Horse Sport Ireland announced this morning that the FEI has awarded a round of the FEI Nations Cup series to Ballindenisk in Co. Cork, Ireland, on April 11-14 this year. With nine legs in all, the Nations Cup begins with Fontainebleau in France on March 19-23 and ends with Boekelo in the Netherlands on Oct. 19-22.
“Ballindenisk is delighted to be chosen to be part of the FEI Nations Cup Eventing series for 2014,” Peter Fell of Ballindenisk said in a statement. “This is a great opportunity to have a leg in Ireland and for our riders to compete on home soil.”
Nick Turner, Horse Sport Ireland’s Eventing High Performance manager, welcomed the addition of an Irish leg to the series. “The Nations Cup series is something we will be focusing more on this year as a way of developing combinations and the Irish team,” Nick said. “We hope to have a strong team at the first round in France and it is great to have the second round in Ireland.”
The U.S. fielded Nations Cup teams at Aachen and Boekolo last year, and Coach David O’Connor said at the USEA Convention he will continue to make it a priority to send teams to these competitions based on support received from the U.S. Olympic Committee.
David said we might see U.S. riders at Aachen again this year: “For horses based in Europe, that could be a place where a final trial (for the World Equestrian Games) could happen. We’ll talk to the course designer to see if the Germans are using it as a final trial. It might be a little too aggressive for a final trial. But if the Germans are using it as a trial, it could be an option.”
He also said Boekelo will continue to play a major role in the USEF High Performance calendar: “Boekelo is still very strong in the dressage. It’s almost the 8-/9-year-old Championships in some ways. The cross country is not as strong as Blenheim. It has a different feel to it when you get there. It’s a great part of your education to show where you are.”
2014 FEI Nations Cup Calendar:
March 19-23 – CICO3* Fontainebleau (FRA)
April 10-14 – CICO3* Ballindenisk (IRL)
May 22-25 – CICO3* Houghton Hall (GBR)
June 26-29 – CICO3* Strzegom (POL)
July 15-20 – CICO3* Aachen (GER)
Aug. 1-3 – CICO3* Malmö (SWE)
Sept. 19-21 – CICO3* Montelibretti (ITA)
Sept. 25-28 – CICO3* Waregem (BEL)
Oct. 9-12 – CCIO3* Boekelo (NED)