The Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup was launched by the FEI today. The FEI has published an executive summary of the new rules for the series. First of all the world has been divided into six regions for the purpose of qualifying teams for the final;
• Europe (Division 1 and 2)
• North & Central America
• South America
• Middle East
The eight FEI Nations Cup™ Top League events from the 2012 series – La Baule (FRA), Rome (ITA), St Gallen (SUI), Aachen (GER), Falsterbo (SWE), Rotterdam (NED), Hickstead (GBR), Dublin (IRL) – have all been invited to host a qualifying event in Europe Division 1.
The two lowest placed teams in Europe Division 1 prior to the Final will be relegated to Division 2 at the end of the 2013 season. Similarly, the two highest placed teams in Division 2 prior to the Final will be promoted to Division 1, but can opt to remain in Division 2.
All European CSIO3*/4* events and all European CSIO5* events not selected for Division 1 will be eligible to host FEI Nations Cup™ competitions in Europe Division 2, providing they offer prize money of at least CHF80,000 for the Nations Cup competition at CSIO5* events and a minimum of CHF30,000 at CSIO3* and CSIO4* events.
Non-European venues can apply to host FEI Nations Cup™ competitions in their region as long as their events are at CSIO3*/4* or 5* level. The same prize money requirements apply as for Europe Division 2. There is no limit to the number of teams that can be entered in Europe Division 2 and other regions.
Qualifying events for all regions will be run under the traditional tworound FEI Nations Cup™ formula. To be eligible to participate in qualifying events for the Final, all nations must have a minimum of four riders in the Rolex Rankings at the end of July the previous year.
For regions without qualifying events, the Rolex Rankings will be used to determine the teams that will qualify for the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final.
National Federations participating in Europe Division 1 must compete at their home event. The second round is restricted to the top eight teams, with all four athletes competing. In all other regions, including Europe Division 2, a minimum of six and a maximum of eight teams take part in the second round.
National Federations competing in Division 1 and 2 can earn points at a limited number of events in their region, depending on the number of qualifiers staged in the region. National Federations must declare these events by 15 January of that year. For regions where there are fewer than four qualifying events, all events count for points. National Federations may participate at events outside their region if invited, but may not earn points at these events.
The following points system will be used for all qualifying competitions:
1st, 100 points; 2nd 90; 3rd 82; 4th 75; 5th 70; 6th 66; 7th 65; 8th 64; 9th 60; 10th 59.
Qualifying points for the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping are based on the teams classification in the competition, meaning that the eighth placed obtains the points for eighth place, even if there are teams placed higher that are not eligible for points.
The FEI Nations Cup™ Final will be allocated by the FEI Bureau following consideration of bids received from Organising Committees/National Federations. The Final will be organised on the last weekend of September or in early October, and a total of 18 teams will be eligible to compete – nine from Europe, and two each from North & Central America, South America, Middle East and Asia, and one from Africa. If the home team has not qualified for the Final it will be eligible to compete as the host nation, increasing the number of teams to 19.
The FEI Nations Cup™ Final will consist of three competitions, with all qualified teams starting in the first of these. This one-round competition, not against the clock, will decide the top eight teams that go through to the third and final competition. Teams placed ninth and lower will compete in the consolation competition (competition 2).
The eight teams through to the third competition, which decides the outright winner of the FEI Nations Cup™, start on zero penalties. All four riders in each team compete in the first round, with a jump-off against the clock in the event of a tie for first place after this round. Only three riders per team go through to the jump-off, with no drop score, guaranteeing a thrilling finish to the series.
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