The Helsinki World Cup competition has been raised to 165 cm, higher than ever. The new FEI rules allowed this height.

Guilherme Jorge & Johanna Mikkola © Satu Pirinen

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 .