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Endurance riders told to clean up their act

Riders, support crew and officials may have to look more closely at their attire, in a three-year FEI plan.

June 19, 2008

The days of the "anything goes" dress code and riding style for endurance riders may soon be a thing of the past.

Any old riding gear and tack and sloppy riding may well make way for matching team clobber and smartened up athletes in the FEI's new "Triple E" three-year plan for bringing the image of the equestrian sport of endurance up to scratch.

But riders need not feel singled out - the image makeover will also apply to officials and their support crew.

The sport's image is under discussion at the highest levels, and delegates at a recent FEI Bureau meeting looked closely at implementing a dress code for riders and their support crew. Under the "Triple E" plan, the 'E' of the dress code comes under the "Elevation of Endurance Image".

"Whilst the growth of the discipline has been rapid and a very positive asset for the sport of Endurance, the issue of quality at all levels should now be addressed," the FEI said.

"In particular, enhancing the image of the sport in the eyes of the public and the media by implementing a minimum dress code that is both functional and professional for riders, their support crew as well as the FEI officials."

The FEI is looking to enhance the image of endurance in a new three-year plan.
The other two 'e' words are Equitation and Education.

The equitation part of the plan will look to "identify opportunities to provide riding instruction and improvement programs", while at the same time "encouraging the participation of riders of all ages and at all levels of endurance competition." A focus will also be on "the education and equitation needs and opportunities for Junior and Young Riders who are, after all, the future of the sport."

Education applies to judges, technical delegates, veterinarians, organising committees and competitors. New courses for endurance vets are also on the cards, which will be partly funded through the new Two-year Educational Program.

The three-part plan was the culmination of a review of the sport carried out since the Endurance Forum in Paris in April 2007.

Task Force Members have produced a document which will be circulated amongst the National Federations for feedback.



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