FEI General Assembly 2018 blog 

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Welcome to the FEI General Assembly 2018 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 Bahrain. You can also see it live on YouTube.

 

16:20 If you can't be here for tonight's FEI Awards gala presented by Longines, which, which gets underway at 20:30 local time, you can follow the evening with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

16:00 Closing

Before closing the FEI General Assembly 2018, the President thanked all the delegates, “especially for your support and trust in me”, before also offering his thanks to the Board members and all the volunteers. “And I would especially like to thank the FEI staff and the people that have organised this General Assembly and all those who work behind the scenes as the organising team. Thank you for doing such a great job.”

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.

15:51 Recognitions

The FEI President called on delegates to support the nomination of John McEwen (GBR) as Honorary Vice President in recognition of all his work over 12 years as Chair of the Veterinary Committee. Delegates offered lengthy applause as he was presented with a commemorative plaque and gold FEI pin as a token of the FEI and the President’s appreciation.

Delegates equally warmly supported the proposal to appoint Hanfried Haring (GER), outgoing Chair of FEI Regional Group II (2006-2018), as FEI Honorary Bureau member in acknowledgement of his work over the past 12 years on the FEI Bureau.

Brian Sheahan, who has chaired the Endurance Committee for the past six years and who recently resigned due to ill health, was unable to attend the General Assembly to receive a presentation from the President and his new title as Honorary Bureau member, but his plaque and gold pin were collected by Chris Webb, Equestrian Australia High Performance Director.

Bob Thompson, outgoing chair of the Reining Committee (2010-2018), was also unable to be in Manama for the General Assembly. On his behalf, Megan Krueger from Equine Canada collected the presentation from the President.

  

The President congratulated Major Mou Soon Yap, see above, (National Federation of Malaysia) and Dr Mohammed Ghazi Yehia, see below, (National Federation of Lebanon) for 15 FEI General Assembly participations, presenting them both with an FEI pin.


Finally, and on behalf of the FEI and all delegates, the President formally thanked His Highness Shaik Faisal Bin Rashid Al Khalifa, President of the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation, and Ghalib Al Alawi, Secretary General of the Bahraini National Federation, and presented them with a commemorative plaque for the successful organisation of the FEI General Assembly.
 
 

 

15:49 International Horse Sports Confederation (IHSC)

The Chair of the Veterinary Committee presented an update to the General Assembly on the outcomes of the previous IHSC/OIE workshops highlighting the main achievements including the production of scientific studies on African horse sickness, equine influenza and glanders.

He also provided information on the workshops planned for 2019 in support of temporary international movement of competition horses, in Hong Kong (February), Morocco (Spring) and Russia (November).

15:36 General Assemblies

The FEI General Assembly 2019 will take place in Moscow (RUS) in November 2019 and the FEI General Assembly 2020 will take place in Johannesburg (RSA). The dates are yet to be confirmed.

15:35 FEI Sports Forum 2019

The FEI Sports Forum 2019 will be held in Lausanne (SUI) on 15-16 April 2019. The draft programme will be available shortly on the FEI Sports Forum hub and will include a session on the work of the Endurance Temporary Committee, a review of the FEI Legal system, including pony measurement and gender equality. The Dressage Judging Working Group may also be confirmed on the agenda.

15:33 FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018/FEI Championships & Finals

The FEI Secretary General thanked delegates for the frank and open discussions in yesterday’s session on the FEI World Equestrian Games™, which focused on the successes and challenges of Tryon 2018 and the future of world championships.

A report on all yesterday’s sessions is available here.

Delegates were also provided with details of FEI Championships & Finals that were allocated by the FEI Bureau at its in-person meeting here in Manama on 17 November. A wrap-up from that meeting is available here.

15:25 Youth Olympic Games

The FEI President gave an update to the General Assembly on last month’s Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Buenos Aires (ARG). Delegates watched a video capturing all the highlights of the overwhelmingly successful Games, the teams, the draw, the excitement of the FOCUS Day and the brilliant sport.

The YOG competition format sees 30 athletes from 30 nations competing on borrowed horses. The FEI President emphasised the great work of the Organising Committee, the exceptional venue facilities, the records made and broken and the visit of the IOC President Thomas Bach and his delegation to the equestrian venue during the Games.

The FEI President also mentioned his intention to work on a proposal for the inclusion of Vaulting on the Youth Olympic programme.

15:18 Tokyo 2020 Olympic & Paralympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Equestrian Sport Manager Haruta Yasuhiko gave a progress report to the General Assembly, talking delegates through the two venues at Baji Koen and Sea Forest.

The dates of the Eventing test event in Tokyo were confirmed for 12-14 August 2019. The Jumping and Dressage test events will be at a special event in Hagen (GER) in June 2019.

The newly appointed Tokyo 2020 Competition Managers for each discipline were also introduced: Stephen Renouard (Jumping and Dressage) and Alec Lochore (Eventing). Both had fulfilled the same roles in the London 2012 team.

Preparations, infrastructure and progress at the venues remain on track with everything going according to plan, and there is a very strong team working with the FEI onsite in Tokyo.

Visit the Tokyo2020 website here.

15:09 Equestrian Community Integrity Unit (ECIU)

Lord Stevens, Executive Chairman of Quest which runs the independent Equestrian Community Integrity Unit (ECIU), updated delegates on the work of the ECIU over the past year. He stated that an increasing number of international sports federations are implementing integrity processes that create significant change. He stressed the importance of independence when governance is under review as trust in sports federations has taken a hit in recent times. Sport enjoys a privileged place in society, he said.

Under the leadership of President Ingmar De Vos, the FEI has shown they have an impressive track record in the culture of transparency and openness. The structure that the FEI has established is fast becoming the template for federations across the globe, he said.

2018 has seen an incredible shift in the narrative from match fixing, corruption and financial gain, to promoting empowered athletes and focusing on the safety and well-being of athletes. Lord Stevens spoke about the impact of harassment and abuse on athletes and the importance of protecting the anonymity of anyone affected by abuse with the establishment of a reporting hotline. He reported that the integrity unit has received three times more calls to the hotline than in previous years, which he views as a positive development demonstrating that there is confidence in the system.

He also spoke on the ECIU’s work at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018, following up on the report delivered yesterday by the ECIU’s Andrew Smith on the Endurance issues in Tryon, which he described as a catalogue of errors that created a perfect storm. “We must take all these issues and learn from them”, he said. “It is more important now than ever to keep integrity at the heart of everything you do. You started the integrity trend that others are now following.”

14:30 FEI Executive Board

The General Assembly approved the composition of the FEI Executive Board, which remains unchanged:

FEI President: Ingmar De Vos; Vice Presidents: Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa (BRN), Chair Group VII, and Mark Samuel (CAN), Chair Group IV; Frank Kemperman (NED), Chair Dressage Committee; Luiz Roberto Giugni (BRA), Chair Group VI; Maria Gretzer (SWE), Chair Athletes’ Committee.

The President also thanked the FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez for her incredible work and continued loyal support.

14:21 Election of FEI Vice Presidents

  

Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa (BRN), Chair Group VII, and Mark Samuel (CAN), Chair Group IV were unanimously re-elected as FEI Vice Presidents.

14:20 Election of Deputy Group Chairs

Soenke Lauterbach (GER) and Ulf Helgstrand (DEN) were unanimously elected as Deputy Chairs of EEF Regional Group for a three-year (2018-2021) and four-year term (2018-2022), respectively.

Maribel Alonso (MEX) was unanimously elected as Deputy Chair of FEI Regional Group V for the three-year term, 2018-2021.

Gabriel Vidal Martinez (URU) was unanimously re-elected as Deputy Chair of FEI Regional Group VI for the four-year term, 2018-2022.

13:05 FEI Tribunal Activity Report

The Chair of the FEI Tribunal gave a progress report to the General Assembly on the activities of the Tribunal highlighting key actions of 2018 including the introduction of the revised Tribunal Internal Regulations.

The Chair also presented the guidelines for fines and legal cost which were implemented as of 1 January 2018, as well as the revised EADCM rules for Minors which also came into effect as of 1 January 2018. 

There were a number of banned substance cases that resulted in no sanction against the athletes as they demonstrate no fault. One of the explanations is that the introduction of the new category of specified substances allow a greater degree of flexibility for the FEI Tribunal to lower the sanctions as they are simply substances which are more likely to have been ingested by Horses for a purpose other than the enhancement of sport performance, for example, through a contaminated food substance.

With the introduction of 3 new members this year, the General Assembly were also made aware of the request for candidates to fill the available positions of Chair and 4 members for election at the FEI General Assembly 2019.

12:50 Commercial & Marketing presentation

The FEI Commercial Director outlined the phenomenal successes of the Federation’s commercial strategy.

Over 2018, visits to the FEI website FEI.org have increased by 25% with over 30 million page views and saw an increase of 50% in the number of unique views. FEI Instagram reached close to 300,000 followers, representing an increase of 54% compared to 2017. FEI YouTube views were close to nine million, an increase of 62%, and the number of registered users increased by 300%. FEI Facebook views are now close to 45 million, an increase of over 70% with just short of one million followers. Dressage continues to be the most popular FEI Facebook specialist page with a 600% growth. 

FEI.org was fully translated into Chinese and launched in July 2018 following the FEI’s decision to expand its content offering to this key market. The Federation has also deepened key media partnerships with trade publications SportBusiness and SportsPro with a view to building on the FEI’s profile and awareness in sports business circles. This has resulted in several insightful editorials on the FEI’s commercial activities and various equestrian disciplines.

The FEI’s work on modernising and enhancing the image of equestrian sport to potential new partners has resulted in three new agreements with Pixio, ATPI Sports Events and Fosun.

12:33 Medical Committee report

The Chair of the Medical Committee gave a progress report to the General Assembly on the work being carried out in relation to athlete health and safety, highlighting the ongoing research and future developments into concussion recognition and management.

An update was also given on the Online Person Injury Reporting system which was implemented in July 2018 for the disciplines of Jumping, Dressage, Para Dressage, Endurance, Driving, Vaulting and Reining. The plan to implement this reporting system for Eventing in 2020 will also assist in gathering data for future statistical purposes. Recommendations for increased safety during prize giving ceremonies were also presented, including the protocols for each of the disciplines to be reviewed by the Medical Committee.

Other areas that the Medical Chair highlighted were the newly approved Safeguarding Policy against Harassment & Abuse, and the progress on the new course under development for Human anti-doping and recreational drug use at events.

12:29 Clean Sport

The General Assembly approved modifications to the Equine Anti-Doping & Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMR), including a mandatory and automatic provisional suspension of the registered Trainer in Banned Substance cases for Endurance. In addition, in certain cases, where the provisional suspension is not mandatory, for example in Specified Substance cases, if the FEI imposes a provisional suspension on the Athlete, the FEI will also impose a provisional suspension on the registered Trainer (see Article 7.4.2).

The General Assembly also approved the proposal to provisionally suspend a registered Trainer in Endurance cases even if there is only one Controlled Medication in the sample, if that Trainer has a pending or prior violation of the EADCMRs (with the same Horse or another Horse).

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

12:28 John McEwen, outgoing Chair of the FEI Veterinary Department voiced his thanks for the support he has received over the past 12 years from his committee and the FEI Veterinary Department at FEI HQ, highlighting the very big workload which his successor Jenny Hall “is going to discover”, he said.

“I’ve had the honour of serving the FEI at a time of great change and modernisation, and more recently changes in governance for which the FEI has rightly received great praise. I’ve learnt a lot from Ingmar, some of it good, some of it not so good, so I’d like to thank my wife, she’s my rock!” he said, to much laughter.

12:27  Veterinary Regulations

The proposal for the modifications to Article 1008 Enclosures in the Veterinary Regulations was voted on separately and approved by the General Assembly. The modification states that Enclosures may be provided at FEI Events in exceptional circumstances and must adhere to the Veterinary Regulations requirements. Implementation of Article 1008 best practice will come into effect on 1 January 2019 with full implementation taking effect as of 1 January 2020.

The General Assembly approved all modifications to the Veterinary Regulations.

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

12:20 FEI Solidarity

The FEI President, Chair of the FEI Solidarity Committee, provided the General Assembly with an overview of the successes of FEI Solidarity projects, which include the FEI Course for National Federations, Secretary Generals and Administrators, implemented in 2017. This programme was put in place to facilitate dialogue between the FEI and National Federation administrators, as well as educational tools for the National Federations. 

Another key programme created in 2018, is the Retraining of Racehorses scheme in partnership with Longines. The objective of this project is to educate coaches and athletes in retraining techniques for former racehorses.

Since it was founded in 2012, FEI Solidarity has supported a total of 355 National Federation projects: 284 between 2012 and 2018, with pledges of support for a further 71 in 2019.

The General Assembly approved appointments to the FEI Solidarity Committee:

Group I      Ingmar De Vos (BEL), FEI President and Chair
Group II     Ulf Helgstrand, President DEN NF
Group III     Marina Sechina, President RUS NF
Group IV    Eve van den Bol, President CAY NF
Group V     Juan Luis Rodriguez, President GUA NF 
Group VI    Pablo Tomas Mayorga (ARG), FEI Honorary, Vice-President
Group VII   HH Prince Moulay Abdellah EL Alaoui, President MAR NF
Group VIII  Mona Tep, President CAM NF
Group IX    Glenda Warburton, President SWZ NF

11:27 Other Elections

Theo Ploegmakers (NED), the former Dutch Equestrian Federation President who was elected as President of the European Equestrian Federation at their Extraordinary General Assembly here in Manama on Sunday, now becomes an FEI Board member for the four-year term 2018-2022 to replace outgoing Chair of Regional Group II Hanfried Haring (GER).

Luiz Roberto Giugni (BRA) was unanimously re-elected as Chair of FEI Regional Group VI.

Jenny Hall (GBR) was unanimously elected as Chair of the FEI Veterinary Committee for the four-year term 2018-2022 to replace the outgoing Chair John McEwen (GBR). Ms Hall now becomes an FEI Board member.

Janice Shardlow (GBR) was unanimously re-elected as a member of the Audit & Compliance Committee for the four-year term 2018-2022.

The General Assembly was also updated on appointments made by the FEI Bureau (now the FEI Board) at its in-person meeting on 17 November.

“I am honoured and privileged to be your President for the next four years and I thank you very much for your very strong support. Thank you for your confidence – together we have already achieved so much and this is just the beginning!

“I believe in our sport, in our community and in our potential. These are exciting times for equestrian – we are growing, our fan base is diversifying and we have seven amazing and unique disciplines to promote – and as the IOC President Thomas Bach said, the sky really is the limit!”

Newly re-elected FEI President Ingmar De Vos

See all the news about the re-election of Ingmar De Vos as FEI President here.

The full acceptance speech of newly re-elected FEI President Ingmar De Vos is available here (video) and here (transcript)

BREAKING NEWS: Ingmar De Vos unanimously re-elected as FEI President for the next four years!

Reminder

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

We will be providing news updates throughout the day as well, covering the presentations and main decisions taken.

All documents relating to the General Assembly are available to view here.

The schedule for the day and all other information is available here.

10:54 Reining

The General Assembly approved modifications to the Reining Rules.

These changes can be viewed here in due course.

10:53 Vaulting

The General Assembly approved modifications to the Vaulting Rules.

These changes can be viewed here in due course.

10:52 Endurance

The General Assembly voted by 76 votes to 30 to maintain the current Endurance Rules (updated 9th edition, effective 1 January 2018). This allows the new Temporary Committee to conduct its in-depth review of the rules in order to identify the most effective way of bringing the discipline back to its original roots of Endurance riding as opposed to Endurance racing, with horse welfare and horsemanship at its core, while still maintaining the competitive aspect of the sport. The Temporary Committee will provide a report to the FEI Sports Forum 2019.

10:50 Driving

The General Assembly approved modifications to the Driving Rules.

The amended rules include a clarification on the status of participating grooms, entries and classification for Pony Championships, horse substitution before cones, dressage tests scoring, and officials at Driving events.

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

10:48 Eventing

The rules for the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ 2019, Event Rider Masters (ERM) series 2019, and the TriStar Eventing Grand Slam 2019 were approved. Approval of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ 2019 Calendar was postponed to the second Board (formerly Bureau) meeting immediately after the conclusion of today’s General Assembly.

The General Assembly approved the full revision of the Eventing Rules.

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

10:39 Para Dressage

The General Assembly approved modifications to the Para Dressage Rules and the FEI Para Classification Rules.
 
The main amendment was to Article 8428 Saddlery, which has been updated to state clearly what is and is not allowed in terms of saddlery. An annex with images of each type of equipment was added. The equipment allowed is not limited to these images, which are just examples. This annex should always be used in conjunction with the written rules.

Article 6.7 on Classification at Events was amended to clarify that classification will be offered at all FEI approved Events and Article 14.4 was amended to clarify that an Athlete can remain on the FEI Masterlist for a maximum of two (2) years with tracking code OA. Clarifications to the protest Rules were also made to be in line with the IPC Code of compliance.

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

10:37 Dressage

The General Assembly approved modifications to the Dressage Rules.

The main amendment was Article 428 Saddlery. This was revised to clarify what is and is not allowed in terms of saddlery. Images of types of
equipment were added in an annex. They are examples only and should be used in conjunction with the rules.

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

10:27 Jumping

The General Assembly approved all modifications to the Jumping Rules.

Following requests from National Federations for separate votes on CSI Invitation Rules (Annex V of the FEI Jumping Rules) and CSI/CSIO requirements (Annex VI), these were voted on separately.

Delegates voted unanimously in favour of further pilot phases for the CSI Online Invitation system.

The proposed amendments to Annex VI were approved, with one vote against.

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

10:07 Approval of modifications to Regulations

The General Assembly approved modifications to the FEI General Regulations and Internal Regulations. There were two abstentions to the vote on the General Regulations.

Included in the amended General Regulations is the new FEI Safeguarding Policy Against Harassment and Abuse, which was proposed during the Athlete Welfare session at the FEI Sports Forum 2018. The FEI policy, which is in line with the IOC Athlete Safeguarding toolkit, defines the forms of abuse: psychological, physical and sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and neglect. The policy applies to Athletes, Accredited Persons, FEI Representatives and staff, Officials, Organisers, Persons Responsible and Support Personnel (Coaches, Trainers, Horse Owners, Stewards, Chef d’Equipe, Veterinarian, etc).

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Regulations

The General Assembly unanimously approved all proposed modifications for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Regulations. These regulations are subject to approval from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Regulations

The General Assembly unanimously approved all proposed modifications for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic regulations. These regulations are subject to approval from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

09:49 Membership & Affiliations

The Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, was welcomed as a full member of the FEI having completed the affiliation process. Unfortunately the North Korean representative was unable to attend the General Assembly here in Manama, but the FEI flag will be sent to the National Federation to welcome them into the FEI Family and a delegation will be invited to visit the FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI).

A further eight countries are seeking FEI membership and are currently going through the four-stage affiliation process. These are Ivory Coast, Aruba, Uganda, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Cap Vert, Bahamas and Lesotho.

09:47 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.

09:44 HH Sheikh Faisal Bin Rashid Al Khalifa, President of the Bahraini National Federation, was invited to the stage to address delegates. He welcomed everyone to the Kingdom of Bahrain, thanking His Majesty the King for his vision and continuous support of equestrian sport.

“Horses in Arabia have long been a symbol of power and prestige”, he said, describing the Arabian horse as “poetry in motion”. He finished with a further welcome to all delegates at the General Assembly. “What you achieve today will modernise the sport for many years to come.”

09:32 The FEI President then delivered the keynote address to the just under 250 delegates representing the FEI’s 133 National Federations, stakeholders, sponsors and media.

“We are here in Bahrain to discuss matters which are important to our sport and our community and we are here to make key decisions for the future”, he said.

“This is a big responsibility. The equestrian world is vast – and continues to grow – and there are many interests at stake as well as an important heritage to uphold and promote.

“The General Assembly is our platform to ensure that we fulfil that remit and have the necessary dialogue and consensus within our community. Together, we need to make informed decisions so that our sport can progress according to market forces and the will of our global community.”

He touched on finance, FEI Solidarity, the importance of our youth and the triumph of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, the successes and challenges of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, the future of Endurance, and of the Games themselves, athlete elections and the team spirit that has characterised an incredible 2018, before thanking the FEI’s Top Partner Longines, our other loyal partners, all members of the very special equestrian community, and particularly our Bahraini hosts here in Manama.


09:18 FEI President Ingmar De Vos and FEI 1st Vice President HE Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa welcomed HH Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa and his entourage to the General Assembly before delegates stood for the Bahraini national anthem.
 
Ingmar De Vos, who stands unopposed for re-election later this morning, then opened proceedings at the FEI General Assembly in Manama (BRN), which got underway with an Extraordinary General Assembly to vote on key changes to the FEI Statutes after the election of scrutineers.
 
The National Federations voted in favour of the amendments to the Statutes, which involve inclusion of the gender equality principle, already automatic in the disciplines governed by the FEI, across all other structures in the sport, and a change in the structure of the FEI regional groups. Groups I and II have now been merged and will be known as the European Equestrian Federation (EEF) Regional Group. The EEF President and Vice President will sit on the FEI Bureau, which is now termed the FEI Board under the new Statutes.

 

09:14  Let’s get technical: There are 79 National Federations with Powers of Attorney actually on site attending the General Assembly here in Bahrain, and 40 proxies from National Federations not attending the session, meaning there are a total of 119 votes for today’s meeting. The required quorum is 67.

08:45 The FEI is no stranger to the hospitality of the Bahraini people. The 2003 FEI General Assembly was scheduled to be held here in Bahrain and all the preparations had been made, but sadly we had to cancel due to the second Gulf War. But we did manage to come for the November 2005 Bureau meeting here in this very hotel, and now we’re back at the extensively refurbished Gulf Hotel for this year’s General Assembly.

 
08:30  Welcome to the FEI General Assembly 2018 in Manama (BRN)!
 
 

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

We will be providing news updates throughout the day as well, covering the presentations and main decisions taken.

All documents relating to the Extraordinary General Assembly and Ordinary General Assembly are available to view here.

The schedule for the day and all other information is available here.

 

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