League of Nations In August 2023, the FEI published the rules for the Longines League of Nations. Set to replace the Nations Cup in 2024, the Longines League of Nations is structured to increase the sport’s overall appeal in venues across Europe, North America, and the Middle East. 

Here, our experienced international sports attorney, Matthew Kaiser, has provided a brief summary of some of the key differences between the Longines League of Nations and the Nations Cup.

[Related: Full rules are available for download on the FEI website]

Overall Concept of the Longines League of Nations

Both the Nations Cup and the Longines League of Nations have athletes competing in teams representing their national federation (NF). In both events, each NF is responsible for choosing its team. The team does not need to be the same for each event.

Similar to a standard Nations Cup event, the League of Nations adopts a two-round competition structure featuring identical courses for each round. Both rounds follow a Table A format, conducted against the clock. During the initial qualifier, four horse-and-rider combinations participate, with the option of a drop score. Following this phase, the top eight teams progress to Round 2, but here, the rules diverge from the traditional Nations Cup format. In this unique League of Nations round, only three horse-and-rider combinations from each country compete, and there is no allowance for a drop score. This innovative format sets the League of Nations apart from other competitions in the equestrian world.

Number of Qualifying Events

The number of qualifying events will drop from 10 to four. The locations of the qualifying events were selected from the 18 competitions worldwide whose organizers applied to host qualifiers. For the 2024-2027 seasons, the events will be as follows:

  • Qualifier: CSIO5* Abu Dhabi (UAE)
  • Qualifier: CSIO5* Ocala, FL (USA)
  • Qualifier: CSIO5* St Gallen (SUI)
  • Qualifier: CSIO5* Rotterdam (NED)
  • Final: CSIO5* Barcelona (ESP)

A fifth qualifying event will be added after 2024. FEI opted to limit the qualifying events in 2024 to allow athletes and their horses time to train and compete in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Number of Competing Teams in the Final

The Nations Cup allowed for 17 teams in the final, plus the home team. The Longines League of Nations will reduce the number of competing teams in the final to eight, plus the home team if they have not otherwise qualified.

Additionally, the new format requires that the teams compete in all of the four qualifying events to qualify for the final. This decision was made to stress the importance of team spirit and excellent horsemanship.  

Longines League of Nations Prize Money

For qualifying events, the Nations Cup had a minimum pot of €200,000 for the top eight teams, €50,000 for the best individual performance, and a minimum of €152,500 for the Grand Prix. The prize pot jumps to €700,000 for all competing teams in the Longines League of Nations, with a minimum of €300,000 for the Grand Prix.

There will be €1,400,000 for the teams competing in the final, compared to the €1,250,000 prize pot for the Nations Cup in 2022. There will be a bonus of €200,000 awarded to the best individual performance, as well as bonuses or prizes for the following:

  • Best Athlete
  • Rookie of the Season
  • Best Chef
  • Best Grooms
  • Owner Best Horse

There will be at least €300,000 in prize money for the Grand Prix.

Contact Our International Sports Attorneys

Our International sports attorneys have years of experience handling equine anti-doping cases and may be able to help you if your horse has been disqualified for banned substances.

If you need to speak with an experienced member of our firm, give us a call at +1-207-747-5899 or contact our office online to schedule your initial consultation.

Matthew Kaiser
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Matt is a leading sports attorney with experience in anti-doping and athletes' rights legal cases.
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