Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) announces that there have been FEI level rating changes to three of the weeks in the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) circuit. Following objections from a number of conflicting CSI 5* events, ESP has been forced to reduce the star levels of three of their events.
ESP CEO Mark Bellissimo stated, "We are disappointed that we have been prevented from increasing the number of 5 star events. We are committed to providing the Americas with top class events and maximizing the available prize money. We believe that to grow the sport, the money available must enable riders to make a living from competing, just as happens in every other major sport. However, we have reworked our events to conform to the restrictions and have managed to maintain a significant amount of the prize money that will be offered and the consequent ranking points available for the riders."
He continued, "We were pleased that some shows were supportive and believe as we do that increased prize money is the way forward for the sport. This will not deter us in the future as we look forward to even more growth in the years to come. We are hopeful that we can work collaboratively to continue to grow the sport in the United States."
The relevant FEI Rule states: "FEI Art 112.7: For Late Date Application and/or modification for higher level Events as defined in the relevant Rules and received after the deadline, any NF and/or OC that may be deemed to be affected by the acceptance of such Late Date Application and/or modification shall be provided the opportunity to give its opinion and if objecting to the late addition or change of dates must explain the reasons for the objection. After an evaluation of the reasons for an objection, the Secretary General may accept the late addition or change."
The dates of the 2014 shows affected with FEI level rating changes are: FTI WEF 3 from January 22-26, FTI WEF 7 from February 19-23, and FTI WEF 10 from March 12-16.
ESP looks forward to hosting 12 weeks of incredible show jumping competition at the FTI WEF at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. The FTI WEF will run January 8 through March 30, 2014, awarding over $8 million in prize money. The prize money for the Festival has still increased by $1.3 million for 2014. Join us this year for exciting show jumping competition as we welcome the best riders in the world!
Source: Press release from Equestrian Sport Productions
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