Harrie Smolders at CHIO Rotterdam for The Netherlands. Ph. ©Erin Gilmore for NF
After the last qualifying event of the Europe Division 1 Nations Cup Series, it will be The Netherlands who head to Barcelona at the top of their division’s rankings.
In the FEI Nations Cup Jumping series, Europe Division 1 is most competitive of the seven regional jurisdictions. Since 2013, when the Nations Cup format was modernized with the Final held in Barcelona, Spain, Europe Division 1 nations have consecutively won the overall title.
The 2017 CSIO5* at the Dublin Horse Show was the last Nations Cup qualifying event in this division, and with the September 28 final quickly approaching, it’s safe to wonder if this year will be any different.
Over the past few months, the qualifying events have been filled with a whirlwind of historic firsts. For the Canadians, 2017 will mark their first trip to Barcelona after failing to qualify for the past two years. The Italians are seemingly as strong as ever, winning back to back legs in the qualifying series, including a win on their home soil for the first time in 32 years. As for the United States, after qualifying for the Final in their North America, Central America, & Caribbean league earlier this year at Langley, Canada, they won the Aga Khan Trophy with an all female team at the Dublin Horse Show. It was the first occurrence of an all-female team winning the coveted trophy in the show’s 91 year history, and provided a welcome boost for the USA going into September’s Final.
One more qualifying event remains, the CSIO5* in Gijon, Spain, on August 30, for countries in Europe Division 2.
Nations Cup Crash Course
Although the United States finished 1st at CSIO5* Dublin on Friday, August 11, they did not receive points towards their overall standings.
In the Nations Cup series, there are 19 qualifying events, and a country can only gain points at competitions that fall within their regional jurisdictions. For the countries that do not have qualifying events (South America, Africa, Asia and Australia), their eligibility to compete in the finals will be determined by their Longines FEI rankings.
Between February and September, team representatives of 46 countries have been competing at Nations Cup events, not only to secure points when applicable, but also to test out various team formats in preparation for the final. Of the 46 teams, only 18 will compete in Barcelona.
Within each division, a team’s ranking is determined through a point system that breaks down the value of each podium placing accumulated throughout the season. The teams that rank within their divisional cut-off will be selected to compete in Barcelona.
So, what teams will be vying for qualification points at the Division 2 Final in Gijon, Spain?
The only countries eligible to gain points are those within the Division 2 jurisdiction: Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Turkey, and Ukraine.
The top two ranked Division 2 teams will qualify for Barcelona. Belgium and Great Britain currently lead in the rankings with a respective 380 and 255 points, but the final standings will not be confirmed until after the Division 2 final on August 30. To see how each country ranks in the point system, click here.
What teams have already qualified for Barcelona?
- Europe Division 1: All eight Nations (France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, & Spain) have qualified by ranking in their top-seven-cut-off; the host country of Spain is automatically granted access. To see how each country ranks in the point system, click here.
- North America, Central America, & Caribbean: The United States and Canada have qualified by ranking in their division’s top-two-cut-off. To see how each country ranks in the point system, click here.
- Middle East: Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have qualified by ranking in their division’s top-two-cut-off. To see how each country ranks in the point system, click here.
- The remaining four teams from countries without qualifying events, will be determined by the Longines FEI Rankings.
For an overview of the team results and standings, click this link.