Some riders who complain are happy to find their account on the Global Tour, says Chantilly Organiser

Jan Tops & Gérard Manzinali at LGCT Chantilly
Credit : Sportfot

Friday 17 November - 12h42 | Lucas Tracol translated by Lulu Kyriacou

"Some riders who complain are happy to find their account on the Global Tour," says Chantilly Organiser

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) will hold their General Assembly in the next few days and a hot topic of discussion will be the invitation system to international jumping shows.  Organiser of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Chantilly but also of the International Jumping at the Palace of Versailles, Gérard Manzinali is not really of the same opinion as the members of the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) about the system of invitations to competitions of the  highest level. At a time when the tone is rising between the IJRC and the FEI, GRANDPRIX-REPLAY wanted to know the opinion of a competition organizer on the debate about the world ranking and invitations systems that is dividing both parties.

Organizer of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Chantilly, Gérard Manzinali evokes a "false problem" about the system of invitations and paying wildcards which benefits the Longines Global Champions Tour, denounced by the IJRC. Aware of the impact that Jan Tops' innovations have had on the global jumping circuit, he shared his vision of things. This is what he had to say;
"It's a little bit tricky since I'm the organizer of a Longines Global Champions Tour. Saying  the system is perfect, certainly not. But on the other hand, some riders who complain  are happy to find their account on this circuit. I do not know enough the ins and outs to take a stand, but what is important is to look at the results first and foremost. Some complain, but when they are in the Top 15, they are happy to participate in the Global stages. For my part, I never spit in the soup. The riders are happy that Jan Tops, through his different actions, has helped to develop the sport to their advantage, because they have never earned as much money in competitions as today. Even competitions that are not part of the circuit have had to raise their prizemoney in alignment. It's a little bit easy to hit out at Jan Tops but even if everything is certainly not perfect in the circuits of the Global Champions Tour and the Global Champions League, whatever some say, the positive evolution in our sport, the sums of money they had never won before are,  still there thanks to Jan Tops who developed this system.

I am fortunate to have two competitions, one of which is part of the Longines Global Champions Tour and another independent, and I do not think there is such a big difference between the two. In Versailles, I put the same prizemoney as is found in the Global stages, and this is not the only series that uses this system of invitations. Every weekend, it is not uncommon for there to be two or three  5 * level competitions. Riders who are not caught on the list for one can therefore be admitted to another 5 * CSI and will not have to stay home.

In addition, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) does not always make consistent regulations. We know that at present the CSI 2 * competitions are essentially regional competitions where the riders come from a radius of 250km, but will now have to take into account the world ranking, which it means that those who want to evolve will not be able anymore to score points, since in any case they will not have access to it ( the 2* shows because of the proposed invitation system-Ed). This is at least as important as the paying wild cards as here are many more than fifty riders at the very top level now, so there is enough to do two very beautiful shows every weekend in CSI 5 * so those who criticize the Global for one reason or others can go elsewhere . All of this is a bit of a fake problem, I think there are others to settle within the FEI right now. Let's hope that a number of them will be settled in Montevideo from next week (at the FEI General Assembly-Ed). "

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