(Ed. note) The conspicuous absence of a single 2023 North American date for the FEI Eventing Nations Cup Series prompted some questions, considering that Bromont, which hosted this event last year, had applied for the August 18-20 date. The FEI has suggested running it a week earlier on Aug 12-13, but that conflicts with two weeks of International Bromont CSI4* events which wrap up Aug. 6th, leaving little time to prepare for an onslaught of international eventers.

When asked why Bromont was excluded from the 2023 series and Belgium was given preference over the dates this year, an FEI spokesperson responded, “An application from Bromont to host a leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup on alternative dates to those originally proposed will be considered by the FEI Board during its teleconference on 15 March 2023. The Board’s decision will be communicated afterwards.”

The loss of the Nations Cup is unfortunate, as it provides a rare opportunity for eventers to compete in a team atmosphere. Following the 2022 Nations Cup at Bromont, Canadian team member Colleen Loach had commented to Eventing Nation, ““I think it’s really exciting that we have the Nations Cup here in Canada. It promotes a great atmosphere between the riders and it’s a great thing to be able to practice in a team environment. I hope it continues into the future and that we can draw more teams.”

FEI press release by Ellie Kelly/FEI

This weekend the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ will return in full force, with the opening event to be held at Montelibretti in Italy from 09-12 March. This prestigious venue in the province of Rome is expected to host leading riders from various European nations.

The FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ Series, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, is open to all nations around the world, and is held at CCIO4* Short and Long format levels. The final classification of the Series will be made by accumulation of the points obtained by teams in each competition. Riders can gain FEI points for the world rankings, and also this year the Series offers valuable qualifying spots for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The 2023 FEI Nations Cup™ season will run a slightly longer season than last year which previously started in May. This year it runs from March to October. Once again there are eight legs, all of which are held around Europe with the Series culminating at Boekelo (NED) from 05-09 October, where the overall winners of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ will be crowned.

The 2022 Series attracted some of the world’s leading riders, including New Zealand riders Tim and Jonelle Price and Tokyo gold medalists Laura Collett and Tom McEwen from the UK, as well as some exciting rising stars. Germany finished as overall winners of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ Series on a final point score of 450, with Italy in overall second on 415 points, and Sweden in third place on 375.

Phillip Surl was Team GB’s Nations Cup Chef d’Equipe last season. He argues the importance of the series, as a valuable opportunity in offering riders and horses match-practice in being part of a team, and the extra pressure that comes with that. Speaking at Boekelo last year, he said: “If you take it back to its early years, there are a lot of riders who have cut their teeth in the Series. It will be a golden-ticket year as it was in 2019, so there will be a lot of teams chasing qualification for the Paris Olympics in 2024.

“A lot of nations use the Series in different ways. We are lucky with the strength and depth (in Britain) that we are able to be fairly competitive at every one we go to, but over the years there are riders and also horses now at top level know who have started out competing internationally through this system. We have certainly used it for the young horses coming through and if they cope with this and grow from the experience, it’s always going to be useful later on in their careers”

The season will run as follows:

Montelibretti (ITA) – 09-12 March

Chatsworth (GBR) – 13- 14 May

Millstreet (IRL) – 01- 06 June

Strzegom (POL) – 21- 25 June

Haras de Jardy (FRA) – 13- 16 July

Avenches (SUI) – 20- 23 July

Arville (BEL) – 17- 20 August

Boekelo (NED) – 05- 10 October