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Changes to World Cup a boost to Kiwi and Aussie riders
Sydney, NSW, Australia

New Zealand and Australian eventers now have chance to compete for a share of US$180,000 in the HSBC FEI World Cup.

The FEI announced recently a new and exciting format for the HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing series. Riders will now be competing for a top 15 place in the overall standings to take home a share of the US$180,000 prize pool on offer, rather than having to travel to Europe to compete in the Final. Riders are allowed to compete in as many qualifiers as they like, but only the best two results will count towards the final ranking.

Event organising committees of the New Zealand and Australian rounds of the HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing qualifiers have welcomed the announcement saying it will make the series far more equitable and attractive to Australia and New Zealand riders. In the previous years riders and their horses would have had to travel to Europe to compete in the Final and a chance for the major prizes.

"This new format means that riders who place well at two qualifiers - such as Kihikihi in New Zealand (2-4 Apr) and Sydney in Australia (7-9 May) have a really good chance of collecting a share of the significant prize pool" said Bruce Bason, Kihikihi Event Director. "We expect that the new format will see riders on both sides of the Tasman travel to Kihikihi and Sydney in order to secure maximum points and increase their chances of being in the top 15" added Bruce.

"Unfortunately Megan Jones winner of both the New Zealand and Australian qualifiers last year could not go to the Final in Poland due to lengthy quarantine requirements, if this system applied last year, Megan would have placed 3rd overall (just 8 points behind the overall winner) and received a $US23,000 prize in addition to the significant prize money she collected at Kihikihi and Sydney" added Rose Read, Sydney Event Director.

Kiwi and Aussie riders who travel across the Tasman to compete at either Kihikihi or Sydney will receive assistance with local travel, stabling and accommodation costs by each event organising committee.

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