All international equestrian events in Russia and Belarus have been removed from the 2022 FEI calendar, and horse sport’s governing body has allocated a million Swiss francs ($US1m, $NZ1.6m) in relief for the equestrian community in Ukraine.
At its meeting on Monday, the FEI’s Executive Board unanimously condemned the invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, and as well as removing events, agreed to freeze all FEI Solidarity and development activities and to cancel or relocate courses for officials scheduled to be held in Russia and Belarus in 2022.
The move is in line with Friday’s statement from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that urged International Sports Federations to relocate or cancel their sports events, and in accordance with Articles 112.3 of the FEI General Regulations and 28.2 vi of the FEI Statutes.
Following the sanctions imposed against Russia and Belarus, Ukrainian Equestrian Federation president Andriy Milovanov thanked the FEI for its moral support and said “despite many friends among athletes of these countries, Ukrainians consider such measures fair”.
The FEI Executive Board also approved the allocation of a CHF 1 Million FEI Solidarity Relief Fund for the equestrian community in Ukraine. The FEI is liaising with the Ukrainian Federation and neighbouring countries to facilitate and coordinate logistical support as well as financial aid.
FEI President Ingmar De Vos said he was in close contact with the National Federation of Ukraine and the equestrian community, and was “deeply concerned for the welfare of all Ukrainians and the entire equestrian community in Ukraine”.
”Their safety is very much our priority, and we are liaising closely with our key contacts in Ukraine and neighbouring countries to seek solutions to their most pressing needs,” said De Vos, who is also Chair of the FEI Solidarity Committee.
“Sport is a network which relies and thrives on team spirit and camaraderie and it is through these important friendships that we can offer support and make a difference to the people of Ukraine in these challenging times.”
The FEI Board is also considering an Emergency Board Resolution to prohibit the participation of all Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials. The FEI will continue to monitor the situation and decisions taken by the FEI Board will be communicated in the coming days.