You will find in this article all the main events of the 2018 season that you will not want to miss, as well as the changes and novelties, which mainly concern the discipline of show jumping.
1. Novelties and changes of the year
➢ Asia Horse Week
First big novelty of the year, the Asia Horse Week will occur from February 8 to 11 in Hong Kong. Organized by EEM, it will take place at the same time as the 6th edition of the Longines Masters of Hong Kong, second leg of the Longines Masters circuit after that of Paris last December. This new meeting is intended to be an annual event that will rally all the international equestrian community in Asia; where all the disciplines, professions and culture of the equine industry will be represented, and participate to the development of equestrian sports in the Asia-Pacific region.
➢ Longines Masters of New York
Other novelty this year: the third and last leg of the Longines Masters will be held this year in the mythical city of New York, at the heart of Manhattan, whereas it was previously organized in Los Angeles. The best riders of the world will meet there from April 26 to 29.
➢ International Jumping of Versailles
A novelty of 2017, the International Jumping 5* of Versailles – prestigious event held in the Royal Stable of the Palace of Versailles (France) – will not be held in 2018. Due to a busy schedule, the event could only occur on two dates, which corresponded to two other shows: the CSI 5* of New York (April 26-29) and the CSIO 5* of Rome (May 24-27). As the organizers of these major events refused to have to compete with the 5* event of Versailles, it was decided it would not take place this season. The event is however not cancelled and will take place in 2019. In fact, the date is already set: April 26 to 28 2019.
➢ Nations Cup of Lummen
In the list of canceled events for 2018, the Nations Cup of Lummen (Belgium) that used to be the first leg of the European Division 1 of the circuit, has been deleted for financial reasons. The 5* event of La Baule (May 17 to 20 2018) will therefore be the new first leg of the renowned circuit freshly renamed “Longines FEI Nations Cup Jumping” and modified for the new coming season. Regarding division 1, the only major change is in the schedule of the circuit; the Nations Cups will take place on Sundays and not on Fridays or Saturdays like they used to (and the Grand Prix will thus be moved to an earlier day). The Final of the circuit will still take place in Barcelona, in early October.
➢ Global Champions Tour
The circuit is going to change further for the 2018 season, after the introduction of the Global Champions League last year. Indeed, big novelty this year: a “play off” will be organized in Prague (capital of the Czech Republic) from December 14 to 16. It will be the first indoor show of the Global Champions Tour / League circuit. The 16 best teams of the Global Champions League will be allowed to participate – the 4 best being directly qualified for the semi-final. The winning team will share the incredible sum of 3 million euros. As for the Global Champions Tour, during the play off there will be a Super Grand Prix, where the winners of the Grand Prix of all the legs of the circuit will fight for a high prize money. The global endowment of the circuit (GCT, GCL and the new “play off’’) will be of 35 million euros for 2018, with no less than 10 million for the Prague event alone. This promises a great show!
As for the legs; Shanghai, Paris, London, Miami, Berlin, Rome, Madrid and Monaco will host the circuit once again, and the final will still take place in Doha (Qatar) in November. Finally, the circuit should move to new destinations next season. For now, we know that one new leg has been added: the CSI 5* of Saint-Tropez (Athina Onassis Horse Show, from May 31 to June 5) that will join the circuit in 2018.
2. Events not to miss in 2018
➢ FEI World Cup Finals
Important event of the year, particularly exiting for the French equestrian enthusiasts, the World Cup Finals of show jumping and dressage will take place in Paris this year, from April 10 to 15. France hosted the dressage World Cup Final for the last time 4 years ago, in Lyon.
Last year American rider Mclain Ward rules the jumping competition, with Romain Duguet (SWI) and Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) coming in behind him. In dressage, Isabell Werth (GER) wins the title, Laura Graves (USA) is second and Carl Hester (GBR) third.
➢ FEI European Championships for Children, Juniors and Young Riders
This year, France is also host of the 2018 European Championships for Children, Juniors and Young Riders of jumping, dressage and eventing. Belgium and the Netherlands were also candidates for the jumping championships. It will be the first time that a country organizes at the same time and place such an event with all three Olympic disciplines.
➢ FEI World Equestrian Games
Other major event of the year: the World Equestrian Games that will take place from September 11 to 23 in Tryon, United States (NC). For the first time, world championships will be organized with private funding. Important information to note: this event will be the first of two opportunities for riders to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Eight official disciplines will be represented: jumping, dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, reining (only western discipline), vaulting, and para-equestrian dressage.
The last edition of the World Equestrian Games took place in Normandy (France), in 2014. Here is a small recap of the 2014 World Champions, team and individual, for each discipline:
➢ Les Etoiles de Pau
This year again, the CCI 4* of Pau (October 24-28) promises to be a great show. After three consecutive French victories in the three last editions, we are excited to see if France will once again win at home. Michael Jung, world n1, should be present to try to win one of the only titles that he lacks. Of course, we cannot wait to see all the other big eventing shows of the year. Here are the dates of the other 4* events of the season: Badminton (UK) will be held from May 2 to 6, Lexington (USA) – which changes name this year to become the “Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event” – from April 26 to 29, Luhmühlen (GER) will be from June 14 to 17, and finally Burghley (UK) from August 30 to September 2.
As for the international dressage events of the year, there is no novelty for 2018. During the first few months of the year, we will watch the CDI-W of Amsterdam (NED) from January 25 to 28, which will be the first major event of the year, that of Neumünster (GER) from February 15 to 18, that of Göteborg (SWE) from February 21 to 25, and finally that of ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NED) from March 8 to 11, where Isabell Werth will be expected as she was defeated in the 2017 edition of the event. These events are the last legs of the FEI World Cup circuit, before the big Final of Paris.
See you soon,