You'd be forgiven if you didn't understand what on earth the eventing world cup was. It works a little differently from the football version..
For starters let's cut the title down. It's sponsored by the bank HSBC and is run under FEI rules hence the long name. It's composed of 12 events run all over the globe. The idea is that no matter what continent you are on you have an equal chance of winning the series. Despite there being 12 events, only your best two results count. Of course that doesn't stop you running in more than 2 to try and get better results.... Despite the idea of equal footing if you're based in Britain you can get to about 7 events if you're prepared for a couple of days trek across Europe. However, the new system (this year onwards) is far fairer than it used to be when they was a final held at the end of the series which was of course held in Europe - Bad luck if you live down under....
All 12 events are run as CIC*** (check out our earlier blog on the levels of eventing), although they are definitely top end CIC***s. Points are awarded for each result - basically if you finish in the top 15. That said, if there's over 40 horses in the class you start getting points lower down. The massive plus side of the world cup is the guaranteed prize money. The prize money is actually stipulated in the rules - a minimum of $25,000 prize pot per event. What's more the top 15 at the end of the series take a share of $180,000 with the winner taking $50,000. Compared to tennis and golf that's small talk but for eventing it's big money.
There's quite a few more details in the actual rules but that's a general over view. With regards to actual locations. Every country is allowed to host on event but can apply for more if they host more than 5 CIC***s over a year - not many countries... The only other real stipulation is that there has to be a minimum of 20 combinations per event.
As far as the World Cup goes that's it - follow that guide and at least you'll know roughly what's going on even if you can't list the past 10 winners and the number off runners of the tip of your tongue.... Next time we'll be looking at the World Equestrian Games or WEG. We'll also be having a look at how successful the Equishopping sponsored Blair Castle International was. The director of Equishopping was seen abseiling down one of the turrets of the castle so it was set to be an action packed event from the off!!