We are living in extraordinary times, and equestrian sport has been forced to get creative to coexist with a pandemic that has already canceled more than 50% of FEI competitions thus far in 2020.
Announcements from two countries, Poland and Portugal, have news for FEI eventing competitions in those countries.
After weeks of uncertainty, Strzegom is starting its season of international eventing shows. The first competition will be Strzegom Summer Tour, which will be played out during two competitions on the first and third weeks of July.
Almost 140 horse/rider combinations representing 13 countries will compete in CCI1*, CCI2*, CCI3* and CCI4* divisions this weekend. The CCI4*-S division has 12 entries, including Katrin Khoddam-Hazrati of Austria; Lara de Lidekerke-Meirer of Belgium; Heike Jahncken, Nicolai Aldinger and Kai-Steffen Meier of Germany; Merel Blom, Raf Kooremans and Jordy Wilken of the Netherlands; and Mateusz Kiempa of Poland.
The event will start on Friday with dressage followed by show jumping on Saturday and cross country on Sunday.
Due to sanitary restrictions, the event will take place without audiences and media. However, there will be a live streaming available for eventing fans on the official website of the show and Facebook.
Live video schedule:
Show Jumping – Saturday, July 4, 12 – 6 p.m. local time (6 a.m.-12 p.m. EST)
Cross Country: Sunday, July 5, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. local time (3 – 9 p.m. EST)
The ACCE (the Portuguese Eventing Association) together with the Portuguese Equestrian Federation and the country’s top eventing venues, including the famous Barroca d’Alva, have announced the 2020 Portugal Winter Tour as a response to canceled events.
Pending FEI approval, the Tour will take place during the last two weeks of November and the first week of December — watch this space for updates:
Week 1 (Nov. 19-21): Lisbon | 1* /2*S / 3*S/4*S + National Program
Week 2 (Nov. 26-28): Barroca d’Alva | 1*/ 2*S / 3*S / + National Championships
Week 3 (Dec. 2-6): Barroca d’Alva | 1*/2*S/2*L / 3*S/3*L /4*S/4*L (MER for 2021 Olympics)
This brand new tour format has been part of the ACCE’s plan for the revitalization of the sport since the current board took over in 2018. With many top international events forces to cancel this year, dozens of top international riders asked if “Portugal” could do something to help.
Top riders from across the world, including from New Zealand, Australia, France and the UK, have committed to bringing horses to the Tour as part of their plans to qualify for international events in 2021, including the Olympics.
The Tour also offers the National Eventing Team much needed opportunities to gain international qualifications needed for next year’s international objectives for both the Young Rider team and Senior Team. It will also provide investment opportunities in the national eventing courses involved and raise awareness for the sport in Portugal.
The Tour states that it will be respecting all COVID-19 restrictions and measures in place at the time and the ACCE, the organization responsible for managing the tour, will be working closely with FEP, the FEI and the Portuguese Government to ensure full compliance and the safety of all those involved.
To find out more, visit the 2020 Portugal Winter Tour website.