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Trial run for dressage's new Olympic format

January 25, 2010

Frank Kemperman

The proposed new format for Olympic dressage competition will be trialed at the CHIO Aachen World Equestrian Festival later this year, with the aim of making the sport more understandable for spectators and competitors.

The trial format is the brainchild of the FEI's dressage Task Force, led by chairman Frank Kemperman, who is also the show director of Aachen's World Equestrian Festival, which takes place from July 9 to 18. The FEI's General Assembly approved the innovations in Copenhagen in November.

"We want to make the sport more entertaining and more comprehensible," said Kemperman.

As well as detailed proposals regarding the improvement of the judging system, the Task Force has forumlated a concept for a changed competition format for Olympic Games. The team competition will now be decided in the Grand Prix Special, and the teams will start in reverse order of their Grand Prix results.

"Thus, the Nations Cup will be upgraded now, and the competition will be more exciting," Kemperman said.

New ideas regarding the judging system will also be trailed at Aachen. Innovations include more judges, so for special competitions seven judges instead of five will officiate; in marking, judges will be able to give half marks; in the Freestyle to music test judges will assume different tasks - one judge is responsible for the rating of the technical performance, and another will judge solely the artistic performance; and finally a supervisory panel, where the work of the judges is supervised.

For the Aachen competition, the "3+1" system will be applied: a country can bring four riders, but only three of them will officially start for the team - there will be no more drop score.



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