CANCELLED! Dressage Freestyle Latest WEG Casualty

Credit : Scoopdyga

Saturday 15 September - 21h52 | Lulu Kyriacou/ FEI Press release

CANCELLED! Dressage Freestyle Latest WEG Casualty

The problems at the 2018 World Equestrian Games continued today when it was finally announced that the Helgstrand sponsored freestyle dressage would not take place due to the heavy rainfall.

Rumours tha tthe dressge would not be talking part had been sweeping around the venue in Tryon, USA  from the morning and got even worse when the first lot of rain hit the venue at approximately 11.30 a.m.  There was so much discussion that the organisers were prompted to send out an email denying that the rescheduled class would be abandoned altogether  at 13.10 local time which read;

NEWSFLASH: Contrary to reports in the media, please note there is no decision to cancel the Dressage Freestyle. Discussions on the potential rescheduling of the Freestyle are still ongoing.

​But within hours a second release was issued by both the organisers and the FEI admitting that the Freestyle would not take place at all. It read:

"Following yesterday’s announcement of the intention to hold the Helgstrand Dressage Freestyle competition on Monday morning due to extreme rainfall forecast for Sunday’s original time slot of 8.30am, further discussions have been taking place to review the options available to reschedule.
Despite the best efforts of the whole Tryon 2018 team and the Officials, who have been working on plans for rescheduling since yesterday evening, including meetings with the Chefs de Mission and Chefs d’Equipe, the logistics of putting all necessary elements into place in time have proved insurmountable. As a result, and very regrettably, the Dressage Freestyle will now be cancelled.
“This was not an easy decision, but we have explored every option, including trying to reschedule the horse departures, and even looking at moving the competition into the indoor with a change of footing, but the logistics of making all this happen are just not possible”, Tryon 2018 Organising Committee President Michael Stone said.
“We know this is desperately disappointing for the 15 athletes who had qualified their horses for the Freestyle, and of course for all the spectators who had bought tickets, but the weather has simply left us with no choice. Horse welfare has to be the top priority and flying the horses out on the same day as competition doesn’t work, so sadly the decision to cancel the Freestyle had to be taken.”
“Although we are devastated that this decision has had to be taken, we’ve had two absolutely world-class competitions here at Tryon, including yesterday’s Grand Prix Special, and to see Germany’s Isabell Werth and Bella Rose taking double gold and Team USA claiming silver was a real treat for Dressage fans.”
The decision does not affect the Olympic qualification process, as this was completed on Thursday. The teams that have earned their ticket to Tokyo 2020 are Germany, USA, Great Britain, Sweden, Netherlands and Spain."

​This is a devastating blow for  the credibility of the FEI and the organisers at Tryon, who have come under heavy criticism   for issues such as failing to complete  the venues on time and awarding  the Games to a place known to have severe weather at this time of year.  There are already major worries about whether next weeks driving will be able to go ahead  when pictures emerged of another unfinished venue.

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