Home In previous issues Spotlighting discrepancies in ranking systems per discipline

Spotlighting discrepancies in ranking systems per discipline

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By Kim Lundin
Graphics: Kim Lundin

This article represents a critical analysis of the rankings published by the WBFSH, based on performance results in FEI competition. The fact that the FEI recognizes top-ranked combinations exclusively from high-level competitions in dressage is unproblematic...

However, when the same ranking is applied to produce the best breeding stallions through any one year, the comparisons are severely skewed in dressage compared to the other Olympic disciplines.
Every October, the WBFSH presents its ranking lists of sires, breeders, and studbooks distributed across the three Olympic disciplines (October 1 to September 30). The rankings are based on the FEI’s collection of competition results, where the FEI itself presents monthly presents rider or team rankings in slightly different formats. Rules for the calculation of ranking points have been very carefully prescribed as they also provided the basis for invitations to prestigious competitions of various formats. The ranking is important to the competition riders, and for the WBFSH it has informed their annual breeders’ awards for many years.
The rankings for jumping and eventing horses is quite similar. Points are awarded based on the principle that the higher the class of competition – according to the ‘star’ system – the more points are awarded for victory or a placing. Also, a large class of participants awards more points than a small starring field, and championships factor in additional points. It’s important to note that ALL international competitions are used as a basis for ranking points, with some exceptions for show classes. The system works well apart from one downside; the points have a long shelf life so the ranking lists don’t necessarily reflect those combinations in current top form published on a monthly basis.

Showjumping is the FEI’s largest discipline and has many times more registered horses with an FEI license than eventing and dressage. Maybe that’s why no one reacts to how few dressage horses there are on the WBFSH list of ranked breeders of dressage horses. The calculation of ranking points for dressage horses differs in several crucial ways compared to the other two disciplines. In eventing and jumping, points are accumulated from competitions from one-star to five-star level and championships. In dressage, only three-star competitions and higher award ranking points, barely a quarter of all competitions, and not even all classes are currently included... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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