimum eligibility requirement for Tokyo 2021, and incorporating the Portugese national championships in the second week.
A spokesman for the event said the new format had been part of the ACCE’s plan for the “revitalisation” of the sport, since the current board took over in 2018, adding the tour is set to be the biggest three-day eventing tour the country has hosted.
“The plans have been brought forward this year due to Covid-19 forcing so many top international events to cancel, and dozens of international riders asking if Portugal could do something to help,” he said.
“Top riders from across the world, including New Zealand, Australia, France, Ireland and the UK have come out in favour of the concept and many of them have already committed to supporting the tour with multiple entries as part of their plans to qualify for international events in 2021, including the Olympics.”
The spokesman added the tour also offers Portugal’s national eventing team “much-needed opportunities” to achieve the qualifications necessary to reach next year’s objectives for both the young rider and senior teams.
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Five-star winners and leading names in the sport are among the early entries as eventing prepares to return at Barbury,
“It will also provide investment opportunities for the national eventing courses involved and raise awareness of the sport in Portugal,” he said.
The tour will respect all Covid-19 restrictions and measures in place at the time, and the ACCE will liaise closely with the FEP, FEI, and the Portuguese government to ensure full compliance and the safety of all involved.
Week one: CCI*-S, CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S, plus a national programme
Week two: CCI*-S, CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S, plus the national championships
Week three: CCI*-S, CCI2*-S, CCI2*-L, CCI3*-S, CCI3*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI4*-L