Let’s Break It Down: Nations Cup – Jumping

By Estelle Kraft

As an equitation and hunter rider, I often find myself wandering over to the jumper rings. While I do know the basics of jumper rounds, international jumper finals and the jumper world outside of the U.S. has always attracted my attention.  So,  I decided to explore the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Nations Cup Jumping competition through five “w”s.

Photo courtesy of tv.fei.org


…is the Nations Cup? The Nations Cup is a series of equestrian events: show jumping, eventing and dressage events.

…is the qualification process? The top 18 teams, in addition to the hosting team, who acquire the most  points qualify for the finals.

…is CSI0 3*/4*/5*? The star system represents the level of qualification competition.The more stars, the harder the competition.

…is the competition format? First round: Teams draw for order of go, then decide rider order.  Riders compete over a 1.60 meter, 13 jump course.The bottom score for each team is dropped and scores are based on the top three riders.

Second/Final round: The top 6 Teams return in reverse order of standing to compete over a second course.  The Nations Cup winner is the country with the least number of faults after two rounds.

…does the winner win? Besides winning the title of FEI Nations Cup champion, the winning team receives various prizes, sashes, champagne and money dependent on their placing.


…offers the event? The Nations Cup has been put on by the FEI since 1930, but was first held in 1909.

…competes? Regional teams from Europe (Division 1 and 2), North and Central America/Caribbean, South America, Middle East, Asia/Australasia and Africa come together to compete. Teams from each region are made up of five athletes with two horses per rider, only four riders compete but a fifth is on the team in case of injury or sickness.

Where and When…

…are qualifiers held? Qualifiers are held all over the world at CSI0 3*/4*/5* ranked horse shows until September of the show season.

…are finals held? FEI Nations Cup finals are held in different locations across the world in either late September or early October, 2016 finals were held in Barcelona.


…is the FEI Nations Cup held? This prestigious show jumping event is held, “to unite nations and foster lifelong enthusiasm for the world of horses,” according to an FEI Nations Cup article. “Its global format means that more countries can host qualifiers at world-class venues and aim to win the FEI Nations Cup title by acquiring qualifying points according to their placings.”

The FEI Nations Cup is an exciting show jumping event that attracts viewers worldwide. Check out fei.org to find the next World Cup class near you!

Photo courtesy of tv.fei.org
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