On Aug. 24, Fédération Equestre Internationale officials announced that Great Britain and Belgium, the two teams that tied for ninth place in the 2009 Meydan FEI Nations Cup Series, would both be allowed to participate in the 2010 series.
Ordinarily, the bottom two teams would be relegated to the Promotional League series, but with Italy in 10th place and Great Britain and Belgium tied for ninth, it was unclear how to proceed.
Now FEI officials have reversed their position after consulting with the national federations, riders and event organizers. All three teams will be relegated to the Promotional League for 2010, and the two highest-placed teams in the Promotional League Final will move up to the top league.
The procedure for next year will be the relegation of three teams and the promotion of two teams in order to reduce the number of teams to eight in 2011.
“This decision was taken in the best interest of the sport,” FEI President HRH Princess Haya said. “This is the very first time I have seen all the elements of our sport joined together in a common vision. The FEI, the national federations, riders and organizers are convinced that the eight-team format is the only sustainable format ensuring the safe future of our sport.”