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Federation Equestre Internationale News

23 October 2002


On 23 October 2002, an FEI delegation met with the IOC President Jacques Rogge and the IOC Sports Director Gilbert Felli and two members of the sports department to present FEI's counterproposal to respond to the Olympic Programme Commission's recommendation to exclude Eventing from the Olympic programme. The FEI delegation was composed of HRH The Infanta Doña Pilar de Borbón (ESP), President, Freddy Serpieri (GRE), 1st Vice President, Wayne Roycroft (AUS), President of the Eventing Committee, Dr Bo Helander, Secretary General and Catrin Norinder, Manager of the Eventing & Olympic Department.

The meeting was held in a very open and constructive atmosphere.

The FEI delegation presented in detail the counterproposal to address the concerns of the IOC Commission in terms of costs, global participation and safety. The proposal consisted of:

- A shorter Olympic format along the lines of the existing CIC format including only one of the four phases of the cross country test (exclusion of steeple chase and road and tracks)
- Team and Individual competitions run concurrently for the 3 traditional tests (Dressage, Cross Country and Jumping) and an additional Jumping test to determine the individual winner

The proposed formula allows the FEI to respond to the IOC Commission report, in particular with regard to the costs to the organiser to stage Eventing.

- Land and cost requirements reduced by half
- Number of officials and volunteers required reduced by 75%
- Reduced TV production costs
- Reduced time of the cross country

The FEI delegation emphasised the additional benefits of the proposal such as an increased in global participation and universality of the sport through reduction of the endurance component of the event.

Negotiations to use this format already at the 2004 Olympic Games are currently taking place between the IOC, ATHOC and the FEI.

The efforts made by the FEI during the last two years in the field of safety were underlined. The FEI has conducted a thorough study on the discipline of Eventing, consulting with a number of specialists from inside and outside the sport. Important changes were made in the discipline format to improve safety both of the riders and horses, including changes to the qualification system, reduction of the cross country speed, and elimination after the first fall of horse. Furthermore, a global safety programme was put in place including monitoring of the sport and creation of a results and qualification database.

The document summarising the FEI's proposal to the IOC to retain Eventing in the Olympic Programme was circulated among the 130 National Federation members at the end of September. The NFs offered their unconditional support to the plan and conveyed additional arguments in favour of Eventing to be included in the final report, which was presented today to the IOC


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