US extends horse sport suspension as FEI task forces work on Covid-19 fallout

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© FEI/Lukasz Kowalski

Suspension of equestrian competition in the United States has been extended by nearly fortnight to May 3 by the US Equestrian Federation, and horse sport’s governing body is creating several discipline-specific task forces to deal with the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

In announcing the extension of the no-compete timeframe, the USEF said it appreciated members who had joined the community-wide effort to responsibly address the Covid-19 virus outbreak by canceling competitions and choosing not to compete during this critical period.

“This is the only way to flatten the curve of this virus and let us all get back to some level of normal,” said USEF chief executive Willilam Moroney.

Effective from today, the USEF suspension of all its events, selection trials, training camps, clinics and activities have been suspended to May 3, 2020, consistent with recommendations by the CDC. “For those competitions that choose to run and can do so in accordance with the CDC, State, and Local recommendations, there will be no accumulation or points, scores, money won, qualifications, or rankings toward any USEF award programs, USEF owned events, or selection to a US team during this time period. This includes USEF National Championships,” Moroney said.

He said that USEF president Murray Kessler would use his Presidential Modification authority to waive mileage rules and allow for major events to be rescheduled later in the year. A fair method for altering qualifications for these events would be developed.

FEI task forces

Each FEI discipline will have its own task force and all will be chaired by FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez, who has overall responsibility for the FEI Calendar. The task forces will assess all calendar related issues caused by the Covid-19 virus and make recommendations to the FEI on ways to address them.

The individual task forces will also comprise:

  • FEI vice-presidents Mark Samuel (CAN) and Jack Huang (TPE)
  • European Equestrian Federation President Theo Ploegmakers (NED)
  • President of the International Equestrian Organisers Association Peter Bollen (BEL)
  • FEI Calendar Administrator, and FEI IT and FEI Legal representatives
  • Technical committee chairs
  • Athlete representative
  • FEI sports director of each discipline

Following yesterday’s postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the FEI said it had received assurances from the International Olympic Committee that it will work in tandem with all the International Federations to find the best solutions for all issues that arise, including the dates for rescheduling and the impact that will have on the international calendar for all sports.

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