Raphaël Saleh & Monique Marini © Agence Ecary


From the 18th to the 20th of May, and for the third year running, the “Stade Équestre du Grand Parc” at Compiègne will be opening its’ doors and welcoming the World dressage elite for the Official French International Dressage Show (Concours de Dressage International Officiel de France): the CMNE CDIO 5* of Compiègne. The only Nations Cup organised in France, this competition will be the second of seven stages on the international circuit – it follows the 3*CDI of Wellington (United States) which took place last weekend – and is the first 5* of the season.

Run in parallel to the six other categories planned – the CDI 3*, the CDI 2*, the pony, junior and young rider classes – the spotlight will fall onto the CMNE CDIO 5*. A few weeks before the World Equestrian Games (Tryon, United States), in September 2018, Compiègne is a “must” for the World’s best dressage nations, as confirmed by the ground Jury President, Raphaël Saleh.

  • What does the CDIO 5* of Compiègne represent?

The CDIO of Compiègne is one of the meetings the most appreciated by top level riders and judges in the World, notably due to its’ location. The venue is close to airports and has easy road access. For riders and their support teams who come from far away this detail is of importance. Furthermore, on the show site, the arenas visibly improve each year, just like the stabling and other facilities. The French style welcome, which makes people feel at home, also contributes to the reputation of this show amongst riders, trainers and judges. The show is thus very convivial. Finally, it’s fantastic for a site like Compiègne, which started by organising a show for juniors, to today host a 5* CDIO. The Compiègne event has now run this 5*CDIO for three years, settling into a continuity which is a real recognition, after having hosted the European Young Rider Championships and a 3* CDI. I’d like to congratulate the organising team for their work. I’ve collaborated with Monique Marini (Chairman of the Association Compiègne Équestre; editor’s note.) and Dominique Carton (Manager of the Stade Équestre du Grand Parc; editor’s note.) since the first junior CDI here in 2011. It’s a well established team that functions well.

  • What place does the CDIO 5* of Compiègne occupy in World dressage?

The CDIO of Compiègne occupies an important place being the first 5*CDIO of the season. Under the new rules, automatic 5* CDIO qualification is given to the three best nations of the previous season. That gives us the opportunity to see teams such as Sweden, Denmark and the United States. Great Britain will be present as will Spain, who will be coming for the first time this year.

The technical staff is also top class as the judges have, or will be, judging championships: from Children’s to the World’s. This expertise is greatly appreciated. As Ground Jury President, it’s a real pleasure to judge at this show as we are guaranteed to see top quality horses.

  • Will the CDIO 5* of Compiègne allow the teams to properly prepare for the big rendez-vous of the year: The World Equestrian Games?

As it’s the first 5* level show of the year, I don’t know yet if we’ll watch any new freestyle tests, but we’ll certainly being seeing new horse/rider combinations. The 3* CDI will be interesting to watch this year, as some recently formed duos will certainly be choosing to start their season at 3*level in order to get to know each other better.


Biography: Raphaël Saleh

An international judge since 2004, Frenchman Raphaël Saleh was awarded 5* judge status in 2017. Last year, he was notably a judge at the Dressage World Cup Final, held at Omaha (United States). Ground Jury President at the 5*CDIO of Compiègne, Raphaël Saleh will also officiate in the same capacity during the European Young Rider Championships, which are taking place from the 9th to the 15th of July 2018 at the “Grand Parquet” of Fontainebleau.