As LGCT/GCL continues to grow, concerns expressed about Nations Cup series

Jessica Springsteen and RMF Swinny du Parc at the 2018 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final in Barcelona
Credit : Scoopdyga

Tuesday 11 December - 12h16 | Sébastien Roullier

As LGCT/GCL continues to grow, concerns expressed about Nations Cup series

There will be no CSIO5* in Šamorín, Slovakia in 2019. And without that Nations Cup competition, which is stopping for financial reasons and which the Fédération équestre internationale (FEI) does not have a replacement for, the European Division 1 Nations Cup circuit will only have seven stages next year. In contrast with what some see as a crisis for this historic team show jumping circuit, the Longines Global Champions Tour/Global Champions League foresee having a record 20 CSI5*s in 2019. 

 - As LGCT/GCL continues to grow, concerns expressed about Nations Cup series

Alexandra Francart of France riding Volnay du Boisdeville in St.Gallen in 2018
Credit : FEI Photos

The move from eight to seven stages in Europe was revealed at the General Assembly of the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) last week in Geneva, taking place in parallel with the Swiss city’s CHI horse show. Thus in 2019, the 10 nations taking part in the top-level D1 in Europe will only only have seven opportunities to prepare for the Rotterdam European Championships and obviously qualify for for the global Longines FEI Nations Cup Final, which is expected to be held again in Barcelona next year. Those CSIO5* stages will take place in La Baule, France, St.Gallen, Switzerland, Sopot, Poland, Geesteren, the Netherlands, Hickstead, England and Dublin. The historic Irish competition will therefore be remaining in the series, even though some doubts had been raised about that. 

"This is not a good sign for the future of the circuit"

This is not a good sign for the future of the circuit - As LGCT/GCL continues to grow, concerns expressed about Nations Cup series

Swiss team in Samorin in 2018
Credit : FEI Photos

The contrast is striking between the continued problems of the prestigious and historic Nations Cup series, which features some of the finest competitions on the planet, and the rapid and gargantuan development of the Longines Global Champions Tour/Global Champions League, which should for the first time in 2019 grow to a record number of 20 stages: Mexico City, Miami, Shanghai, Madrid, Hamburg, Cannes, Stockholm, Estoril, Monte Carlo, Paris, Chantilly, Berlin, London, Valkenswaard, Rome, Saint-Tropez, New York, Montreal, Prague and possibly Doha.

It would be too simplistic to attribute the decline in influence of the former to the success of the latter, but it is clear that the secret memorandum of understanding signed in early 2016 by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) and the promoters of LGCT/GCL has only accelerated the process...

That is particularly the case since the agreement offered LGCT organizers free reign to collect annual pay-cards [like registration fees] of €2 million euros from the owners of the 20 stables engaged in the GCL. For the first time, in an excellent article published this afternoon on the website of L’équipe in France, the FEI even supported the principle of the GCL after having fought it for a while: "It brings a new element to jumping and has had an impact not only on the equestrian community, but also on the sports community in general. Innovations create greater interest in our sport and open the door to new audiences. "

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