FEI General Assembly suspends Kuwait’s equestrian federation

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FEI General Assembly 2015 in full session in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo: FEI/Richard Juilliart
The FEI General Assembly 2015 in full session in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo: FEI/Richard Juilliart

Kuwait’s national equestrian federation has been suspended from the FEI. The decision was made today during the FEI’s General Assembly in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

It follows the decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to suspend the Kuwait Olympic Committee following recent amendments made to the sports legislation in that country that affect the autonomy of sports organisations, including national federations and their member sports clubs.

The suspension is valid until the relevant government authorities ensure that the national sports legislation is fully compatible with the principle of autonomy of the Olympic movement established by the Olympic Charter and the statutes of the various international federations.

Following the IOC’s decision, and in order to preserve the autonomy of equestrian sport and safeguard the independence of the Kuwait Equestrian Federation as the sole authority for equestrianism in the country, the General Assembly suspended the national federation with immediate effect.

In order to prevent athletes being affected by this decision, Kuwaiti athletes will be eligible to compete under the FEI flag during the period of the suspension.

Affiliations

The FEI General Assembly approved the affiliation of the Bosnia and Herzegovina National Federation, bringing the number of national federations affiliated to the FEI to 134.

Continental association reccognition

The African Confederation of Equestrian Sports (ACES) was formally recognised by the General Assembly.

Modifications to FEI regulations

Delegates approved modifications to the FEI General Regulations. The main changes include:

• Applications and allocations of FEI-named events.
• Advertising on athletes and horses and promotion.
• Horse passports and microchips.
• Protective headgear.
• Protests, appeals.

Jumping

The General Assembly approved modifications to the FEI Jumping Rules and the Rules for Jumping Championships and Games.

Frances Hesketh-Jones Triulzi, of Italy, was elected FEI Honorary Steward General Jumping, replacing Johan Heins, of the Netherlands. Jumping Official Bernardo Costa Cabral, of Portugal, was promoted to Level 4 (“O” status) course designer, having fulfilled the requirements.

Dressage

The General Assembly approved modifications to the FEI Dressage Rules.

A modification to Article 427.1 means that protective headgear will be mandatory for children, pony riders, juniors and young riders at horse inspections.

Article 430.6.1 will be modified to introduce a 2% penalty for a first error of course and elimination for a second error of course. This rule will apply only for Seniors, Under-25 riders and Young Riders. Errors of course in the Juniors, Pony Riders and Children categories will be penalised in the same way as Young Horses, with a 0.5% penalty for a first error, 1% for a second error and elimination for a third error of course.

Following discussions between the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH), the national federations and the FEI, specific tests and a judging system for young horses have been developed. The tests will be published on the FEI website in the coming weeks. An FEI Championship for seven-year old horses will also be introduced in 2016.

Para-dressage

The General Assembly approved modifications to the FEI Para-Equestrian Dressage Rules.

Endurance

Delegates heard an update on the application of the Endurance Strategic Planning Group (ESPG) recommendations, the majority of which have been implemented.

Endurance Committee chairman Brian Sheahan gave a report to delegates, detailing additional key recommendations that are being implemented.

These recommendations include:

• Key Performance Indicators consisting of the number of NFs organising Endurance events; number of CEIs; number of registered horses and athletes; number of starters; the relationship between metabolic issues and lameness; horse fatalities; number of horses leaving competition per year; number of doping cases; and promotion of officials.
• A lifetime ban for a horse that suffers a fifth consecutive disqualification for gait irregularity at FEI and national events.
• An increase to 80 penalty points (from 50) for an athlete whose horse suffers a catastrophic injury.
• Ranking lists, including additional ranking points for athletes with no penalty points.
• Online publication of progress reports.
• Coaching development programme.
• Generating sponsorship.
• Endurance Organisers Guide (to be ready in March 2016).
• Endurance FEI Coaching System (to commence in February/March 2016).

The General Assembly approved the modifications of the FEI Endurance

Vaulting

The General Assembly approved the modifications of the FEI Vaulting Rules.

Reining

The General Assembly approved the modifications to the FEI Reining Rules.

Elections

The following appointments were confirmed by the General Assembly:
Regional Groups
• Sadyr Mamytov (KGZ) was elected as Chair of Regional Group III for a four-year term (2015 – 2019) to replace Chair Sergey Buikevich (KAZ)
• HE Sheikh Khaled Al Khalifa (BRN) was re-elected as Chair of Regional Group VII for a third and final term of four years (2015 – 2019)
• Hossein Shafiee (IRI) was elected as Deputy Chair of Regional Group III for a four-year term (2015-2019)
• Sami Alduhami (KSA) was elected as Deputy Chair of Regional Group VII for a four-year term (2015-2019)
• Richard Sunderland (NZL) was elected as Deputy Chair of Regional Group VIII for a four-year term (2015-2019)
• Gayle Hanssen (ZIM) was elected as Deputy Chair of Regional Group IX for a four-year term (2015-2019)

In other appointments:

Driving Committee: Karoly Fugli (HUN) was re-elected as Chair of the FEI Driving Committee for a second four-year term (2015 – 2019).

FEI Audit and Compliance Committee: Jack Huang (TPE) was re-elected as a member of the FEI Audit and Compliance Committee for a second term of four years (2015 – 2019)

Vaulting Committee: Following the appointment of two Committee members by the Bureau, a draw was conducted to attribute the term of office for these new members. The terms have been allocated as follows:
• Suzanne Detol (USA) – 2015-2019
• Kai Vorberg (GER) – 2015-2016

FEI Tribunal: Henrik Arle (FIN) and Armand Leone (USA) were re-elected to the FEI Tribunal for four-year terms (2015-2019). Laurent Niddam (HUN), Chris Hodson (NZL) and Ludovic de Villele (FRA) were elected to the FEI Tribunal, also for terms of four years (2015-2019).

Nominations Committee:
• Andrew Finding (GBR) was re-elected as a member of the FEI Nominations Committee representing Regional Group II for a second term of two years (2015-2017). The Committee has re-elected Andrew Finding as Chair for a further two-year term.
• Dorrottya Strobl (HUN) was re-elected as a member of the FEI Nominations Committee representing Regional Group I for a second term of two years (2015-2017)
• Alesia Machulskaya (BLR) was elected as a member of the Committee representing Regional Group III for a two-year term (2015-2017), replacing Bahruz Nabiyev (AZE) who has resigned.
• Betty Wates (JAM) was elected as a member of the Committee representing Regional Group IV for a two-year term, replacing Naomi Roachford (BAR).
• César Hirsch (VEN) was re-elected as a member of the Committee representing Regional Group V for a second two-year term (2015-2017)
• César Lopardo-Grana (ARG) was re-elected as a member of the Committee representing Regional Group VI for a second two-year term (2015-2017).
• Badre Fakir (MAR) was re-elected as a member of the Committee representing Regional Group VII for a second term of two years (2015-2017).
• Melanie Chew (SIN) was elected as a member of the Committee representing Regional Group VIII for a term of two years replacing outgoing member Yasuhiko Haruta (JPN).
• Zara Nicolle (ZAM) was elected as a member of the Committee representing Regional Group IX for a term of two years replacing outgoing member Mary K. Binks (KEN)

Veterinary matters

The General Assembly approved the modifications to the FEI Veterinary Regulations.

The chair of the Veterinary Committee, John McEwen, gave detailed information about the global Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Programme (EADCMP), which will be progressively rolled out during 2016. The Programme will be coordinated from FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI), with the Veterinary Department managing its administration, including the selection of events at which testing will take place and the number of horses to be sampled. Additionally, testing will now be increased at lower level events as determined by the FEI Veterinary Department.

Other changes for 2016 include permitting the use of the GnRH vaccine, subject to it being recorded in the horse passport, and prohibiting the use of tongue ties.

In addition, under the new FEI Veterinary Regulations, national federations are required to upload horses’ description page and diagram to the FEI database prior to competition.

Equine anti-doping rules

The General Assembly approved the proposed changes to the Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs), including the Specified Substances concept.

The purpose is to recognise that it is possible for a substance to enter a Horse’s system inadvertently, and therefore allow the FEI and/or the FEI Tribunal more flexibility when prosecuting a case or when making a sanctioning decision.

The revised EADCMRs will be implemented on 1 January 2016.

FEI Solidarity

Since its inception four years ago, the FEI Solidarity Programme has made a significant impact on the development of the sport worldwide.

The key recommendations to further grow the project include:

• Update the FEI Solidarity Programme’s catalogue, showing a clear pathway from Grassroots to Elite level with clear development phases/steps.
• Digitalise the treatment of data using an appropriate professional project management tool.
• Develop a training course for the NF Administrators.

Theo Ploegmakers, President of the Dutch National Federation (Group II), was elected as a member of the FEI Solidarity Committee for a one-year term, replacing Jukka-Pekka Leskinen, of Finland.

Hugues Rene, President of the Mauritian National Federation (Group IX), was elected as a member of the FEI Solidarity Committee for a one-year term replacing Ibrahima Wade (SEN).

The 2016 FEI Sports Forum

The next FEI Sports Forum will take place at the IMD business school in Lausanne on April 4 and 5.

The topics for the Forum will be FEI Officials and discipline formats for the Olympic Games and FEI World Equestrian Games.

FEI Bureau

At its second meeting immediately following the General Assembly, the FEI Bureau today agreed proposals for the new Event Riders Masters series and the Africa Eventing Cup 2016.

The Event Riders Masters is a new series set to start in 2016 which will link six CIC3* competitions in Great Britain – Chatsworth, Bramham, Barbury Castle, Gatcombe, Blair Castle and Blenheim – with expansion to further nations in 2017.

The Africa Eventing Cup 2016, a development project, will aim for participation of four nations in Group IX – Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and South Africa. This follows the successful inaugural event held last year.

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