The number 716 rarely carries much significance, but in international eventing it is the maximum number of points attainable in a rider’s FEI world ranking. The key numbers you need to know are as follows:
- 6 results count towards your world ranking
- 161 is the number of points awarded for a four-star championship win
- 111 is the number of points awarded for a four-star win
- 111 is the number of points awarded for a three-star championship win
Given that the Olympics and WEG are the only four star championships, the 161 points haul is only available every two years. Therefore, half of the time the FEI world ranking maximum is a devilish 666 points.
At EquiRatings we have a group of riders who we label the 600 club. These are the riders who, at the end of the calendar year, have broken the 600 point barrier. Pippa Funnell came extremely close in her Grand Slam year (2003) but just missed out with 596 points. It is worth keeping in mind that in those days Luhmuhlen and Pau were not four star competitions, so that makes her total even more impressive.
William Fox-Pitt was the first person to break barrier. He did so in 2008 with 606 points. Two years later he did it again, very convincingly with 639 in 2010. Mary King became the first (and only) female rider to do so, just scraping over the line with 601 in 2011. Andrew Nicholson did it twice during his purple patch at the top, both in 2012 (637) and 2013 (643) — the latter setting a new record. The same year (2013), Fox-Pitt registered his third visit to the 600 club with a total of 625.
In 2015, Michael Jung entered the hall of fame for the first time, matching Nicholson’s record of 643. The odd years (2011, 2013 & 2015) are those without the bonus of a four star championship, so the records of Nicholson and Jung were both set out of an operating maximum of 666.
However, the FEI ranking published on 1st September 2016 have sprouted a new phenomenon — the 700 club! Michael is currently counting the following scores:
He has missed the ultimate maximum of 716 by just five points! His current total of 711 is a sight to behold and a record that is unlikely to EVER be beaten!