World-renowned equestrian event, the Aachen, has made the surprising announcement that it is severing ties with the FEI Dressage Nations Cup Series, following a decade-long association. Instead, it will host its own exclusive team dressage competition at the upcoming 2024 World Equestrian Festival, scheduled to take place from 28 June to 7 July.

A Change In The Rules Leads To A Parting Of Ways

The departure from the Nations Cup is a response to a rule change for 2024, where all the organisers of the competitions in the FEI Nations Cup series are required to invite every national federation. This alteration has sparked the decision for Aachen to break away.

"We have withdrawn from the FEI Nations Cup Series 2024 due to the changed invitation mode," an Aachen spokesperson clarified for Horse & Hound. Aachen's updated schedule instead suggests invitations to the top seven teams from the 2023 European Championships, along with the leading non-European team from the 2022 World Dressage Championships.

Who Will Be On The Invitations List?

This change means teams from Great Britain, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, the USA, Austria, Denmark, France, and Sweden are anticipated to be on the receiving end of the invitations for Aachen's own equestrian showdown.

Aachen Sticks To Its Own Rules, Once Again

This isn't the first time Aachen has opted to chart its own course. The tournament's team showjumping and eventing contests are already operated under Aachen's own regulations, devoid of the FEI prefix as these events have been operating independently of the FEI-owned series for a considerable time.

What's On The Horizon?

As the equestrian world continues to witness changes in traditional competitions, we are bound to see some exciting innovations. Aachen's decision to host its own event promises to be a thrilling spectacle, bringing together the world's top equestrian talent in a tournament freed from previous restrictions.

Keep an eye out for more details on the 2024 World Equestrian Festival and Aachen's new competition format. With less than a month go before the intense build-up to the anticipated Paris 2024 Olympics, the forthcoming seasons bring with them exciting times for equestrian sports enthusiasts.

The world of dressage is evolving; let's sit tight and enjoy the ride!

Article Reference: "Major pre-Olympic fixture pulls plug on FEI’s Nations Cup after rule change," Horse & Hound, March 22, 2024, by Lucy Elder