The US leg of the FEI Jumping Nations Cup remains in limbo following the FEI’s confirmation it cannot take place at the new World Equestrian Center Ocala facility from March 16-21 as originally planned.

The WEC and USEF last week jointly declared they would work together to resolve their well-publicized licensing dispute. The agreement includes the withdrawal of USEF’s request that the WEC’s 12-week Winter Equestrian Spectacular be declared “unsanctioned” by the FEI. The Spectacular is unrecognized by USEF and running under the rules of the National Snaffle Bit Association, a body outside the USEF family. Without this waiver, any FEI-registered participants would risk six months ineligibility from international shows.

However, the joint statement gave no specific mention to WEC’s international program. It has now emerged that the removal of WEC’s international shows during the Winter Spectacular still went ahead, with two January CSI3* fixtures and the Nations Cup shown as cancelled on the FEI database. CSIs planned at WEC from June onwards and all FEI dressage remain unaffected.

A FEI spokesperson told “As USEF and Ocala agreed that there would be no FEI jumping events during the 12-week Ocala Winter Spectacular, USEF sent us a formal request to remove the events, including the CSIO5* from the FEI Calendar for that period.

“The National Federations are responsible for filing applications or amendments to the FEI Calendar and USEF has only requested the removal of the Ocala events to the end of March. Similarly, the National Federations are responsible for proposing venues for the Nations Cups, so we are waiting to hear from USEF.”

In recent times, the US leg of the Nations Cup has always taken place in Florida, generally in Wellington in February or early March. It is unusual for any national federation to allocate a Nations Cup to a brand new venue in its first season, but understands WEC was the only centre interested in hosting the 2021 edition.

The FEI “unsanctioned events” rule was introduced in 2012, but has only been actioned once. This affected two European jumping course designers who officiated at the new Global Champions League team events in Miami and Mexico City in spring 2016 which were, for a short time, an unrecognized component of the FEI-recognized Global Champions Tour. While the FEI can intervene directly at FEI events, the onus is on national federations to formally request the FEI act over unrecognized domestic events.