The 2011 FEI World Dressage Challenge will take place on Tuesday, November 22 at the Emirates Equestrian Centre with 40 riders representing the UAE performing tests that will be judged in the international challenge. Competition is scheduled to start at 3:30 pm and admission is free.
The FEI World Dressage Challenge is a concept that encourages the development of dressage in countries where the sport is still relatively new or developing.
As a challenge event, the competition gives less experienced riders, who at times are based in countries where dressage is not a largely recognized sport, the opportunity to take part in an International Dressage event.
It is a significant benefit to these developing riders and their respective countries as the competitors are provided the convenience of competing in their home country without having to go abroad for the contests.
Their rides are judged by International Level FEI judges. To further help the riders, a clinic is included in the program after the final competition.
The clinic is provided on an individual basis for 30 minutes with intensive training session instructed by the attending judges to the qualified riders.
This year, there will be 55 National Federations partaking in the international event. The countries are divided into 12 different regional groups.
Competitive equality is created by having all athletes within a group execute the same tests adjudicated by the same ground jury, which consists of two FEI- appointed international judges who travel to each country within the group.
The countries competing in the challenge are divided into different regional groups. The results from the UAE event will later be compared to the scores of the six countries in this designated group.
Four of the five countries competing against UAE in Group 4 are Greece, Malta, Turkey and Cyprus. This year's judges for Group 4 are Mrs. Joan Macartney (CAN) and Dr. Slawomir Pietrzak (POL).
As an international challenge, the 12 zone results are compared with an overall winner of the FEI World Dressage Challenge for each level announced.
The competition features five performance levels which include Prix St. Georges, Advanced, Medium, Elementary and Preliminary tests with separate ranking lists; and include separate classes for children at Elementary and Preliminary level.
Competitions are held between individuals and teams within each group.
Each group is judged separately. The winner of each level in each group is the competitor with the highest total points.
The four competitors representing the UAE in the team competition will be selected after the trot-up before the competition.
Picture: (c) Emirates Equestrian Centre / Andrew Watkins.