The race to the 2023 FEI Australian League World Cup win
The 2023 FEI Australian World Cup Qualifying series will reach its conclusion tomorrow (Saturday 9th December) at the Sydney Summer Classic at SIEC. After seven legs of competition, starting back at Shepparton in March, tomorrow’s eighth and final leg, has seen the battle to qualify to represent Australia at the World Cup Finals, scheduled to take place in Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia next April, come down to a race between two.
Going into the final Tom McDermott leads the way on 78 points from Sarah McMillan and Madeline Sinderberry both tied in second place on 71 points. Behind them is Amber Fuller on 64 points lying fourth with all other competitors too far off the lead with just the final leg points on offer. With Madeline and Amber not on the start list for tomorrow’s class, the race for the title is between Tom and Sarah.
Tom’s seven-point advantage will be hard to make up, but it is more than possible for Sarah to do so. One thing in his favour is a small start list of just 14 combinations, where just 13 combinations are eligible to score world cup points as Tom will be riding both Cooley Gangster as his World Cup combination and Mr Lincoln B as his second mount. Under World Cup rules, a start list of 13 eligible combinations means that the maximum points on offer for winning the class is 17.
Another rule which will come into play tomorrow is that only the best five scores can count towards the season total.
For Tom, who has competed in every leg, he has dropped scored of 6 and 10 to arrive at his current total of 78. He will need to eclipse his third highest point score of 11 in tomorrow’s competition if he is to advance his season total higher than 78. More simply, a score by Tom of 11 or less tomorrow means that tomorrow’s score will be dropped.
Sarah missed the Tamworth round and drops the single score of 6 to arrive at her current total of 71. He next lowest score is 8, meaning she has to beat that score tomorrow to advance her score higher than 71.
If Sarah were to win tomorrow, according to our calculations, she will pick up an extra 9 points (17 for the win, less 8 for the drop score) to take her to 80, and then it would depend how many points Tom picks up to determine the Season winner.
Alternatively, Tom can secure the title by finishing either first or second tomorrow, thereby advancing his total to at least 81, which Sarah cannot catch. If Tom finishes third or lower, then it is game on and Sarah could make up the gap, but it will all depend on their finishing positions relative to each other.
Due to the scorching conditions predicted for tomorrow in Sydney, the start time for the World Cup has been brought forward to 9am so we will soon know the winner of the Australian World Cup Qualifying Season for 2023 is. Best of luck to all competitors.