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- Samsung renews Nations Cup sponsorship until 2005
- FEI and International Paralympic Equestrian Committee (IPEC)
- Eventing Committee statement well received
- New edition of Veterinary Regulations
- 5 Olympic equestrian managers in attendance

San Francisco, 24-27 April 2001

The FEI held its annual General Assembly at the invitation of the American Horse Shows Association on 26 and 27 April 2001 in San Francisco. In connection with the General Assembly, both the Bureau and the Executive Board met twice. The four days of meetings were extremely well organised by the host federation and were held in a very cooperative and friendly atmosphere.

On Thursday 26 April The FEI President, Her Royal Highness the Infanta Doña Pilar de Borbón and Mr Il-Hyung Chang, Senior Vice President of Samsung Electronics signed the prolongation of the Samsung sponsorship agreement during a signing ceremony and press conference, hosted by Mr Hay Keong Yang, Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics. Samsung extend its title sponsorship of the Nations Cup Series for an additional three years, from 2003 to 2005. The decision to invest an additional $7 million demonstrates the company's strong and ongoing commitment to international equestrian sport.

Out of the 126 member National Federations, 90 were present: 80 were represented by delegates and 10 by proxy.

The day before the Assembly, a very successful Forum was organised. The first part of the Forum was dedicated to a presentation of the International Paralympic Equestrian Committee (IPEC) by Jonquil Solt, President. This was followed by the first Eventing Open Forum of the year, which brought very interesting discussions on the statement developed by the Eventing Committee. The second Forum will be organised in Lexington next week.

In her opening speech, the FEI President, HRH the Infanta Doña Pilar de Borbón, paid tribute to the many volunteers involved in equestrian sport around the world and briefly explained the Olympic programme for 2001, International Year of the Volunteers.

Brunei National Federation was accepted as new member.

All proposed modifications were adopted. They dealt mainly with the new Reining discipline. The concept of sponsored teams was also introduced. Other modifications dealt with clarification issues.

Based on the very good results of 2000 financial year, the Assembly approved the Finance Committee's proposal to allocate the surplus to "Operating Funds" (reserves).

A new structure of financial categories for NFs was accepted. Annual subscription will be based on six levels according to the level of equestrian activities in each country.

The operating budget for 2001 presents a moderate surplus as several new projects will require significant funding:
· implementation of the Strategic Plan
·administration of the new adopted discipline of Reining
· the development of the EQUIS Information system project
· new requirements affecting the safety of the sport, especially in Eventing

Mr Freddy Serpieri (GRE) was re-elected as Chairman of Geographical Group I and 1st Vice President.
Mr Leopoldo Palacios (VEN) was re-elected as Chairman of Group V.
Mrs Mariette Whitages (BEL) was elected Chairman of the Dressage Committee replacing Eric Lette (SWE), who was made Honorary Bureau Member.
Mr Olaf Petersen (GER) was re-elected for a second term of four year as chairman of the Jumping Committee.
The Chairman of the Eventing Committee, Mr Wayne Roycroft (AUS) was re-elected for a four year term. Mr Roycroft replaced Hugh Thomas who retired last year before the completion of his four-year term.
Dr Hanfried Haring (GER) was elected as new Chairman of the FEI Strategic Planning Committee and member of the Executive Board
Mr Martien van den Heuvel (NED) was elected member of the Finance Committee.

Mr Michael Düe (GER) replacing Dr Arthur Ken Allen (USA) and Dr Catherine W. Kohn (USA) replacing Dr Dennis James Goulding (AUS)
Mr Gotthilf Riexinger (GER) replacing Mrs Mariette Whitages (BEL)
Mr Sven Holmberg (SWE) replacing Mr Peter Herchel (SVK). Mr Leonidas Georgopoulos (GRE) was co-opted to the Committee until 2004.
Mr William Henson (GBR) replacing Mr Frans Meggelen as representative of the organisers.
Mr Richard C.V. Nicoll (USA) replacing Mr Joseph P. Moore.
Pony Riders
Mr Anthony McPherson (BEL) replacing Mr Jon Francis Doney (GBR), Dr Barnabas Mandi (HUN) replacing Mrs Rosa Maria Fadera (ESP)
Mr Bernardo Lopez Davidson (USA) replacing Mr Leopoldo Palacios (VEN), Mr Helio Lemos Pessoa (BRA) replacing Mrs Pilar Cepeda de Rizo.
Strategic Planning
Mr Simon Brooks Ward (GBR) was appointed.

The following championships were allocated:
South American Dressage Championships for Seniors, Young Riders, Junior & Children to Sao Paulo (BRA) 05-09 December
South American Jumping Championships for Young Riders, Juniors and Americas Children to Buenos Aires (ARG) 25-29 September
European Eventing Senior Championship was provisionally allocated to Punchestown (IRL).

Mr Yiannis Giannouris Sport Manager of ATHOC (Athens 2004 Olympic Games) and Nikolas Karidis, Equestrian Manager, presented a report on the preparation for the Games. The construction of the equestrian site will start in September 2001. A CCI** will be organised in August 2003 as test event.

Nikolas Karidis, was warmly encouraged by four former equestrian managers: Alan Balch (Los Angeles) and Kate Jackson (Atlanta) who organised the General Assembly, but also Franz Venhaus (Sydney) Gabriela Klingenberg (Barcelona), the Assistant to the FEI President.

At the end of its very moving presentation, Franz Venhaus, was warmly congratulated for the wonderful organisation of the equestrian competitions of the Sydney Olympic Games.

Luis Figueroa, President of the Spanish Federation, presented a very interesting progress report on the preparation for the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera (ESP). The WEG Organising Committee can count on the support of the Government and all Spain. The King of Spain accepted to be President of Honour of the Games. 600 volunteers have already signed up and the ticket sales will start this autumn.

The major work of the Committee was the production of the final version of the Strategic Plan adopted by 2000 General Assembly followed by the process of implementing it. A more detailed timeline was produced and specific responsibilities given to the various Committees and Bureau Members.

The FEI's development programme continues to grow and tangible benefits can been seen. Thirty-four National Federations received assistance in 2000. Four Development officers have been funded, two for Eventing and two for Endurance, coveraing Oceania and South America. Focus was changed from training officials to training riders and trainers. The Development Fund was made a budgetary item to ensure consistent funding for development of the sport in the future. CHF 500,000 were allocated for 2001.

The General Assembly accepted the introduction of the Nations Cup Super League, which will consist of 8 teams and 8 countries (not necessarily linked). The events will be selected according to established criteria laid down by a special committee. There will be a promotion system each year from the previous years regional leagues to the Super League and a relegation of the two lowest placed teams of the Super League at the end of each season. It was agreed to introduce the Super League in 2003, as a number of issues relating to the composition of regional leagues still have to be resolved.

The new format of the World Cup in the Western European League is proving very successful: up to 45 riders in a qualifying competition on Friday and 18 in the World up on Saturday. TV coverage, especially from terrestrial channels, continues to improve.

The Dressage Committee is working on qualification criteria for 2001 Championships, due to a considerable number of events having been cancelled as a result of the Foot and Mouth disease outbreak in Europe.

The working statement on the future of the discipline and its format at Olympic Games was discussed during the Forum. Particular efforts were made in the development of Eventing in Asia and South America. The Eventing Committee informed the General Assembly on plans to have a CIC World Cup circuit operating in 2002.

The introduction of a Driving World Cup was approved. This World Cup will consist in a Series for Four-in-Hand drivers competing at eight indoor events, and will commence on 16 November 2001 in Stuttgart (GER).

In 2000, new countries came to Endurance, such as Syria, Morocco and Egypt. 2001 will see the first ever World Championship for Young Riders in Spain. A star system (1 to 4 star) was approved and will come into effect in 2002.

The creation of the FEI/UAE World Masters was announced. This series will consist of three events (one in Australia, one in Europe and one in USA) and will start in 2001. Any rider winning all three rides will earn a prize purse of USD 1 million.

Starting this year, the Emirates Airlines will sponsor a series of 50 events at different levels. Up to USD 5000 will be allocated to each event to help with their organisation and enhance their level. The Endurance Committee will select the events included in the series.
The new FEI Reining Rules were adopted. This year, two FEI international official competitions CRIOs will be organised, one in Reggio Emilia (ITA) and one in Gladstone (USA).

The Guidelines for Judges have been updated. For the first time, a Vaulting course with Development Fund Assistance was organised in Bogota (COL) and the Development programme with continue in 2001 with courses planned in South America and Australia

The new revision of the Pony Rider Rules was approved, including new rules for the measurement of ponies. It will come into effect on 1 January 2002.

The FEI Children's International Jumping Competition was held for the 6th consecutive year and for the third and last time with the sponsorship of Arab Radio and Television. Thirty-five countries have confirmed their participation for the 2001 competition.

A more standardised protocol for horse inspections in all the disciplines was approved by the Bureau and General Assembly. In this way, the concept of "fitness to compete" will become more transparent to the riders, Organisers and the public. Suggestions from riders, national federations and technical committees had been included in the draft document prior to its approval.

The future development of medication control was discussed. There is a significant difference in positive test rates between the MCP programme versus testing outside groups I & II, which necessitates a more standardised testing procedure and an improved standard of the involved laboratories. An annual Quality Control programme will be set up by the central MCP laboratory in 2001 and the MCP programme, which has been operative for a decade now, will be reviewed by the Veterinary and Medication sub-Committees.

The recent problems in regard to Foot and Mouth Disease and their impact on the sport were reviewed. The horse is not a susceptible animal for FMD and cannot act as a biological reservoir for FMD. Although the recent outbreaks appear to be diminishing, it will be essential to collate information on the damaging effect that restrictive measures have had on equestrian sport. It will be helpful if data on the total economic value of the horse industry are collected for discussions with sanitary organisations.

Mr Jonny McIrvine Director of the International League for the Protection of Horses presented a comprehensive report on ILPH activities.

The chairman explained the concept of strict liability for positive medication cases and the fact that Person Responsible (PRs) must take a special care in veterinary treatment, care and management of their horses. The FEI will continue to liaise with the World Anti-Doping Agency in its efforts to establish a comprehensive anti-doping procedure for competitors.

Mrs Anita de Franz, IOC member attended the General Assembly and FEI Prize Giving ceremony.

During the spectacular prize giving ceremony hosted by AHSA, tribute was paid to retiring Bureau Members Eric Lette and Michael Bates.

The Asian Federation held an special meeting. The Pan American NFs also organised a meeting.

A cooperation agreement with the International Paralympic Equestrian Committee was signed during the Development Lunch organised on 26 April.

The FEI would like to thank the President of the AHSA, Alan Balch and his very efficient and friendly staff for their great cooperation in the organisation of the General Assembly, as well as all the volunteers who came to assist the FEI Secretariat in the coordination of the meetings.


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