FEI Riders Ranking System Ready For Change Or Not?

Wed, 02/08/2017 - 13:17
FEI Dressage News

Klaus Roeser, member of the FEI Dressage committee as the representative of the dressage show organizers, is trying to push through a new system for the FEI World Riders Ranking. The new proposal has exposed a clash between show organizers and riders who have a different views on the future of the sport.

The proposal for a new FEI World Ranking system has been a work in progress for almost a year. The proposal originally came from Roeser and the FEI IT department ran a few simulations with new point systems. Two simulations prevailed after the last discussion: one including two (inter)continental championship results and bonus points for 4 and 5* shows, and a second one which has an increased number of tests taken into account from 8 to 14. The very latest proposal has merged these two simulations.

The original point system for the FEI Dressage Riders Ranking List includes the 8 best scores achieved in a period of one year. Three results count from the Olympics, WEG and continental championships with a maximum of 8 tests counting per year. Bonus points are earned for scores from the Olympics (40 pts), WEG (30 pts), Continental Games (20), World Cup Qualifiers and CDIO (10 pts) and 4* CDI's (5 pts).

Roeser's newest proposal entails a reduction to 2 results from the Olympic Games, WEG, and Continental championships, with a maximum of 14 bests scores over the last 12 months. The bonus points will get a different value: 30 for Olympics, 20 for WEG, 15 for continental games, 10 for World cup qualifiers and CDIO's and 5 for the CDI 4* shows.

Anna Paprocka-Campanella, the rider representative on the FEI Dressage Committee, disagrees with the new proposal as it benefits riders from the already strongest nations who have more easy access to the World Cup Qualifiers and 5* and 4* CDI competitions. As the voice for the riders and representing the International Dressage Riders Club on the dressage committee, Campanella has raised concerns about the new FEI Riders Ranking List. 

According to Campanella the new FEI Riders Ranking is "a short term protection of interests of organizers" as the riders will still get "bonus points for the 4* and 5* shows". Through the new system there will be "more entries from top riders" because the "top riders go where price money is higher." 

"We riders oppose this, the IDRC as well," Campanella continued. "We can not enter a 4* or 5* in Europe in winter unless we pay for it. Additionally access to the 4 or 5 stars events is not the same from a geographical point of view, and we can't force some horses to travel more than others. Why should we split the sport into a first category and second category. One of the problems of dressage is the perception that it is only for small group of elite riders. Also do judges really judge a 4/5* differently to a 3*? I do not think so."

Klaus Roeser told Eurodressage that, "the idea first has to be discussed in the Dressage Committee and of course with the relevant stakeholders. I believe that will not be an easy discussion and will take some time. Therefore, I can’t tell you what the outcome will be and how long it will take."

Photos © Astrid Appels

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