With the 2012 season only a little over a month away, there could be a potential problem with several legs of the Global Champions Tour clashing with FEI Nations Cup events. The shows that clash are; the Nations Cup in Rome on the 24th-27th of May/the GCT in Wiesbaden, the Nations Cup in Falsterbo on the 12th-15th of July/the GCT in Estoril, the Nations Cup at Hickstead on the 19th-22nd of July/the GCT in Chantilly and the Nations Cup in Dublin on the 15th-19th of August/the GCT in Valkenswaard.
The European Equestrian Federation president Hanfried Haring said: “Nations Cups are the most precious assets owned by the national federations and the future of equestrian sport in the Olympics depends on them keeping this importance.” He said for this reason there was a rule that GCT competitions cannot clash with FEI top league Nations Cups.
The FEI General Assembly in Rio agreed that the 2012 GCT dates can go ahead, but the number of results counting towards the Rolex Rankings has been cut from 50 to 30. This means riders do not have to chase results and are more free to jump for their country at Nations Cups. Results on borrowed horses, as may be the case at a GCT fixture in China, do not count.
Several of the riders WoSJ has spoken to over the past year have shown their concern that the outdoor season gets harder and harder – especially for the horses as there are big shows almost every weekend with both the FEI Nations Cup and the Global Champions Tour. There is a lot of money involved, and because of this many riders choose to ride the GCT-legs they are invited to - which is of course understandable. At the same time most riders seem to agree on the fact that the Nations Cups are really important, and should be a main priority as it is an honour to represent your country. In 2012 the Nations Cup will be especially important in the preparations for the Olympics in London, and many riders will have to make some choices as to which horses to take to which shows.
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