True to tradition Oslo – capital of Norway – is the host when the Western European World Cup season for 2014/2015 kicks off this weekend. These are the fast facts you need to know as Europe's best riders will battle it out to qualify for the final in Las Vegas next year!
Fast fact one: This year's qualifiers
After the first round in Norway the World Cup circus moves to Helsinki (FIN), then on to Verona (ITA) and Stuttgart (GER) during the month of November. The last weekend of November a new venue plays host in the Western European League; Madrid (ESP). The Christmas shows at London (GBR) and Mechelen (BEL) lead into the New Year during December. In January, there are events in Leipzig (GER) and Zurich (SUI), while Bordeaux (FRA) and Gothenburg (SWE) will be hosts in February. The final will be held in Las Vegas (USA) in the end of April next year.
Fast fact two: Countries in the Western European League
Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Crossing over from other leagues is possible.
Fast fact three: The requirements for the events in the Western European League
The event must have the status of a CSI5* and must be run over at least three days, and offer at least two competitions per day. In Western Europe FEI World Cup competitions must be held either in a sports arena or in a covered exhibition hall.
Fast fact four: Competition formula
One round and then a jump-off.
Fast fact five: Time of the competition
In Western Europe the FEI World Cup competition must be held during the most beneficial and prominent period of the event, preferably on Sunday afternoon, ending not later than 16:30 hours.
Fast fact six: Prize money
The World Cup competition itself must offer a minimum of 100 000 Euro in prize money.
Fast fact seven: Point system
Points are awarded to the sixteen best athletes, with the winner getting a total of twenty points.
In all the leagues, only the best 50% of the possible results count towards the qualification for the final, on a scale set in the rules. For example – a rider that has competed a twenty events will only have ten of these count while a rider with five events will have three count.
Fast fact eight: Number of athletes for the final
Eighteen athletes qualify for the final from the Western European League.
Fast fact nine: Last year's winners in the Western European League
Scott Brash & Hello Sanctos (Oslo), Patrice Delaveau & Orient Express HDC (Helsinki), Christian Ahlmann & Aragon Z (Verona), Hans-Dieter Dreher & Embassy II (Stuttgart), Maikel van der Vleuten & VDL Groep Sapphire (London), Daniel Deusser & Cornet D'Amour (Mechelen), Patrice Deleveau & Lacrimoso HDC (Leipzig), Pius Schwizer & Toulago (Zürich), Marcus Ehning & Cornado NRW (Bordeaux) and Nicola Philippaerts & Donatella-N (Gothenburg). The final in Lyon went to Daniel Deusser & Cornet D'Amour which are pre-qualified for this year's final in Las Vegas.
Fast fact ten: Historic World Cup-winners
Four riders have won the final three times –
Austria's Hugo Simon on the legendary Gladstone in 1979 in Gothenburg, and twice on E.T. – in 1996 and 1997 in Gothenburg,
Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa on Baloubet du Rouet in Helsinki in 1998, in Gothenburg in 1999 and in Las Vegas in 2000.
Germany's Marcus Ehning on Anka in Las Vegas in 2003, on Sandro Boy in Kuala Lumpur in 2006 and in Geneva in 2010 it was on Noltes Küchengirl and Plot Blue.
Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum – the only woman in this historical foursome – won in Las Vegas in 2005 on Shutterfly, and on the same horse in 2008 and 2009 in Gothenburg and Las Vegas.
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