The FEI held a Bureau meeting in Lausanne yesterday, 9th June 2015 to continue discussions from their previous meeting at the FEI Sports Forum in April 2015. The meeting in April was attended by representatives of the Eventing Riders Association http://eventingriders.com/ and was the topic of debate across the community. In response to discussions at the April Sports Forum the FEI has devised a questionnaire that will be distributed amongst National bodies to ascertain what changes and discipline reforms would be valid and practical.
The questionnaire, which is a continued part of the consultation process that started with the Sports Forum, is divided into three sections. The first section contains questions about the principles of change to be applied to all FEI disciplines such as increased universality and the clear separation of team and individual competitions. The second part is dedicated to discipline-specific changes and the third part deals with Para-Dressage.
The questionnaire will be going to the National Federations which will have until 30 June to respond.
The Bureau also agreed to modify the communicated deadlines concerning the rules revision to allow Technical Committees to review the responses and potentially propose some modification to discipline rules at the FEI General Assembly in November 2015.
In addition to the questionnaire the FEI Bureau also discussed the following points:
Ideal number of participants in the FEI World Equestrian Games™
On the proposal of the FEI President, the Bureau approved the principle to control the number of participants in each discipline at the FEI World Equestrian Games™. This is considered a key principle for the future of the Games especially for attracting new organisers and establishing TV partnerships.
The Technical Committees will work on proposals that will be discussed at the in-person Bureau meeting to be held in November prior to the FEI General Assembly.
Proposals for modifications to FEI Regulations
The Bureau examined a number of proposals for modifications to the FEI General Regulations.
The main ones include a new provision allowing the FEI to lodge a protest given that currently protests may only be lodged by NFs presidents, officials, chefs d’équipe or, if there is no chef d’équipe, by a person responsible or a team veterinarian responsible for horses taking part in an FEI event. This will allow the FEI to start proceedings which was not possible in the past.
A new provision allowing legal proceedings to be opened in the event that a conduct brings equestrian sport, and the FEI in particular, into disrepute and/or in case of match fixing, betting, bribery and/or corruption will also be added.
The Bureau also approved a provision regarding the statute of limitations on prosecution, which should be time-barred after: one year for offences committed on the field of play or in its immediate vicinity; eight years for doping offences; five years for all other offences. Match-fixing, bribery and corruption will not be subject to a statute of limitations.
The Bureau approved the expansion of the definition of “unsanctioned events” so that in the event that a National Federation is suspended by the FEI, the national events of such an NF will be considered as “unsanctioned events”. For the avoidance of any doubt, the national athletes would be allowed to compete in the national events and only international athletes would be subject to the unsanctioned events provision should such a situation arise.
Following the Bureau meeting, these proposals will be reviewed by the National Federations and will be submitted to the vote of the FEI General Assembly in November. If accepted by the General Assembly, they will come into effect on 1 January 2016.
The Bureau approved the continuation of the FEI Classics™ and FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing through 2016. A new event in the USA will be added to the 2016 Nations Cup calendar.
The Technical Committee chair updated the Bureau about the external Audit of Eventing which is being carried out by Charles Barnett. The expert is currently concentrating on statistics and is interviewing various parties. The report, which will be finalised at the end of the year, will contain an analysis of horse falls related to Jumping efforts during the Cross Country test at FEI competitions; a risk factor associated with falls; and a review of the qualification systems.
A new administrative system will be implemented for the Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Programme (EADCMP) in 2016, in order to harmonise it on a global scale. The Veterinary Department will coordinate the programme and be responsible for selecting events at which testing is to take place and the number of horses to sample. Testing Veterinarians will be appointed to sample horses at events and all assisting technicians will have undergone training and an examination prior to FEI registration. Educational material will be available later in the year. The Veterinary Department will work with the Corporate Communications and IT Departments in implementing the programme.
Key changes to the Veterinary Regulations for 2016 will be consistent with the implementation of the new EADCMP administrative process. The definition of testing technicians and their registration process will be included, along with the registration of Testing Veterinarians. The number of horses tested at events will no longer be a stated requirement and testing will not only take place at 3* events or higher, but at any level of event determined by the FEI Veterinary Department.