In its first year being termed as such, the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup will pit the biggest figures in equestrian against one another at this very late stage of the season.
Split into six regions, riders from Europe (divisions one and two), North America, South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa will fight for dominance at Hickstead’s All England Jumping Course.
Friday’s meeting promises to separate the men from the boys as those at the top fight for glory and those in somewhat worse positions battle against relegation in what Hickstead’s official website calls one of the oldest horse shows in the world.
When: Friday, August 2, 14:15 p.m. BST/9:15 a.m. ET
Where: All England Jumping Course, Hickstead, England
Watch: Sky Sports 3, 3HD (UK)
Under new rules introduced this year, nations will compete as part of the aforementioned six regions: North America, South America, Europe (divisions one and two), the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Having previously fought for their qualification to the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup, jumpers will now look to make the World Finals.
Altogether, eight countries are competing for jumping honours in this particular event—the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Ukraine, Ireland, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
France, Germany, Great Britain and Ukraine will be eligible for Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping points.
With home advantage and a roaring crowd to egg them on, Great Britain will undoubtedly feel they can grip Hickstead by the reins and benefit from their jumping points too.
What’s more, this is the only occasion UK audiences can see their team compete, giving the hosts that much more reason to ensure a result is pulled out of the bag.
They could use all the help they can get, as Great Britain are currently at the basement of Division One with a very genuine risk of dropping a notch to Division Two.
The German team are in good form considering their withdrawal from June’s Switzerland meet, bouncing back well in Rotterdam and Falsterbo.