Strategies on how to modernise and promote endurance will be discussed this month at an FEI forum dedicated to the discipline.
“There has been a lot of concern on the state of endurance recently,” FEI secretary general Sabrina Ibáñez says. “In order to instil and drive change, we need to work together and be united in our goals for the sport and the future of the sport.”
Delegates to the two-day forum, to be held in Vic, Barcelona, Spain, from May 23, will be given the initial findings of the Global Injuries Endurance Study, conducted by Dr Tim Parkin and Dr Euan Bennet of Glasgow University.
They will also hear from Dr Chris Whitton, from the University of Melbourne, who will discuss bone fatigue and risk management for horses and athletes.
Other items on the programme include discussions on the endurance education system for officials, as well as a discussion on proposed rule changes planned for 2018.
National federations will have an opportunity to raise any specific concerns for discussion.
Delegates will also hear different perspectives and views on the future of the discipline, from an organiser, a trainer, a chef d’equipe and an athlete.
Views on the need for new endurance competition series and formats in championships will also be addressed and discussed.
Ibáñez says endurance is the FEI’s second largest discipline after jumping. It was, for many years, one of the FEI’s fastest growing disciplines.
“This growth coupled with the size and scope of the discipline requires the FEI and the endurance community to keep a very watchful eye on trends and developments so that we can address the challenges and plan for the future in order to safeguard the integrity of the sport and the welfare of the horse,” she said.
Javier Revuelta, president of Spain’s equestrian federation, the Real Federación Hípica Española, says endurance is facing big, new challenges.
The next five to 10 years would be crucial for the development of the sport, he said.
“We should focus on laying the foundations for the future, with the big challenges and new projects that we are facing. It’s time to set up the standards and principles for the new generations to come.”
The FEI’s forum platform is here.