The Real Club de Polo of Barcelona in Spain, venue for the equestrian events at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992, will play host to the inaugural Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final with a €2 million prize fund on offer, the largest in Nations Cup history.
The event, which is open to the best 18 teams of the season, will take place from 26 to 29 September.
“The Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final is one of the highlights of the international equestrian year and we are delighted that it will be held at such a prestigious location,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said.
“Barcelona has always put on top-class events and now that the FEI’s oldest jumping series has taken on a truly global dimension we are looking forward to a really spectacular season finale in the Catalan capital.”
CSIO Barcelona Director Daniel Garcia Giró said the city and the club were honoured to be hosting the final. “Teams from up to 18 nations will be travelling to our city and we are already hard at work to ensure absolutely first-class facilities,” he said.
Ziyad Abduljawad, Managing Director of the Saudi Equestrian Fund agreed. “It is great news that the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final 2013 will be taking place at such a beautiful place. The Arabic word Furusiyya encompasses horsemanship, equestrian skills and knowledge, as well as chivalry and the Real Club de Polo of Barcelona, the history of which spans over 100 years, is the perfect setting for an event which perfectly combines tradition with a truly global reach.”
In this inaugural Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping season, 22 events will take place in the build-up to the final. A total of 18 teams will be eligible to compete at the final, with nine from Europe, two each from North & Central America & the Caribbean, South America, Middle East and Asia/Australasia, and one from Africa. If the host nation Spain does not qualify for the final, they will still be permitted to compete, bringing the number of teams to 19.
The Swiss watchmaker Longines, which is the official timekeeper of the series, will also be official timekeeper at the final.
The final will be run over three competitions, with all teams starting in the opening one-round class which is not against the clock. The top eight teams from this competition will go through to the third and final decider, while the remaining teams will compete in the Consolation class which will be held on 28 September, the day before the final.
All nations start on a zero score on the last day, and four riders from each team will compete in the first round. If there is a tie for first place after this round, then three riders from each team will go through to a jump-off against the clock, guaranteeing a tense and thrilling finale to decide the champions.
A total of 37 countries will be aiming to qualify for the final in Barcelona. The original number of 41 has been reduced by four following confirmation from Croatia, Estonia, Latvia and Syria that they will not take part in the series this year.
The 37 nations confirmed for the 2013 series are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, United States of America.