Showjumping’s Global Champions League welcomed into FEI fold

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John Whitaker and Bertram Allen of Valkenswaard United after winning a Global Champions League team event in Hamburg last year.
John Whitaker and Bertram Allen of Valkenswaard United after winning a Global Champions League team event in Hamburg last year. © GCL / Stefano Grasso

The FEI and international teams jumping series the Global Champions League (GCL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), giving FEI approval of the league’s rules.

The new MOU, which is between the FEI, GCL and the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT), replaces the earlier agreement between the FEI and the GCT from September 2007.

As a result of the agreement, the GCL’s complaint to the Belgian Competition Authority which alleged the FEI’s Unsanctioned Events rule was in breach of EU anti-trust legislation, has been formally withdrawn. The FEI Officials who were sanctioned for officiating at GCL events before this week’s agreement, have also formally withdrawn their complaints to the BCA.

In a joint statement, GCL Co-Founders Jan Tops and Frank McCourt said: “We are pleased to have reached consensus with the FEI and appreciate the genuine efforts that have been made to achieve this agreement and resolve outstanding issues. We thank everyone involved for their efforts in reaching this outcome.

“We are very much looking forward to working with the FEI and to building a healthy, strong and sustainable future for our sport and all its stakeholders in the modern sports landscape.”

“We are very happy that this long-running saga has finally been resolved to the satisfaction of both sides and that the Global Champions League is now officially an FEI-approved series,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“The new MOU with the GCT/GCL also now means an end to the legal issues between us, which has to be good for the future of the sport. The FEI was always of the belief that there was room for co-existence between the current FEI series and the GCL and, with the signing of the MOU, now we can turn the page and look to the future. It’s a great step forward and ends a period of uncertainty for athletes, organisers and FEI officials.”

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