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Page last updated at 19:04 GMT, Tuesday, 6 April 2010 20:04 UK

GB showjumpers win right to return to elite Nations Cup

Great Britain finished eighth at the Nations Cup in 2009

Great Britain can return to the elite Nations Cup showjumping contest after their successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) made the appeal after the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) demoted the team following the 2009 event.

But on Tuesday the court allowed Great Britain to take part in the 2010 Nations Cup in France in May.

The FEI added it would state reasons for its verdict at a later date.

They had originally announced that Britain and Belgium would join Italy in being demoted to the second-tier promotional league for 2010, despite only the latter being relegated.

The FEI made the decision after the former two finished joint-eighth in the Nations Cup standings in 2009, above bottom-placed Italy.


The FEI had said it had consulted national federations, riders and event organisers before deciding that Britain and Belgium would also be relegated.

The BEF reacted with anger to the decision and its appeal to the FEI's independent tribunal in January failed.

However, its successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration in Sport means it will now be one of the 10 teams at the 2010 Nations Cup at La Baule - a competition with eight events, starting on 14 May.

The event is viewed as an important preparation for riders hoping to take part in the 2012 London Olympics.

The 2009 Nations Cup comprised eight events from May to August, including a leg at Hickstead in July with 10 teams competing. Spain and Canada have been promoted from the promotional league, giving a nine-strong field in 2010, dropping to eight for 2011.

Had Great Britain ended up in the promotional league competitions this year, it would have been a setback in terms of building towards the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky during September and October, as well as London 2012.

Belgium has not challenged the decision against their demotion.

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