The Fédération Equestre Internationale has released its new tests for 2014.
While the Intermediaire I and Prix St. Georges remained unchanged, there are new versions of the Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special and Intermediaire II to take effect Jan. 1. The FEI also debuted the medium tour tests, Intermediaire A and Intermediaire B, designed to bridge the gap between small tour and Grand Prix.
In the new Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special tests, the only change is the introduction of a coefficient for each piaffe movement. All other coefficients remain the same.
“The piaffe is one of the major features—one of the jewels—of the Grand Prix,” said Anne Gribbons, who serves on the FEI Dressage Committee. “We talk about it a lot in judging forums, how it should be emphasized as one of the major movements. There was a feeling we haven’t put enough emphasis on it in the test. If the horse does a lot of other things very nicely but has no piaffe, he can still come out with a fairly high score [without the coefficient]. We’re hoping riders will try and make the piaffe better before they start in the Grand Prix.”
The new Intermediaire A and B tests feature the same movements as the new and old Intermediaire II tests—two tempis, one tempis, pirouettes, piaffe and passage—but with a bit lower level of difficulty. In the Intermediaire A and B, riders are only required to do five two tempis and seven one tempis, as opposed to seven twos and 11 ones in the Intermediaire II. The IA and IB piaffe can move forward 2 meters, as opposed to 1 meter in the Intermediaire II.
“There’s not a great difference [between the Intermediaire II and the new medium tour tests],” said Gribbons. “But the I2 hasn’t ever really caught on as a popular test. It’s never been seriously considered for riders. This is a whole new division, and it will have its own awards at the end of the year. We put it in to encourage people with greener horses to bring them to the shows and start doing all of the movements. We hope these tests will be challenging enough for up-and-coming horses but also will have less detail and be less intense than the final Grand Prix. We call it Grand Prix for a reason.”
View all of the new FEI tests on the FEI site.