July 3, 2008

The Sport Committee of British Eventing is following the FEI's lead and will introduce the "one fall and out" rule for rider falls at a fence on the cross-country phase at all national competitions from August 1.

The same rule does not apply to the showjumping phase.

Currently the FEI rules state that elimination will occur after the first fall of the horse and the second fall of the rider. The reason for the change is that of safety, resulting from difficulty in medical evaluation in the field. Mild concussion together with a subsequent lapse in judgment could result in serious injury to rider or horse. It is also a fact that once riders have had a fall they will not be in a competitive situation.

The "one fall and out" rule was approved in June by the FEI. From 1 August, all riders competing at events run under FEI rules will be eliminated after one fall either in the Cross Country or Show Jumping test. The new ruling will apply to all competitors at the forthcoming Olympic Games.

"The Sport Committee discussed this matter at considerable length at its recent meeting weighing up all the implications," said Mike Etherington-Smith, Sport Director of British Eventing. "Although we all understand the frustration that will be felt in some quarters we have to recognise that this is primarily a safety issue. The decision was made with much reluctance and will be reviewed at the end of the season."