Control on athlete numbers proposed for WEG

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Horseman extraordinaire Lorenzo was one of the highlights of the Opening Ceremony of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 at the Stade d’Ornano in Caen, Normandy, in front of a sellout crowd of 21,000 spectators.
Horseman extraordinaire Lorenzo was one of the highlights of the Opening Ceremony of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 at the Stade d’Ornano in Caen, Normandy, in front of a sellout crowd of 21,000 spectators. Athlete numbers at the Games may be limited in the future, under a proposal being considered. © Arnd Bronkhorst/FEI

The FEI Bureau has agreed in principle that limits should be imposed on the number of participants in each discipline at the World Equestrian Games.

It follows an independent consultant’s report which raised concerns around the complexities and cost of staging the Games.

The restriction proposal was put forward by FEI President Ingmar De Vos.

Imposing a limit is considered a key principle for the future of the Games, especially in attracting new organisers and establishing TV partnerships.

The technical committees in each discipline will now work on developing proposals to be discussed at the bureau meeting in November, prior to the General Assembly.

President to be paid

The bureau agreed to press ahead with plans to pay the president.

It followed a vote by national delegates at an Extraordinary General Assembly held in Switzerland late in April alongside the FEI Sports Forum.

There was overwhelming support for a statute change to allow the world governing body to pay the president. It has been an unpaid position since the inception of the FEI.

That vote was unanimous among the 59 national federations present, together with 27 powers of attorney, giving a total of 86 valid votes. The required quorum was 67 – half of the 133 national federations plus one.

A temporary committee has been established to study the legal aspects of the General Assembly’s decision, compare the way the matter is handled at various international organisations, and establish the exact amount of the remuneration.

It is chaired by FEI 1st vice-president John Madden, of the United States. It has Mark Samuel, of Canada, who is chairman of Regional Group 4, and Brian Mangan, of Ireland, who chairs the FEI Audit and Compliance Committee, as members.

The committee will work with others, including the FEI accounts auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The committee will negotiate and agree on the package with the president. The committee will then report back to the bureau. The remuneration package will ultimately appear in the FEI financial statements.

De Vos was not present in the meeting room during the remuneration discussion.

Events outside national territories

The bureau discussed the organisation of FEI events by national federations outside their national territory.

It agreed that the strict principle of territoriality for FEI events must remain. However, if a European national federation wished to organise a second CSIO in its country, it can request a derogation from the bureau as foreseen in the FEI Jumping Rules. Countries outside of Europe may organise two CSIOs per country every year.

The principle will be included in the FEI General Regulations upon the approval of the General Assembly.

Entries fees for FEI events

The bureau approved a proposal that the maximum entry fees charged for FEI events do not include valued-added tax (VAT) or other government taxes.

Proposals to modify FEI regulations

The bureau examined several proposals for modifications to the FEI General Regulations.

The main ones include a new provision allowing the FEI to lodge a protest given that currently protests may only be lodged by national federations, presidents, officials, chefs d’équipe or, if there is no chef d’équipe, by a person responsible or a team veterinarian responsible for horses taking part in an FEI event.

This change would allow the FEI to start proceedings which was not possible in the past.

A new provision allowing legal proceedings to be opened in the event that conduct brings equestrian sport, and the FEI in particular, into disrepute and/or in case of match fixing, betting, bribery and/or corruption, will also be added.

The bureau also approved a provision regarding the statute of limitations on prosecution, which should only be time-barred after: one year for offences committed on the field of play or in its immediate vicinity; eight years for doping offences; five years for all other offences. Match-fixing, bribery and corruption will not be subject to a statute of limitations.

The bureau approved the expansion of the definition of “unsanctioned events” so that in the event that a national federation is suspended by the FEI, its national events will be considered as “unsanctioned events”.

For the avoidance of any doubt, national athletes would be allowed to compete in the national events and only international athletes would be subject to the unsanctioned events provision should such a situation arise.

Following the bureau meeting, these proposals will be reviewed by the national federations and will be submitted to the vote of the FEI General Assembly in November. If accepted by the General Assembly, they will come into effect on January 1, 2016.

Jumping

The bureau approved:

  • The revised FEI World Cup Jumping 2015/2016 rules;
  • A clarification to Article 14 of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup 2015 rules relating to the substitution of teams withdrawing from the 2015 Final;
  • Clarifications/modifications to the rules for the FEI Children’s International Classics final, effective for the 2015 final.

All the updated rules will be published on the FEI website.

Dressage

The bureau approved the revised FEI World Cup Dressage Rules for the 2015-2016 season. They will be published on the FEI website.

It also approved the introduction of an annual FEI European Dressage Championships U25 as of 2016. It will be built up along the lines of the other FEI age group championships, and will include team and individual medals.

Driving

The bureau approved the revised FEI World Cup Driving rules for the 2015/2016 season. They will be published on the FEI website.

Endurance

Proposed modifications to the FEI Endurance Rules, which includes greater penalties for athletes whose horses suffer a catastrophic injury, were approved.

A new provision will be added to Article 815.3.6. According to this provision, if a horse participates in a CEI or a national event during its rest period time, the athlete will receive 100 penalty points which will result in an automatic two-month suspension.

Potential additional sanctions may be imposed by the FEI Tribunal.

The bureau approved the proposed modification to the rules for the FEI World Endurance Rankings effective from January 1 next year. They will be published on the FEI website.

Vaulting

The bureau approved the revised FEI World Cup Vaulting rules for the 2015/2016 season. They will be published on the FEI website.

Reining

The bureau approved the revised FEI World Cup Reining rules for the 2015/2016 season. They will be published on the FEI website.

Veterinary matters

A new administrative system will be implemented for the Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Programme in 2016, in order to harmonise it on a global scale.

The Veterinary Department will coordinate the programme and be responsible for selecting events at which testing is to take place and the number of horses to sample. Testing Veterinarians will be appointed to sample horses at events and all assisting technicians will have undergone training and an examination before FEI registration.

Educational material will be available later in the year. The Veterinary Department will work with the Corporate Communications and IT Departments in implementing the programme.

Key changes to the Veterinary Regulations for 2016 will be consistent with the implementation of the new Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Programme administrative process. The definition of testing technicians and their registration process will be included, along with the registration of testing veterinarians.

The number of horses tested at events will no longer be a stated requirement and testing will not only take place at 3* events or higher, but at any level of event determined by the FEI Veterinary Department.

Allocation of FEI championships and finals

2016-17:

  • Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final, Barcelona (Spain), 22-25 September;
  • FEI Children’s International Classics Final, Valle de Bravo (Mexico), 27-31 January;
  • FEI World Breeding Driving Championship for Young Horses, Conty (France), 25-28 August;
  • FEI World Cup Driving Final, Bordeaux (France), 6-7 February;
  • FEI European Driving Championship for Young Riders, Juniors & Children, Biblis (Germany), 7-11 September;
  • FEI World Breeding Endurance Championship for Young Horses, Negrepelisse (France), 21-25 September
    2017;
  • FEI European Jumping Championship for Young Riders, Juniors & Children, Samorin (Slovakia), dates to be confirmed;
  • FEI European Eventing Championship for Young Riders and Juniors, Millstreet (Ireland), dates to be confirmed;
  • World Endurance Championship for Young Riders & Juniors, Verona (Italy), 22-24 September;
  • FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders & Juniors, Verona (Italy), 22-24 September;
  • FEI European Vaulting Championships, Stadl Paura (Austria), 2-6 August;
  • FEI World Vaulting Championships for Juniors, Stadl Paura (Austria), 2-6 August;
  • FEI North America Championships for Young Riders & Juniors (Jumping/Dressage/Para-Dressage/Eventing/Reining/Endurance), Lexington – Kentucky, United States, dates to be confirmed;

The allocation of the FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final 2017, Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final 2018, FEI World Cup Dressage Final 2018, and FEI Nations Cup Final 2018 was postponed.

The bureau decided on the principle that regional status will be given to championships by the regional groups and no longer by the FEI. These events will remain FEI events but will no longer be considered as FEI Championships. World and continental championships will remain FEI Championships.

Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games

The bureau heard an update on preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The FEI is monitoring progress closely and is working with the Organising Committee and the Brazilian authorities to ensure a successful Olympic test event in August and a successful Games in 2016.

The bureau approved the appointment of the officials for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The full list will be published on the FEI website.

Continental and Regional Games

An update was provided on all ongoing continental and regional multisport games.

The Pan American Sports Organisation has increased the quota for equestrian sport to 150 for the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

FEI Solidarity

The FEI President updated the bureau on the activities of FEI Solidarity, which he chairs. One of the main goals for the FEI Solidarity Department in 2015 will be to evaluate the programme, to analyse the successes and constraints in order to improve the system as the number of projects grows.

New tools

New Equestrian Sports Educative Events have been created and 14 officials and coaches have been trained in Chile and Bulgaria. They are now ready to deliver these events in Jumping, Dressage and Eventing in eight countries in Latin America and the Balkans.

The national federation IT Platform, the initial goal of which is to offer a complete solution for horsesport management, is being finalised. A workshop will be organised at the beginning of August for the administrators of the seven federations involved in this pilot project.

FEI Solidarity Officer

From January to May 2015, the FEI Solidarity Officer has visited nine countries – Myanmar, Cambodia, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, India, Zambia, Bulgaria and Albania – to evaluate their achievements and needs and agree on a strategy for a long-term national development plan.

FEI Coach Education Programme

Currently, 35 FEI courses for coaches (level 1 to 3) are scheduled to take place in 2015. The first coaches to complete an FEI Level 3 course will be certified following a formal assessment in Mexico City (MEX) in August.

The FEI Endurance Department and the FEI Solidarity Department are working together on the development of the material for coach courses in Endurance.

SportAccord Membership

The Bureau confirmed that the membership of the FEI with SportAccord will remain suspended until further notice.

FEI Sports Forum 2016

The next edition of the FEI Sports Forum will be held in April 2016, the exact dates being subject to confirmation. The main focus of the Forum will be on FEI Officials.

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