FEI General Assembly 2019 Blog

Welcome to the FEI General Assembly 2019 blog where we will keep you updated regularly throughout the day on what's being discussed, debated and voted on during the FEI General Assembly here in Russia. You can also see it on replay on YouTube.

17:30- FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines

 If you can't be here for tonight's FEI Awards gala presented by Longines, which gets underway at 19:30 local time at the State Kremlin Palace, you can follow the evening with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

17:20 - Closing

Before closing the FEI General Assembly 2019, the President thanked all the delegates, and the Russian Federation for hosting the event, before also offering his thanks to the Board members and all the volunteers.

Delegates were reminded of tonight’s FEI Awards gala presented by Longines, before the President invited everyone to Lausanne next April for the FEI Forum.

17:00 - Recognitions

The FEI President presented H.E. Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa (BRN), outgoing Vice-President and Chair Regional Group VII, with a commemorative plaque and engraved stirrup bookends. It is an “honour to have worked with you and to call you one of my friends” the FEI President told Sheikh Khalid as delegates offered lengthy applause. Sheikh Khalid was also presented with an FEI Honorary Vice President badge.

Delegates also supported the appointment of Sadyr Mamytov (KGZ), outgoing Chair of FEI Regional Group III, as an FEI Honorary Board member in acknowledgement of his work for the sport and for the FEI.

The President presented plaques to the outgoing Committee Chairs: Peter Whitehead (GBR), Medical Committee 2009-2019; Henrik Arle (FIN), FEI Tribunal 2011-2019 and Betty Wates (JAM), Nominations Committee 2015-2019.

           

Marina Sechina (RUS), new Board member and Chair of Regional Group VII was invited to the podium to accept an FEI gold pin in acknowledgement of her new position. She was also presented with a plaque in thanks as host of the FEI General Assembly in Moscow. To loud applause from the floor she left the podium with the words “From Russia with love!” Maxim Kretov, Secretary General of the Russian National Federation was also met with a hearty round of applause as he accepted his plaque from the FEI President for his role in helping to organise the FEI General Assembly.

 

          

The FEI President also mentioned Sami Al Duhami (KSA), Chair of Regional Group VII, who was unable to attend this year’s General Assembly in Moscow to receive his Board Member gold pin.

The President congratulated Sergey Buikevich (KAZ) for 15 participations in the FEI General Assembly and warmly supported the proposal to make him an Honorary Board Member.

Ulf Helgstrand (DEN) was presented with an FEI badge for his 15th participation and Ahmed Bedoui (QAT) for his 16th at an FEI General Assembly.

          

16:50 - FEI General Assembly 2020

The FEI General Assembly 2020 will take place in Johannesburg (RSA) during the week of 14-22 November.

16:40 – World Horse Welfare

Roly Owers, Chief Executive of the equine charity World Horse Welfare, gave a powerful presentation on the commitment to the horse-human partnership and the ongoing challenges it faces.

World Horse Welfare “believe it is legitimate and morally right to involve horses in sport – so long as their welfare is put first, above all other considerations, commercial or competitive”, he said.

“Bad practice in horse sport has real consequences for us all: the welfare agenda is being hijacked by people who do not know enough about equestrian sports or simply disagree with people using animals for entertainment or competition.”

He talked about nosebands and bits, and the importance of bridle fit in preventing oral lesions. He advised delegates that Dr Rachel Murray, who made a presentation to the World Horse Welfare annual conference in London last week, will be working with the charity to produce practical guidelines on bridle fit.

“World Horse Welfare has long said that it is not the type of tack or aid that is the risk to horse welfare, but how it is used. A key aspect of the social licence is to challenge the status quo of all aspects of how we care and train or horses, especially in relation to the latest evidence. Just because we’ve always done it a certain way doesn’t make it right.

“We must recognise the growing relevance of social licence, and how it is about reality and perception. We need to constantly challenge ourselves and to keep on top of the latest research, and invest in more.  And above all we need to constantly explain to people and show them what we really mean by the horse-human partnership.”

16:35 - International Horse Sports Confederation

The FEI President Ingmar De Vos provided an overview of the International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC) and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) workshops on international horse movement. During 2019, IHSC-OIE Regional Workshops were organised in Hong Kong (FEI Group VIII) and Morocco (FEI Group VII). A workshop will be held in Moscow for FEI Group III in the week following the FEI General Assembly.

The FEI President also informed the General Assembly that the FEI will maintain its strong partnership with the OIE. A meeting between the FEI and OIE is scheduled to take place in Hong Kong early next year to look at ways of furthering biosecurity measures to ensure more efficiency in the movement of horse across borders in the Asia region. The services of the FEI liaison officer, currently employed by the OIE, will be retained.

This important partnership will help the work on continually improving biosecurity and sanitary measures to ensure more secure movement of horses.

16:25 - FEI Sports Forum 2020

The FEI Sports Forum 2020 will be held in Lausanne (SUI) on 6-7 April 2020. The draft programme will be available shortly on the FEI Sports Forum hub.

The first day will include sessions on FEI Anti-Doping Rules for human and equine athletes, multi-disciplinary minimum requirements for FEI Events and their enforcement, and the status of grooms.

The second day will feature the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including a session from the coaching and veterinarian perspective on the road to Tokyo.

16:15 - Equestrian Community Integrity Unit (ECIU)

Lord Stevens, Executive Chairman of Quest which runs the independent Equestrian Community Integrity Unit (ECIU), was unable to attend the General Assembly in person, but provided his annual update on the work of the ECIU via video message.

Athlete welfare and safeguarding were two of the key topics addressed in his speech, and Lord Stevens highlighted the FEI’s Safeguarding Policy Against Harassment and Abuse, which came into effect in January of this year, describing it as testament of the commitment shown by the FEI.

“The FEI Safeguarding Policy against harassment and abuse and the establishment of the athlete protection at FEI Headquarters, along with the training that has been done for staff, has been another step of a long road creating a safe environment for all of those involved in equestrian sport”, he said.

Reflecting on the integrity issues that have so negatively impacted the world of sport in recent times and the resulting media coverage, he said: “Now it’s important more than ever to keep integrity at the heart of all we do, and you do.

With that in mind it makes it more important than ever that the FEI continue to lead the way in governance matters for other International Federations to follow. And this is what you do.

“This position of respect was established through the hard work of the FEI and the National Federations who are in the room today through a process that started over a decade ago. And I believe and others do that each and every one of you can feel proud of this and know that the other National Federations hold you all in the highest regard.”

16:05- FEI Tribunal Activity Report

Outgoing Chair of the FEI Tribunal Henrik Arle spoke about the busy year for the FEI Tribunal outlining the provisional suspensions, hearings, preliminary decisions and agreements, as well as the Tribunal and CAS appeals and decisions taken during 2019. 

The Tribunal assumed new responsibilities in 2019 to ensure the practical implementation of the FEI Safeguarding policy that was developed and adopted to promote a safe environment for its members, athletes, support personnel, coaches, trainers, grooms, officials, volunteers and staff.

He wound up his presentation, and his term in office, by thanking the Tribunal members for their dedication to justice and their high work ethic.

15:55 - Commercial

FEI Commercial Director Ralph Straus provided an overview of the commercial and marketing strategy. He highlighted some key achievements since the strategy was introduced in 2017, including more than 200 million video views on the FEI’s digital channels in 2019.

Facebook saw a 47% increase in video views over the past year, earning the FEI the number one ranking among International Olympic Federations in terms of engagement. Instagram was one of the best performing channels, with InstaStories in particular driving strong engagement and an increase in follower numbers by 32%.

The FEI Digital Channels won a number of industry awards over 2019, including the Best App Award for the FEI/SAP Spectator Judging App at the Digital Communication Awards, the Golden Dolphin for Best Communication Marketing Video at the Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards and silver in the Best Digital Campaign sector at the European Association Awards.

The FEI also acquired three new sponsors since the beginning of 2019:  Horse Pilot (FEI equestrian apparel supplier), Cavalor (FEI Nutrition Partner and sponsor of the FEI Best Groom Award) and Peden Bloodstock (FEI Equine Logistics Partner and sponsor of the FEI Best Athlete Award).

In addition to being a Top Partner for the FEI and Title Partner for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ and the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Western European League, Longines has renewed its title partnership for the North American League and the presenting partner for tonight’s FEI Awards Gala.

15:50 - IT update

 

 

FEI IT Business Analyst, Jerome Begey, gave an update on the FEI online invitation system. Following a number of pilot phases, a new version of the invitation system has been developed. The 2019 pilot phase showed clear improvements as more phases were allocated overall and athletes lower down were invited.

The FEI IT department will continue with the next steps towards full implementation of the system.

15:45 - FEI Championships, Series & Finals allocation

The General Assembly was updated on allocations of FEI Championships, Series and Finals by the FEI Board on 16 November.

15:40 - Youth Olympic Games

Ibrahima Wade, President of the National Federation of Senegal and Dakar 2022 General Coordinator, together with NF Secretary General, Papa Seck, gave un update on preparations for the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games (YOG).

The National Federation is working on a daily basis with the IOC and the FEI and preparations are going well, including infrastructure and the sport programme.

The FEI President assured the Senegal National Federation that they could count on the support of the FEI to deliver the best YOG in 2022.

15:30 - Tokyo 2020 Olympic & Paralympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Equestrian Sport Manager Haruta Yasuhiko, Eventing Competition Manager Alec Lochore and Jumping Competition Manager Cesar Hirsch gave delegates a progress report on preparations for next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in the Japanese capital.

The Tokyo 2020 Test Event allowed the Tokyo Organising Committee and the FEI to trial heat countermeasures, crowd flow management, venue management logistics and work with professional footing advisors to ensure the best possible conditions for the Games next year.

Work on the venues is well on track at both the Equestrian Park at Baji Koen and the Sea Forest Cross Country, while the Final Holding Area and Final Warm-Up are both scheduled for delivery in January.

Alec Lochore informed the General Assembly that 3.9 million tickets had already been sold for the Games, and that there were almost 12 million applications when the first online ballot was launched.

15:20 - Athletes’ Committee report

Chair of the FEI Athletes’ Committee Maria Gretzer provided delegates with a short overview of the work of the Committee over the past year.

She encouraged National Federations to create Athletes’ Committees within their own structures and to include athletes on their Boards.

A key element of the IOC 2020 Agenda, Athlete Commissions are an important way of making the voice of the athletes heard at the highest levels of decision-making, and while this is already in place within the FEI, it needs to be further expanded at national level.

15:10 – Medical Committee Report

Outgoing Chair of the FEI Medical Committee Dr Peter Whitehead presented his report on the work of his Committee, reiterating the need for athletes to use only protective headgear in compliance with international testing standards. He also urged National Federations to inform their athletes about submitting their Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) applications.

Dr Whitehead, who was re-appointed as Chair at the General Assembly 2015 in Puerto Rico, also urged National Federations and athletes that will be competing to Tokyo for the Olympic and Paralympic Games to visit the FEI website for up-to-date information on healthy travel, acclimatization, coping with heat and humidity, and hydration, as well as tips on how to optimise performance in challenging climatic conditions.

After reflecting on the achievements of the Medical Committee over the past seven years, he urged that work continues, with an ongoing focus on education, increased standards of medical coverage of events and stronger partnerships between the FEI, ASOIF, WADA and the IOC.

15:00 - Clean Sport

FEI Veterinary Director Göran Akerström delivered a report on the Global Equine Anti-Doping Control Medication Programme (EADCMP) and outlined steps that will be needed to improve the programme worldwide, including encouraging all National Federations to have national testing programmes and a National Head Veterinarian in order to promote horse welfare and sustainable development of equestrian sport; ensuring the improvement of sample logistics that in some parts of the world are challenged by bureaucracy and biosecurity; increasing the level of testing carried out by the Veterinary Delegates at small events; and ensuring the access of testing kits to Veterinary Delegates.

Delegates were also shown a video on the FEI Hyposensitivity Control System which is currently being field-tested at Endurance events. The control system is designed to protect horses from injury by identifying those with lower limb hyposensitivity (lack of sensation) in order to stop them from competing in a ride. Further field tests will be conducted prior to implementation.

The General Assembly approved modifications to the Equine Anti-Doping & Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMR).

The Equine Anti-Doping & Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs) can be viewed here in due course.

14:45 - Veterinary Matters

Dr Jenny Hall, Chair of the FEI Veterinary Committee provided her report on the Committee’s work, providing a clarification on Hendra virus, confirming that there is no requirement for horses to be vaccinated against Hendra Virus to attend FEI Events and that the FEI Veterinary Department has unanimously agreed not to propose the introduction of mandatory Hendra vaccination. 

She also updated on a merged proposal on pony measuring for amendments to Chapter IX in the Veterinary Regulation, combining aspects of the first proposal sent to National Federations and stakeholders in July, including the three-year transition period, and aspects of the 22 October 2019 proposal including the Lifetime FEI Measurement Certificate for ponies that measured in during the past three years.

The General Assembly unanimously approved all modifications to the Veterinary Regulations.

The revised Veterinary Regulations can be viewed here in due course.

13:30 - Reminder

The whole event is streamed live here and will be available to watch again afterwards.

We will be providing news updates here throughout the day, covering the presentations and all the decisions taken.

All documents relating to the Extraordinary General Assembly, the Ordinary General Assembly and all other information are available to view here.

12:30 – FEI Solidarity

 

FEI Director of Solidarity Jacqueline Braissant provided an overview of the FEI Solidarity Programme which has financed a total of 420 National Federation projects to date. The Solidarity Committee has approved 64 new National Federation projects for 2020.

She also gave an update on the FEI Course for National Federations, Secretary Generals and Administrators which this year welcomed 25 participants from 16 National Federations to the FEI Headquarters in Lausanne in October 2019.

Some other key Solidarity programme figures included the 48 courses and workshops that were delivered around the world through the FEI Coaches Education programme in 2019, which benefitted 640 coaches. 

12:25 - Election of FEI Vice President

The FEI President offered a heartfelt thanks to outgoing Vice President, H.E. Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa (BRN), who also served as Chair of FEI Regional Group VII.

“It’s a bit sad for me that I have to say goodbye to my Vice President, Sheikh Khalid, as our Board Members only can do a maximum three terms in any capacity. I made him my Vice President and want to thank him for what he has done, the support he has given and the tremendous representation he has done for his region. With your incredible diplomatic skills, it’s no surprise that you have another very important role to fill as Ambassador for your country Bahrain in the UAE, and I hope we can count on you being an ambassador for equestrian sport and the FEI in the future.

“It is the privilege of the FEI President to propose a candidate for the Vice Presidency to the General Assembly, as it needs to be approved by you. It’s not easy but I think I have found a solution, as we need to make sure all regions are represented in the Executive Board. We are losing someone from a very important region which is Asia, so I am proposing someone who ticks all the boxes, he’s young, dynamic and has already been very instrumental in promoting our sport and trying to find solutions.

“I am happy to announce and ask your support for Jack Huang, Regional Group VIII Chair, to be elected as Vice President of the FEI. And I also consulted the Executive Board of the FEI as we have to work together and they unanimously supported my proposal.

Jack Huang was unanimously and enthusiastically endorsed by delegates, joining Mark Samuel (CAN) as FEI Vice President.

12:20 - Deputy Group Chairs

The General Assembly elected the following Deputy Chairs of the Regional Groups for the period 2019 to 2023: Sadyr Mamytov (KGZ) for Regional Group III and Sultan Khalifa Al Yehyaee (UAE) for Regional Group VII.

Rocio Echeverri (CRC) was elected as Deputy Chair of Regional Group V for the period 2019–2021, the remainder of the term of the previous Group V Deputy Chair, Maribel Alonso (MEX), who has resigned.

12:15 - Elections

Election of Chairs

Marina Sechina (RUS), President of the National Federation of Russia, was elected Chair of FEI Regional Group III and now becomes an FEI Board member for the four-year term 2019-2023, replacing outgoing Group III Chair, Sadyr Mamytov (KGZ).

Sami Al Duhami (KSA) was elected as Chair of FEI Regional Group VII for the four-year term 2019-2023, replacing outgoing Chair, H.E. Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa (BRN).

Karoly Fugli (HUN) was re-elected as Chair of the FEI Driving Committee for the four-year term 2019-2023.

Vicki Glynn (NZL) was re-elected as a member of the Audit & Compliance Committee for the four-year term 2019-2023.

José Alfonso Rodríguez (MEX) was elected as Chair of the FEI Tribunal for the four-year term 2019-2023 to replace outgoing Chair, Henrik Arle (FIN).

FEI Tribunal Members

Following the FEI Board’s agreement at its in-person meeting in June 2019, the number of FEI Tribunal Members has been increased from five to seven.

The following members were elected to the FEI Tribunal by the General Assembly, and a draw was held to establish the terms for the members: Mohammed Al Saberi (UAE), 2019-2021; Constance Popineau (FRA), 2019-2023; Valérie Horyna (SUI), 2019-2022; Christopher Hodson (NZL), 2019-2021; Martin Gibbs (GBR), 2019-2023; Diane Pitts (USA), 2019-2022; Harveen Thauli (CAN), 2019-2023.

Nominations Committee Members

Members of the Nominations Committee were elected for the four-year term 2019-2023: Regional Group EEF, Nayla Stössel (SUI, re-elected) and Wiveka Lundh (SWE); Olga Kogan (RUS), Regional Group III; Paul Pereech (BER), Regional Group IV; Diego Vallejo (COL, f-elected), Regional Group V; Guillermo Lockhart (URU, re-elected), Regional Group VI Hussam Zummit (LBA, re-elected), Regional Group VII; Yuri Yagi (JPN), Regional Group VIII; and Jean-Michel Turlot (COD) Regional Group IX.

12:10 - Nominations Committee Report

Outgoing Chair of the Nominations Committee, Betty Wates (JAM), updated the FEI General Assembly on the activities of the Committee.

 

 

12:00 - Reining

Sven Friesecke, Chair of the FEI Reining Committee, received extended applause when he thanked delegates profusely for their support of the discipline and for their commitment to keeping Reining in the FEI stable.

The formal Agreement with the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) will now be signed by the FEI following this morning’s vote to keep Reining as an FEI discipline, and the FEI will also reach out to the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) to agree terms for a cooperation. In order to ensure that the sport is moving forward in a sustainable way, Key Performance Indicators (KPI) have been in place for the next four years aimed at growing participation in the discipline.

11:45 - Vaulting

The Chair of the FEI Vaulting Committee, John Eccles, provided a wrap-up of the Vaulting season 2019, including the bid for Vaulting to become a sport at the Youth Olympic Games.

The General Assembly unanimously approved all modifications to the Vaulting Rules.

These changes can be viewed here in due course.

11:30 – Endurance

The new Endurance Rules have been voted in by an overwhelming majority and, as the FEI President announced that there were 94 votes in favour and 19 against, with no abstentions, there was great applause from the floor.

 

 

The FEI President had opened the vote on the proposed revisions to the Endurance Rules with a special thanks for the work done by the Endurance Temporary Committee. “It’s a very special day, not only for Endurance, but it’s also the birthday of Committee Chair Sarah Coombs, and I know what birthday present she would like today!”

Prior to the overall vote on the Endurance Rules, voting opened on four amendments supported by the Endurance Temporary Committee (ETC), followed by voting on four additional amendments proposed by National Federations during yesterday afternoon’s dedicated Endurance Rules session, and finally on the date of implementation. Votes were all taken by a show of hands and those that were approved were then included in the overall vote on the Endurance Rules.

The four amendments supported by the ETC: a correction to Article 832.3 on novice qualifications; revised wording of Article 802.4.2 regarding the distance for 3* Championships; amended text for Article 833.3 on consecutive requirements for the qualification procedure for CEI 2* and 3*; and the correction to wording in Article 836.1.2 (b) Qualification for 2* Senior Championships – were all passed with a large majority.

Of the amendments proposed by National Federations at yesterday’s Endurance Rules session, delegates approved the revision of Article 805.1 on minimum athlete weight for senior CEI 2*, which was amended from 75kg to 70kg, but the proposal to reduce the minimum athlete weight for Young Riders and Juniors from 60kg was not approved, so 60kg was maintained in the overall Rules. Article 838.3.3 on the exemption from the CEI 3* combination requirement for Athletes with Elite Status was approved, as was Article 836.1.2(b) regarding the proposal to reduce the number of combination rides required for 3* Championships from two to one.

A separate vote on the implementation date offered two options: full implementation of the Rules on 1 July 2020, or partial implementation on 1 January 2020 with certain provisions to be implemented on 1 July 2020 as determined by the FEI Board. This was a close vote, with 49 in favour of 1 July implementation and 55 against, meaning that the new Endurance Rules will be implemented on 1 January 2020 with a mandate from the General Assembly to the FEI Board to advise which provisions will need to be implemented at a later stage and on the final wording of the transitional provisions.

10:30 - Driving & Para Driving

In the absence of the FEI Driving Committee Chair, Karoly Fugli, who was unable to attend the General Assembly, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez presented his report on the discipline activities over the past year.

The General Assembly unanimously approved all modifications to the Driving & Para Driving Rules.

The changes to the Driving & Para Driving Rules can be viewed here in due course.

10:25 - Eventing

Chair of the Eventing Committee, David O’Connor, updated delegates on activities within the discipline in 2019, including a very successful Pan-American Games in Lima, which will leave a valuable legacy for the sport in Peru and neighbouring countries.

He also highlighted the success of the Olympic format tests that had been held during the year in the build-up to Tokyo 2020.

The Chair spoke about the FEI Eventing Risk Management plan and the work that had been done that has resulted in a reduction in the number of horse falls. He also advised delegates of the Eventing summit that will be held at Aintree next year (January 24-26).

The General Assembly unanimously approved all modifications to the Eventing Rules.

The revised Eventing Rules can be viewed here in due course.

10:20 - Para Dressage

The Chair of the Para Equestrian Committee Amanda Bond thanked delegates for approving changes to the FEI Statutes which allow Para Equestrian to have a seat at the top table on the FEI Board, demonstrating the FEI’s commitment to Para sport.

The General Assembly unanimously approved all modifications to the Para Dressage Rules and the FEI Para Classification Rules.

All changes to the Para Dressage Rules and the FEI Para Classification Rules can be viewed here in due course.

10:15 - Dressage

The Chair of the FEI Dressage Committee Frank Kemperman provided his report to delegates on a very successful year in Dressage.

He reminded delegates that the FEI Board had approved minor amendments to the Rules for both the FEI Nations Cup™ and FEI World Cup™ series.

The General Assembly unanimously approved all modifications to the Dressage Rules.

All changes to the Dressage Rules can be viewed here in due course.

10:10 - Jumping

The Chair of the Jumping Committee, Stephan Ellenbruch, gave an update on the year’s activities in Jumping, which continues to top the FEI disciplines in terms of number of events, registered athletes and horses.

The General Assembly unanimously approved all modifications to the Jumping Rules.

The Jumping Rules will be updated accordingly as to reflect relevant changes implemented in the General Regulations and Veterinary Regulations.

The changes to the Jumping Rules can be viewed here in due course.

09:55 - Modifications to the FEI General Regulations

Delegates approved the proposed changes to the FEI General Regulations, following a standalone vote on implementation of the new provision on mandatory protective headgear requirement, with delegates voting strongly in favour of implementation on 1 January 2021.

The Secretary General reminded the General Assembly that the proposed changes to Articles 103 and 108 had been removed.

The changes to the General Regulations can be viewed here in due course.

09:45 - Financial report 2018

The General Assembly approved the reports from the FEI Chief Financial Officer and the FEI Audit & Compliance Committee Chair, for which the annex documents can be viewed here https://inside.fei.org/fei/about-fei/fei-general-assembly/2019/annexes

The CFO informed the Assembly that the FEI reserves built over the past years allowed the Federation to provide substantial financial support to the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018. Savings in operational expenses allowed the FEI to generate a surplus of CHF 2.3 million.

As the FEI is a not-for-profit organisation this surplus was put back into the sport, including a CHF 1 million allocation to the FEI Solidarity Fund.

09:35 - Membership & Affiliations

The General Assembly welcomed three new members to the FEI Family: Bahamas (Regional Group IV), Mongolia (Regional Group VIII) and Ivory Coast (Regional Group IX). The Presidents of each of these Federations were presented with an FEI flag and a Certificate of Affiliation.

 

                         

     

The General Assembly also approved the switch of the Equestrian Federation of Ukraine from FEI Regional Group III to the EEF Regional Group.

The National Federation of Brunei (BRU) has been suspended for non-payment of dues.

09:25 - Moment of Remembrance

Delegates stood for a minute’s silence in memory of the members of our community that we have lost in the past 12 months.

09:20 - Extraordinary General Assembly

Proceedings got underway with an Extraordinary General Assembly and the election of three scrutineers Christina Abu-Dayyeh (JOR) Group VII, Simone Perillo (ITA) Group EEF and Wessel Strauss (RSA) Group IX.

The first vote was to retain Reining as an FEI discipline which was passed unanimously in favour, to resounding applause!

National Federations then approved amendments to the FEI Statutes, including a provision that will see the Chairs of the Medical, Para Equestrian and Vaulting Committees become full voting members of the FEI Board after elections at next year’s General Assembly.

09:17 - FEI President’s opening address

 

 

In his opening address to delegates and honoured guests, the FEI President commented on the record number of attendees at the General Assembly, 337 to be exact, and noted that we have also hit a new record in terms of the number of FEI events.

He went on to speak passionately about the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with 28 nations having already secured their team slot for the Games, while the individual quota places are still to be filled. He also congratulated Australia, Brazil, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Sweden and the USA, who will join host nation Japan with teams in all three Olympic disciplines. He singled out Ireland for special mention for qualifying a Dressage team for the first time at the Olympics, as well as first timers Thailand and China, who have qualified Eventing teams for Tokyo.

“New nations and more nations competing at the Olympic Games is a direct result of the new formats”, the FEI President commented. “Our sport is growing and this is our opportunity to fuel that growth. We need to acknowledge this growth and provide more avenues and Olympic dreams for nations in the framework of universality. We need to give these new formats a chance and focus on the positives. Failure is not an option. There is one way forward, and that is to work together. National Federations, Chefs d’Equipe and Athletes, together we can make these formats a success at the Olympic Games.”

The President went on to comment on the continued growth of the sport. “We have been riding on a wave of success, with increased numbers of events and registered athletes for over a decade. We are fortunate to be in this position, it’s not the case for all sports, but clearly we are doing something right!

“2019 confirms this upward trend, and I am pleased to say that alongside our sporting figures, digital media and broadcast numbers are also rising steadily! In a competitive sporting and entertainment industry, this is particularly encouraging. We are producing more news and more stories, and we are also reaching more fans, a wider demographic and generally creating a buzz.

The President then spoke of one of the key topics on today’s agenda, Endurance, and thanked the Chair and Members of the Endurance Temporary Committee for all their dedication and hard work in revising the discipline rules both before and during the consultation process.

“Consultation is integral to the FEI governance process, but here I would like to reiterate that we cannot compromise on horse welfare and we have to be accountable for our actions as decision makers. We have the responsibility to uphold the values of our sport, and as I have said on several occasions, we need to bring horsemanship back to this discipline. If we want to remain credible, and if we want Endurance to inspire admiration for the effort and the partnership, then we need to change.”

He then reminded delegates of another important decision they would need to make in the Extraordinary General Assembly about the future of Reining as an FEI discipline, before thanking delegates for their ongoing commitment.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed wholeheartedly to this General Assembly – and that’s you the National Federations and stakeholders - with all your valuable comments in a decision-making process that is unique in the sports world.”

The President wrapped up his welcome address with a warm vote of thanks to our hosts, the Russian Federation and its President, Marina Sechina.

09:15 - Quick Facts

There are 91 National Federations with Powers of Attorney actually on site attending the General Assembly here in Moscow, and 29 proxies from National Federations not attending the session, meaning there are a total of 120 votes for today’s meeting. The required quorum is 68.

Also in attendance are 10 Associations with whom the FEI has a Memorandum of Understanding and over 40 observers and media.

09:10 - Welcome message from the President of Russia

Igor Levitin delivered a welcome message from the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.

 

09:05 - FEI Presidential welcome

FEI President Ingmar De Vos welcomed distinguished guest speakers, Igor Levitin, political advisor to the President of the Russia Vladimir Putin, and Stanislav Pozdnyakov, President of the Russian Olympic Committee and two-time Olympic Fencing team gold medallist to the FEI General Assembly 2019.

09:00  

Just about to get started! This is the first time that the FEI General Assembly has been held in Russia since the FEI was founded in 1921. The Russian National Federation has over 750 FEI athletes and 1,000 horses registered, and in 2018 there were 143 FEI events held around the country. The 2019 FEI General Assembly is taking place at the Hyatt Regency Petrovsky Park Hotel in the Russian capital, Moscow.

 

Welcome to the FEI General Assembly 2019 in Moscow!

The whole event is streamed live here and will be available to watch again afterwards.

We will be providing news updates here throughout the day, covering the presentations and all the decisions taken.

All documents relating to the Extraordinary General Assembly, the Ordinary General Assembly and all other information are available to view here.