The Helsinki World Cup competition has been raised to 165 cm, higher than ever. The new FEI rules allowed this height.
How does this influence your course designing?
With the ever increasing level of horse/rider combinations throughout our sport and the better footing surfaces , we as course designers face a very difficult task to produce courses that will be fair but also end with a suitable number of clear rounds for an exciting jump-off. The FEI rules already allows a tolerance of 3 cm on the height , but it will be better to have a full 5 cm to work with.
How many fences will you use on this maximum height?
It always depend of the course design of the day , and that is still on the making . But I cannot foresee more then 3 jumps at this maximum height of 1.65 m . And they will for sure be verticals .
Due to better horses and riders, there has been several jump-offs with a lot of riders in it. It´s common with 15-20 in the jump-off. Does the +5 cm help you to reduce the number of jump-off riders to the old 8-10?
Our main concern is always the welfare of the horse , and the goal is to achieve a good number of clear rounds ( from 6 to 10 in my opinion is a good number ) without taking too much out of the horses , that now face a very busy calendar of five star events . With the exceptional quality of the horses nowadays , a vertical of 1.65 cm many times is jumped very well by these incredible athletes . We course designers use the dimensions ( height and width ) , but also distances , the material and the time allowed to try and achieve the correct result . In this way I think the option to use a vertical at this height could be a good tool for us , if the group of horses demand it . This extra height could for sure help in getting a lower number of horses in the jump-off , but as said , it is one of the tests that the horse/rider combinations will face in the World Cup Grand Prix .