A newly designed FEI Dressage World Cup is to be launched at Olympia’s London International Horse Show in December.

Significant changes

The FEI worked with international dressage riders and HPower Group – who organise Olympia – to come up with the new format. It is hoped it will engage the audience and broaden the discipline’s appeal.

The two-year pilot project will be launched at Olympia on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 December 2018. It includes significant changes to the Grand Prix, which will now feature music, selected by a professional musical director for each rider.

Other changes include:

  • A shorter Grand Prix technical set test of five minutes.
  • During the Grand Prix, spectators will be able to assess their own marking skills against the professional judges.
  • After the Grand Prix, riders will remain in the arena to watch the judges scores.
  • The riders will then discuss their performance in front of the audience.

Improve visibility

According to Simon Brooks-Ward, show director at OIympia, they want the Grand Prix evening to be as “meaningful, relevant and exciting as the Freestyle night”.

“This new format is not a gimmick or a theatrical experiment,” he said. “I have been convinced for some time that dressage in the World Cup Series has been underperforming against its potential.

“Two cracking nights of elite competition will do a lot to improve dressage’s visibility amongst those who have not been initiated into the complexities of the sport.”

You can watch this exciting new competition on Horse & Country as we are showing highlights of the Dressage World Cup, as well as jumping and driving.

FEI World Cup Dressage 18/19: Olympia premieres on Saturday 22 December at 7pm

FEI World Cup Jumping 18/19: Olympia premieres onWednesday 26 December at 8pm

FEI World Cup Driving 18/19: Olympia premieres on Saturday 26 December at 9pm

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