Jeroen Dubbeldam & Zenith

Radical Change: No Change of Horses at the World Equestrian Games

It seems that another radical change has been overlooked during the of the FEI in Tokyo last Monday: there will be no change of horses at the World Equestrian Games any more. The 2017 rules for the show jumping competitions do no longer feature this mode that has been installed in 1978. As yet the four best riders had to perform a short course with the horses of the other finalists. The warm up, where the riders and horses got to know each other, took place in the main arena in front of the audience. In Tyron, USA, at the 2018 WEG there will be one winner, who has the fewest penalties after team and individual competitions. Should a tie in penalties for the first place exist a jump-off will take place.
The change of the horses always had been a heavily debated issue, which had strong supporters but also was reason for strong opposition. After Caens in 2014, the FEI said that the top four final was appreciated by the audience and viewers on television and that they did not plan a change. Some riders said that this mode was no longer up-to-date but others wanted to keep the tradition, but wanted a title for and after the top four final. Jeroen Dubbeldam, World Champion of 2014 said then that one should not compete if one was not prepared to ride other horses.