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Federation Equestre Internationale News

- FEI Bureau Meeting
- Endurance horse fatalities at 2002 WEG


The FEI Bureau just held its spring meeting on 26 and 27 April 2003 in Madrid (ESP) on the invitation of the Royal Spanish Equestrian Federation and the City Council of Madrid.

Further to the cancellation of the 2003 General Assembly, the Bureau took a number of important decisions which could not be delayed until next year. The following items were discussed, decided and/or will be referred to at the FEI 2004 General Assembly.

The Bureau decided to postpone the approval of the Statutes and General Regulations modifications to 2004 General Assembly. The working group will work on a new proposal this summer to be sent to the National Federations for comments.

The Bureau provisionally agreed on several items that required immediate decision as follows:

In order to reduce the financial charges on NFs, the Bureau decided that, as of 1 January 2004, subscription to FEI Bulletin would not longer be mandatory for all officials. The Officials have the responsibility for keeping themselves informed on the Rules and Regulations. The Bulletin is available on the FEI website.

The Bureau adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Anti-Doping Code, which will be integrated in the General Regulations.


A meeting including the three Olympic disciplines chairmen and the Veterinary Committee Chairman was organised to finalise the Olympic Regulations for Athens 2004. The modifications to the rules were presented to the Bureau and a final approval is expected by the end of May.

The Chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee reported on a recent meeting between his Committee and the Pay-Card working group chaired by Mr Philip Billington (GBR).

A solution to the continuing problem of pay cards/wild cards is proposed based on the ranking system, to make the events financially viable whilst ensuring the integrity of the sport. The proposal will be circulated to National Federations after the Bureau Meeting for input. A strict penalty system will be introduced.

The Strategic Planning Committee will start working on the new FEI Strategic Plan for the next five to ten years.

Further to the recommendation of the Strategic Planning Committee the Bureau agreed to recommend to organisers to pay a per diem allowance of EUR 100 for the Veterinary Officials, Judges, Technical Delegates and Chief Stewards of FEI events in addition to the travel expenses.

The Secretary General reported that the Samsung Super League concept was very successful with broadcasters. Five of the 8 participating countries have already confirmed terrestrial coverage of all eight events.

The 1st Vice President gave a report on the Development activities. A working group will be formed to establish a 5-year plan for the development of the sport and of the NFs.

The development strategy will concentrate on three goals:

1) a global coaching structure
2) the development of a regional competition structure including championships
3) a plan to assist NFs in developing their internal structures

The Treasurer reported on the Financial Year 2002. Despite the uncertainties in world economy, the year's results turned out better than anticipated.

The Bureau approved the 2002 accounts and auditor's report and allocated the surplus of CHF 503,086 to designated funds (reserves). The accounts will be sent to the National Federations after the Bureau Meeting.

The Development Fund, after the allocation of CHF 250,000 during the year and after expenses incurred in 2002, now stands at CHF 809,502.

The 2003 budget was approved.


The Bureau confirmed that elected positions for 2003 would be deferred until 2004. Bureau Members due to retire or stand for re-elections will serve an extra year. The elections will take place at the 2004 General Assembly and incoming members will serve a reduced term of 3 years. In order to make sure that the best possible candidates are found, these positions will be open for new nominations. However the present candidates will stand and the respective letters of support will be
valid for 2004.

Consequently, the following Bureau Members accepted to prolong their term by one year:
Mr Jack Pemberton (CAN), Chairman of the Driving Committee (outgoing)
Mr Hallvard Sommerseth (NOR), Chairman of the Endurance Committee (re-eligible)
Mr Ken Lalo (ISR), Chairman of the Judicial Committee (re-eligible)
Dr Noel Vanososte (VEN), Chairman of the Children's Committee (outgoing)
Dr Elena Petushkova (RUS), Chairman of Group III (outgoing)
Mr Shael Bin Khalifa Al Kuwari (QAT), Chairman of Group VII (re-eligible)

The Bureau confirmed the appointment of Mr Frank Costantini (USA) as Chairman of the new Reining Committee to replace Jane Forbes Clark (USA) whose temporary position had already been prolonged by one year in 2002.

The term of Mr Andrea Riffeser Monti (ITA), outgoing member of the Finance Committee, was prolonged by one year.
The terms of both re-eligible members of the Judicial Committee, Messrs Eric Elstad (NOR) and Philip O'Connor (IRL) were prolonged by one year.

The Bureau approved the following appointments of Committee Members:

Veterinary Committee
Dr Nigel Bruce Nichols (AUS) replacing Dr Philippe Benoit (FRA)
Dr Emile Welling (NED) replacing Dr John McEwen (GBR)
Dr Sergio Salinas (MEX) as 5th member to the Veterinary Committee.

Jumping Committee
Mr Robert Ridland (USA) replacing Mr François Ferland (CAN)

Dressage Committee
Mr Sjef Janssen (NED) replacing Ms Elisabeth McMullen (CAN)
Mrs Pia Laus (ITA) replacing Mr Richard Davison (GBR) as rider's representative

Eventing Committee
Mr Christoph Hess (GER) replacing Jack Le Goff (USA)

Driving Committee
Mr Richard Cambray James (GBR) replacing Mr Gé Konig
Mr Tomas Torgersen (SWE) replacing Marek Zaleski as representative of the Organisers

Vaulting Committee
Mr Dietmar Otto (GER) replacing Mrs Elzbieta Dolinska (POL)

Pony Committee
Dr Lalla Novo (ITA) replacing Lady Celia Carew (IRL)


Groups I and II held a meeting in Düsseldorf on 23 April 2003.

Both Groups discussed the issue of pay cards. The proposal of the Pay Card working group will be circulated to the NFs for further comments.

The Bureau will study the procedure for the alterations of rules to ensure a greater input from the NFs.

The Chairman of Group II underlined the necessity for the FEI to have adequate means to react quickly to EU decisions especially in the fields of health, transport and feeding of animals.

In addition, Group II presented a proposal to review the rules of the Super League after three years with regard to the selection of events, which was accepted. The request for the addition of a 9th event in 2004 was rejected by the Bureau. In addition, the proposal to link the selection of events with the qualified teams was rejected.

The next meeting of Group I and II will be organised in Tallin (EST) on 11 October 2003.

Group III
The Chairman of Group III explained that the composition of Group had to be studied to deal with the great distances and very different interests of countries on the European and Asian continents. The general level of the sport within the Group is steadily improving.

Group IV and V
Both Groups will hold their annual meeting during the Pan American Games to be held in August in Santo Domingo (DOM). A meeting of the Pan American Equestrian Confederation (PAEC) would also be organised on that occasion, including nations of Group VI.

Group VI
The Chairman of Group VI reported on the successful development programmes organised within his Group. Group VI will also organise their annual meeting during the Pan American Games.

Group VII
The Chairman of Group VII will visit the Organising Committee of the Pan Arab Games to be held in September in Algeria. The OC is expected to organise Jumping and Endurance competitions. The Meeting of Group VII will also be organised in conjunction with the Games.

Group VIII
The Chairman of Group VIII reported on several development projects within Group VIII, among which a staff training project, a steward seminar and several courses for officials in view of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

The meeting of Group IX was cancelled due to lack of participants. The Chairman of Group IX explained that the FEI development programmes were of tremendous help to the Group but that major economical problems in the region slowed down the development process.

The Bureau allocated the following championships:

3rd Asia Championship, Jumping to Beijing (CHN) from 18 to 21 September

World Driving/4 Championship to Kecskemét (HUN) from 4 to 8 August (change of location)

World Driving Single Championship to Astorp (SWE) from 21 to 25 July (change of location and date)

North America Young Riders Championship in Jumping/Dressage/Eventing to Temple Farm (USA) at a date to be confirmed

European Dressage Championship to Moscow (RUS) at a date to be confirmed

European Eventing Championship to Blenheim (GBR) from 8 to 11 September.


The Equestrian Manager of the Organising Committee for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens (ATHOC), Nicolas Karidis, made a full presentation on the progress of the constructions of the Olympic equestrian infrastructure.

The test event, which will be in the form of a CIC 3 stars, will be held on 15, 16 and 17 August 2003 with a maximum of 30 riders. The participation of as many nations as possible will be encouraged with a prize money of EUR 30,000, free accommodation and transport and no entry fee. 86 National Technical Officials (NTOs) and 200 volunteers will officiate at the test event.

The Secretary General reported on a very successful technical meeting which was held in Beijing in January 2003.

The 2nd Vice President reported that, while the construction was somewhat behind schedule, no major problems were experienced with the organisation of the Pan American Games. As the Dominican Republic did not have a great experience in equestrian sport, a seminar for national stewards was soon to be organised and experienced foreign volunteers would serve as stewards.

A record number of teams were expected as the Pan Am Games was a qualifying event for the 2004 Olympic Games.


The Bureau approved a clarification to the qualification procedure for 2004 Olympic Games related to placement of the third qualifying position from the Pan American Games and from the European Championship. The scores of all four team members will be taken into account at the end of the team competition to calculate the classification of the teams for qualification purposes (no score will be dropped).

On the recommendation of the Jumping Committee, the Bureau agreed to end the suspension of the O status for the Course Designer Frank Rothenberger (GER) after one year of suspension (12 June 2003).

The Bureau acknowledged the tremendous work of Max Ammann, who is leaving his position as World Cup Director after 25 years.

The World Cup Working Group held a meeting during The World Cup Final in Las Vegas.

The Bureau approved the Calendar for the 2003/2004 season. A maximum of two events per country will be allowed. There fore Berlin and Leipzig will be the two World Cup events in Germany Western European League.

The Bureau accepted alterations to qualifications rules for the World Cup and asked the Jumping Committee to study the possibility of qualification through the Rider/Horse Combination rankings in addition to the normal Riders Rankings for the Western European League (best 30 results only to count).

In order to allow for a specified ending time for television, a fixed number of 10 riders will be qualified for the Jump-off, according to faults and time. If there are more than 10 clear rounds, the riders with the fastest rounds will qualify. The 10 riders will carry the faults from the initial round.

The Secretary General mentioned that the management of the Samsung Super League was now handled by the FEI Secretariat, while the Nations Cup Series was managed by the Nations Cup Director.

The Dressage Committee Chairman reported that the discipline was undertaking major developments based on the key words Transparency, Globalisation and Fairness.

Official courses and seminars will only be held during international competitions and promotion of officials will only be possible through examination.

In view of increasing the transparency as well as the interest of spectators, the "open scoring" had been introduced and tested at several shows. The scores of the 5 judges for each movement performed by the rider/horse combination will be displayed on the scoreboard.

A pilot project was initiated to find a system where the results of the rider/horse combinations and especially those of the top ones would be closer to the ideal score.

Bringing championships and Finals to new dressage countries such as Spain (Jerez) was an effective way of promoting the sport outside of the mainstream and new developments to bring the World Cup Final to the USA were being discussed.

Stricter instruction of stewards and use of the video in the exercise arena was one of the proposals studied to increase fairness.


The Bureau confirmed the changes to the Eventing Rules, to take into account the new Olympic format. CICs will be included in the Olympic Rankings and the minimum Eligibility procedure for riders and horses.

The technical specifications for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games Eventing competitions were approved.

Hugh Thomas representing the Eventing 4 stars CCI organisers had a hearing with the Executive Board to discuss ways of maintaining the long format of Eventing format in the FEI system, while being supportive of the recent changes within the discipline and the new Olympic format. The Bureau acknowledged the Eventing Committee's efforts to find solutions for a yearly parallel championship track in the short and the long format. A detailed proposal will be sent to NFs for comments in the next few weeks.

The Bureau acknowledged the successful implementation of the registration of horses and riders in Eventing, as part of the Safety programme. The annual Safety report including statistics collected and analysed by TRL would be circulated shortly.

The Bureau acknowledged the report of the Eventing World Cup Director.
The overall number of qualifiers, the number of qualifiers per NF and the rules would be reviewed at the end of the first season.


The Bureau approved a limited number of rules changes to the World Cup Driving. The qualification for the Indoor World Cup will be held during the summer events, i.e. at Championships, CAIOs and at a maximum of 1 CAI-A per country.

The Chairman mentioned the tremendous development of Endurance in South America, with Brazil having organised the highest number of rides worldwide in 2002.

The Bureau accepted the recommendation of the Endurance Committee to amend Art 825 the Endurance Rules to strengthen the qualification procedure for championships and four star events.

The Chairman of the Children's Committee reported on the healthy development of Children's competition, as well as the increasing number of Dressage competitions organised for Children.

The Bureau confirmed the allocation of the 2003 Children's Final to Spruce Meadows (CAN).

The Chairman of the Reining Committee reported that a Master Series for Reining will be established, which will increase the number of CRI's around the world. It was also mentioned that a Children's Reining competition would be developed in conjunction with the Children's Committee during 2003, for implementation in 2004.

The Chairman of the Veterinary Committee reported on the meeting of the Committee which was held in January 2003 in Warsaw.

The MCP Annual Report was presented. In 2002, a total of 2000 horses were tested of which 1300 in Group I and II, which resulted in a rate of positives of 3.3%. More than 60% of positive test results related to pain and inflammation management. In 2002, there had been 7 positive test results for valerian (herbal tranquilizer), indicating the wide spread use of herbal medication.

A leaflet was produced to explain the problems of medication and testing in a user friendly way to the riders. This leaflet will be distributed at events and by the MCP Testing Vets and will be sent together with every new Horse passport.

Horse Inspection
Two disciplines (Jumping and Driving) reported some problems with the protocol for Horse Inspection. The rules for inspection were discussed in a separate meeting and a solution was found. The protocol for horse inspections now includes to all FEI disciplines. The complete rules will be published in the FEI Bulletin 2/03.

Vet research
The Bureau agreed that there was a need to develop research in Endurance. It was decided that most of the Veterinary budget for 2003 would be allocated to study the exercise load of Endurance horses, competing under different conditions.

The Veterinary Committee had recently decided that the current rules for influenza vaccination needed upgrading. It was decided that research information and a regulatory proposal would be submitted to the next General Assembly.


The Bureau approved the new FEI Code of Conduct for Horse Welfare which will be included the Olympic Games Regulations.

A condensed version of the Code of Conduct will be used in all schedules and rule books.

The new Code of Conduct for Horse Welfare will be widely published in the form of a brochure and distributed to all NFs as well as posted on the FEI website.

The 2004 General Assembly was allocated to Paris (FRA)

The next Bureau meeting will be held in Brunei early December 2003.

The provisional affiliation of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (MKD) was approved.


The Judicial Committee of the FEI has now considered all the facts made available to it by the extensive investigations and an official enquiry into the deaths of the two Endurance horses during the WEG 2002. The cause of death in both horses a multi-systemic failure which appears to have been associated with fatigue and exhaustion. The Judicial Committee concluded that a multiplicity of factors contributed, directly or indirectly, to the fatalities and accordingly, no assessment of conduct
was carried out and no individual was sanctioned.

The ride was conducted under the guidelines of the FEI Code of Conduct and the entries of both horses and their riders conformed to the qualification requirements for the event.

The Judicial Committee found that there had been a range of problems with the ride and a number of organisational difficulties.

The Judicial Committee wished to reinforce the concept that, generally, riders must bear the first responsibility for the horse's well being during competition. Riders should always communicate any signs of fatigue or unfitness of their horse to the event officials at the earliest opportunity.

The Judicial Committee recommended that the FEI and its Endurance Committee should review the current rules for Endurance competitions, improve the communication between all parties involved and strengthen the roles of the veterinary and other officials. All involved must be fully aware of the responsibilities for horse welfare.

The Judicial Committee is heartened that the FEI is now actively engaged in a comprehensive review of its rules and procedures, and that an ad-hoc Endurance Veterinary Advisory Group is being established to provide expert advice.

The full statement of the Judicial Committee will be published in FEI Bulletin 2/03


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