FEI Board resolutions

The FEI Board met via videoconference yesterday (5 May 2020) to review a number of key issues, including a new return to play policy for when international sport recommences after the Covid-19 pandemic and proposals from the Jumping, Para Equestrian, Endurance and Dressage Calendar Task Forces, and the Qualification System for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

FEI Policy for Enhanced Competition Safety during the Covid-19 pandemic
At its videoconference on 15 April, the FEI Board had mandated the FEI Medical Committee to work on a protocol for National Federations and Organising Committees to provide measures for the safe resumption of international equestrian events when approved by the World Health Organization and national governments.

Dr Mark Hart, Chair of the Medical Committee, presented a draft of the FEI Policy for Enhanced Competition Safety during the Covid-19 pandemic to the Board during its virtual meeting yesterday. The Medical Committee and FEI Headquarters have now been further mandated to finalise the Policy, which will contain a set of recommended discipline-specific guidelines, including an obligation for Organisers to carry out a Risk Assessment to host safe competitions. Once completed, the Board will give final sign-off for the Policy, including a Risk Assessment tool, in advance of distribution to National Federations and Organisers.

FEI Series affected by COVID-19
The Board agreed that the FEI will not penalise or terminate the existing contracts with Organisers that have had to cancel their Event due to force majeure (eg Covid-19) or due to uncertainties because of Covid-19, which may not always be strictly considered force majeure depending on the timing of the decision.

Calendar Task Forces
The Board approved a number of proposals put forward by the discipline-specific Calendar Task Forces.

NB: Resolutions marked * were approved by the Board based on Article 20.3 of the FEI Statutes: In an Emergency Situation the Board may, by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of votes cast, pass Resolutions which are normally the prerogatives of the General Assembly. In such cases, the National Federations shall be notified promptly of these measures. If a majority of the National Federations eligible to vote, responding within thirty (30) days of the date of the notice, signifies its disapproval, the measure shall be rescinded if possible.

Jumping
Following a third meeting of the Jumping Calendar Task Force on Monday 4 May, the Board acknowledged the Task Force approval of Calendar dates that are published on the FEI Database today, 6 May 2020.

CSI5* GCT/GCL Shanghai (CHN) and CSI5*-W Helsinki (FIN)
The FEI has approved the date clash between CSI5* GCT/GCL Shanghai (CHN) 23-25 October 2020 and CSI5*-W Helsinki (FIN) 22-25 October 2020, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the FEI Calendar.

Both Events are supported by the FEI’s Top Partner Longines and the agreement acknowledges the importance of maintaining the Calendar in Asia while simultaneously minimising the impact of the Shanghai fixture on the Longines FEI World Cup™ event in Helsinki.

Both Organisers have agreed that any National Federation will be entitled to select and enter any Athlete for the CSI5*-W Helsinki (FIN) without any consequences or sanction from GCT/GCL against Athletes that are members of a GCL Team and that this should not be regarded as a breach of any contractual obligation between the Athlete and GCT/GCL and/or Team owner.

Additionally, it has been agreed that neither Event will make a special effort to attract Athletes from each other, while being aware that the choice ultimately rests with the Athletes and the National Federations. Chefs d’équipe and national selectors, together with the IJRC, are requested to cooperate to attract top Athletes to both Events.

Para Equestrian
The Board approved the following recommendations of the Para Equestrian Calendar Task Force from its meeting on 30 April:

*Deadline by which NFs/OCs should provide their dates for postponed Events
Until 31 December 2020:

  • Applications and/or modifications dates must reach the FEI Secretary General at least four weeks prior to the Event.

  • All requests for date changes must be submitted to the FEI through the National Federations (including the Draft Schedule at the time of submission).

*Redefining “higher level events” for the purposes of the Calendar
Until 31 December 2020:

  • CPEDI3* will be exempted from Date Clash rules.

Switching dates from one Event to another Event by the same Organiser
Should this occur, to review and allow, on a case-by-case basis, for a change of venues by the same Organiser.

Classification opportunities
Until 31 December 2020:
Based on the recommendation of the FEI Head Classifier, the Board agreed to reduce the time of application for classification from six to four weeks prior to the Event.

*Officials
In line with other FEI Disciplines, the requirement for Foreign Officials could be relaxed, upon request, to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Endurance
The Board approved the following recommendations of the Endurance Calendar Task Force from its meeting on 29 April:

*Deadline by which NFs/OCs should provide their dates for postponed Events
Until 31 December 2020:

  • Applications and/or modifications for dates for all CEIs must reach the Secretary General at least four weeks prior to the Event.

  • All requests for date changes must be submitted to the FEI through the National Federations (including the Draft Schedule at the time of submission).

Article 112.4 of the General Regulations (and any relevant Article of Endurance Rules) to be interpreted accordingly.

*Redefining “Higher Level Events” for the purposes of the Calendar
Until 31 December 2020:

  • Date Clash Rule is suspended for CEIs, with the exception of those Events serving as Test Events for future FEI Championships which will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Article 112.7 of the General Regulations (and any relevant Article of Endurance Rules) to be interpreted accordingly.

Extensions

*Extending the validity of star level qualifications period
A “freeze” of the qualification of horses for an initial six-month period, meaning that the validity of star level qualification is 24 months plus six months = 30 months. This will be reviewed in three months’ time.

*Extending Novice qualification period
A “freeze” of the Novice qualification for an initial six-month period, meaning that the maximum validity of Novice qualification is 24 months plus six months = 30 months. This will be reviewed in three months’ time.

Application of the Endurance Rules, 10th Edition (“Transitional Rulebook”)
The Board approved the recommendation of the Endurance Temporary Committee not to extend the application of the Endurance Rules 10th Edition and to go ahead with the implementation of the new Endurance Rules on 1 July 2020, as approved by the General Assembly 2019.

Championships 2020: Qualifications, Preparation, Participation
Organisers of Endurance Championships must inform the FEI three months in advance of the original date, at the very latest, if the Championship can go ahead as scheduled or not, in order for athletes and horses to prepare/train appropriately and obtain the necessary qualification to participate in a Championship. Other Endurance Championships related questions will be discussed at the Board Teleconference in June 2020.

*Officials
The provision in the FEI Endurance Rules that take effect on 1 July 2020 (Annex 6) whereby FEI Headquarters would appoint Officials for certain star levels and Championships could be derogated from upon request, with any request to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Dressage
The Board acknowledged the decisions regarding Calendar Dates approved by the Dressage Calendar Task Force at its meeting on 28 April, including moving the FEI WBFSH Dressage World Breeding Championship for Young Horses 2020 in Verden (GER) from its original dates (5-9 August) to 9-13 December 2020 and to an indoor venue.

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games
Further to confirmation from the International Paralympic Committee, the Board approved the modifications to the Qualification System for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.