The venue allocation to stage the 2022 world championships in equestrian sport will be announced this coming Saturday during the 2019 FEI General Assembly which is being held in Moscow.
Millstreet’s bid to stage the eventing championships was accepted earlier this year, and its fate will be determined by whether or not the FEI will decide to give preference to a multi-disciplinary host or to spread the championships across different venues.
Only two bids were received to host all seven equestrian disciplines in one venue. This formula has been known as the World Equestrian Games and covers jumping, dressage, reining, vaulting, endurance, eventing and driving. Saudi Arabia and Italy are the two countries from which bids were received to keep this format in existence. Prior to the 1990s each discipline had its own world championships and it was felt that a return to this strategy would have to be considered given the difficulties in recent years of finding single venues to take on the whole spectrum.
At the start of the bidding process the FEI stated that it would give preference to multi-disciplinary bids, but with only two now on offer, it remains to be seen if the governing body has been satisfied that one of the intended hosts can carry the huge financial and logistical weight of staging all the championships at once.
Among the venues bidding to stage one or more (but not all) championships, Millstreet is the only venue which pitched for eventing, which should mean that if the championships are to be staged across a spread of venues, the Cork venue should be the eventing hosts in 2022.
The other countries from which bids were accepted are Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.
On the field of play this week Ireland’s Judy Reynolds is set to make her first competitive appearance with Vancouver K since the pairing helped Ireland to qualify for Tokyo 2020 at the European Championships in Rotterdam in August.
The Germany-based rider will contest the Stuttgart round of the FEI Dressage World Cup this week. It’s the third round of the Western European division of the 2019/2020 dressage series, with eight further rounds to come by March next year.
Last season she only joined in the series with four rounds left but still collected enough points to make the final in which she finished 11th. Reynolds currently holds all the Irish international records, all of which she set at the Europeans where she scored 76.351% in the Grand Prix, 78.252% in the Grand Prix Special and 85.589% in the Freestyle.
The show jumping World Cup series coincides with the dressage contest at Stuttgart this week as far as the European division is concerned. Ireland will be represented by Shane Breen, Richard Howley and Darragh Kenny. it looked like Kenny had scooped the Verona round at the weekend when his jump-off time on Romeo was proving too hot to handle for his rivals until he saw the victory vanish from his grasp when British rider Scott Brash bagged it with the last round on Hello M’Lady.
The Offaly rider, who was on the Irish team that secured an Olympic ticket and won the Nations Cup Final in Barcelona last month, has moved up a place to eighth in the latest world ranking figures.
The 17 World Cup points (not the same as world ranking points) the Offaly rider collected for his Verona runner-up finish see him in 13th place on this season’s Western European ladder.
Bertram Allen is highest among the Irish riders in the World Cup series, occupying a share of sixth place. Allen scooped the Canadian round in Toronto on Saturday night with GK Casper when, as last to jump, he flashed home faster than Belgian leader Jos Verlooy on Igor.
Incidentally, both Verlooy and Allen are first and second respectively in terms of the current U25 world rankings, and American Brian Moggre, who completed the podium in Toronto, is a fast-rising sixth in that category. Ireland’s Daniel Coyle continues to occupy third.
There was a further round of the FEI World Cup in California at the weekend where Capt. Brian Cournane on Penelope Cruz and Greg Broderick on Westbrook missed the jump-off after four first round faults apiece, but both had come home fast enough to get in on the minor end of the points haul. Cournane and Broderick both head to Las Vegas for another American round this weekend and further Irish interest at the fixture will be provided by Conor Swail with Koss Van Heiste.
In Cavan at the weekend Donegal rider Kenneth Graham won the Cavan International Grand Prix on Beir Bua, in the process netting a €10,000 bonus as the winner of the Horse Sport Ireland International Show Jumping Challenge which is open to riders of any nationality who score at least three podium finishes at international events staged in Ireland. Graham, who won the Millstreet Grand Prix in August riding George, was the only rider left in contention coming into the fixture so any of the first three places would have done, but he added another win for good measure.