Name change for Eventing still a possibility

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Andrew Nicholson and Cillnabradden Evo on the way tow inning the Amlin Plus Eventers Challenge at Hickstead.
Andrew Nicholson and Cillnabradden Evo on the way to winning the Amlin Plus Eventers Challenge at Hickstead on July 30 this year. © Nigel Goddard/KSDigital Photography

The FEI is pressing ahead with a review of the name for the discipline of Eventing.

A name change is among a raft of reform options being considered by the world governing body as part of a push to align its strategies with the International Olympic Committee’s 2020 Agenda – the most radical shake-up in the Games’ history.

The proposal has caused some disquiet among the sport’s riders and fans.

The president of the Eventing Riders Association, Bruce Haskell, spoke against the idea ahead of last April’s FEI Sports Forum in Switzerland.

“We are Eventing,” he said. “We need to build the brand of Eventing, promote its values and show the world a modernised image of our sport.”

However, the FEI Bureau, meeting this week in San Juan, Puerto Rico, ahead of the FEI’s General Assembly on Friday, has agreed with the FEI Eventing Committee’s request to review the discipline name.

The FEI will work with its own corporate communications team and external advisers “with the ultimate goal of ensuring full understanding of the discipline by fans and wider stakeholders”.

Names suggested in the past – but which seemingly failed to capture the hearts of Eventing aficionados  – have included the equestrian triathlon, equestrathon and tri-equathlon.

The Bureau also approved the rules for FEI Nations Cup Eventing in 2016. Changes consist of a modified points system in order to ensure a less predictable result before the final event and that seven out of the nine events, which are part of the series, will be taken into account for the final standings.

The Bureau also agreed that the Eventing Committee should propose formal FEI rules to govern indoor Eventing at existing FEI Jumping and Dressage events.

It will also review proposals for the Eventing Riders Masters, a new series consisting initially of FEI events held in Britain. The intention would be to expand the series to other countries in the future. A decision on this series will be made at the second FEI Bureau meeting on November 13, following the General Assembly.

The Africa Eventing Cup Series will also be reviewed. This development project, which currently comprises two events held in Zimbabwe and South Africa, will be expanded to Namibia and Zambia in 2017.

Olympic strategy

The Bureau, following the recommendation of the FEI Executive Board, agreed on the launch of a global Olympic communications campaign in the countdown to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Its key focus will be to boost the appeal of equestrian sport to a global audience, with the ultimate goal of safeguarding the sport for the future, and showing that equestrian sport is contemporary and unique.

The campaign will be driven by FEI headquarters, working in tandem with national federations and
external creative, public relations and marketing advisers in key global territories.

Technical committee appointments

The Bureau confirmed a series of appointments to technical committees:

FEI Medical Committee
Peter Whitehead (GBR) was re-appointed as chair of the FEI Medical Committee for a second term of four years (2015-2019).
Jan Holger Holtschmit (GER) was appointed to replace outgoing member Franz Kasin (NOR) for a term of four years (2015-2019).

FEI Veterinary Committee
Jan-Hein Swagemakers (GER) was appointed to replace outgoing member Philippe Benoit (FRA) for a term of four years (2015-2019).
Thomas Wolff (BRA) was appointed to replace outgoing member Sergio Salinas (MEX) for a term of four years (2015-2019).

FEI Jumping Committee
Rob Ehrens (NED) was appointed to replace outgoing member Marco Fusté (ESP) for a term of four years (2015-2019).

FEI Dressage Committee
Klaus Roeser (GER) was appointed to replace outgoing member Thomas Baur (GER) as the Organisers’ representative for a term of four years (2015-2019).

FEI Eventing Committee
Marilyn Payne (USA) was appointed to replace outgoing member Gillian Rolton (AUS) for a term of four years (2015-2019).

FEI Driving Committee
Anne-Marie Turbé (FRA) was appointed to replace outgoing member Edward Young (USA) for a term of four years (2015-2019).

FEI Endurance Committee
Ignasi Casas (ESP) was appointed to replace outgoing member John Robertson (GBR) for a term of four years (2015-2019).
Rocio Echeverri (CRC) was appointed to replace Brian Dunn (IRL) for a term of four years (2015-2019).

FEI Reining Committee
Sven Friesecke (SUI) was appointed to replace outgoing member Raymond Grether (NED) for a term of four years (2015-2019).

FEI Vaulting Committee
John Eccles (GBR) was appointed as Chair of the FEI Vaulting Committee to replace outgoing Chair Emma Seely (USA) for a term of four years (2015-2019).
Suzanne Detol (USA) and Kai Vorberg (GER) were both appointed to the Vaulting Committee. Their terms will be decided by a draw, with the results communicated to the FEI General Assembly on 13 November. One candidate will take over John Eccles’ term (until 2016) and the other candidate will take over the four-year term of outgoing member Ulla Ramge (GER) (2015-2019).

FEI Para-Equestrian Committee
Hope Hand (USA) was appointed to replace outgoing member Joop Stokkel (NED) for a term of four years (2015-2019).

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