By Real Riderz
A few days ago now, in Bojourishte, Bulgaria, European Equestrian Federation (EEF) launched a new competition format (called EEF Evolution League) which allows for less experienced riders in less developed nations to participate in FEI team competitions.
Prior to this new development program,certain National Federations simply couldn’t host many Nation Cup competitions and other had trouble putting together a team due to a lack of resources/riders. The program will be offered at CSICh, CSI1*, and CSI2* shows. Each competition with a team event will be spilt into a Children’s tour, Medium tour (rider age 14 y.o. and up), and a Big tour (rider age 15 y.o. and up). The teams will be made up of mixed nations. In the 2022 season, the EEF Evolution League will be split into single events in Bulgaria, Slovenia, and Romania. Qualifiers and Finals will be introduced in 2023, and EEF hopes to expand to the discipline of Dressage and other catagories (pony, juniors, young riders, and seniors).
This format of competitions will also be used an educational opportunityy for officials (stewards, course desingers, and judges). Up and coming officials will have the chance to learn hands on from those already working in the industry through on-site seminars and programs.
The first competition in Bulgaria was quite the success, with riders from Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Serbia, and North Macedonia. Each team (composed of mixed nationalities) named themselves. The team that won in the Medium tour competition (120 to 130cm) as the “Thin Red Line” (made up of riders Philip Velev, Desislava Milanova, and Eliza Cholakova). Triumphant in the Children’s tour (110 to 120cm) were the “Powerpuff Girls” (made up of riders Anna Maria Diaconu, Mara Elena Constantinescu, and Briana Elena Vasile). For all of these riders, this was their first experience riding in a team. The final class, Big tour (130 to 140cm), was won by the “Master Minds” (a team made up of riders Ivaylo Bonev, Filip Velev, Angel Niagolov, and Ionel Bucur. The course was just the right challenge for the riders and there was only one clear round.
In addition to a great experience for the riders, the competition in Bulgaria also offered a great first hand experience to upcoming course designer Geuorgui Gueorguiev. Who stated that he “feels very privileged that he was given the chance to be the course designer for the first leg of the new Evolution league” and that for him, this chance was “a big lift in helping him get to the next step in his career as a course designer.”
Overall, the even was a success and that was confirmed bu EEF Sport Development Manager (former general secretary of the Bulgarian Equestrian Federation, former Chef d’Equipe for the Bulgarian team, judge, and course designer) Teodor Sheytanov. The next event will occur in Lipica, Slovenia (in August).
Here you can find the live stream of the first leg of the EEF Evolution League:
For more information about the EEF Evolution League, click here.