Horses were driven long before they were ridden and, as such, Driving is the oldest competitive equestrian sport yet it continues to thrive in the 21st century. Drivers sit on a vehicle drawn by a single horse or pony, a pair or a team of four and they face three trials – dressage, marathon and obstacle driving.
Dressage involves performing a sequence of compulsory figures within a 100 x 40 metre rectangle. Movements – which must be executed from memory – include speed and gait transitions, circles of different sizes and halts.
The marathon is a spectacular time trial run over a course including natural hazards such as sharp turns, water and steep hills, and artificial ones such as labyrinths. It tests the horses’ fitness and stamina and the driver’s judgment of pace and horse control.
Obstacle driving – or cones – tests the fitness, obedience and suppleness of the horses after the marathon, as well as the skill and competence of the driver who must weave cleanly through a narrow track outlined by cones with balls balanced on top.
Driving came under the FEI umbrella in 1970 thanks to the efforts of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, then the FEI President, who organised the meeting in 1969 which produced the first rule book. One notable alteration to the rules followed a competition in Windsor, Great Britain, where a back wheel collapsed on a vehicle and the watching Queen Elizabeth allowed for a small tree to be tied to the axle to keep it off the ground. The rules stated subsequently that a "vehicle must have four wheels crossing the finishing line".
In 2006 Para Driving joined the ranks of the other 7 FEI disciplines with national and international competitions in Driving for individuals with a disability.
We wish to remind you that in accordance with Art. 112 of the FEI General Regulations, the dates for all 2024 International Events must be entered into the FEI online Calendar through FEI Database before 01 October. Exceptionally this year, the deadline is postponed to Monday, 02 October 2023 midnight CEST.
At 23:59 CEST on 02 October 2023, the 2024 online Calendar will be blocked. Any modification requested after the deadline will need to be addressed to the FEI by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) using the Calendar Form available on FEI Documents.
The FEI Board held a teleconference on 29 August. The main resolutions taken on this occasion are listed below.
Allocation of FEI-Named Events
FEI Driving World Cup™ 2024/25
The Board allocated the FEI Driving World Cup™ 2024/25 Qualifiers to the following Organisers:
FEI Annual Report 2022
The Board approved the FEI Annual Report 2022. The Annual Report will be published online here in the coming days.
The FEI has today confirmed the shortlisted bidders for the FEI World Championships 2026. The shortlist comprises five Organising Committees who have applied to host events in various disciplines, as follows:
The FEI Board will allocate the FEI World Championships 2026 at its in-person Board Meeting on 18 November 2023 in Mexico City (MEX), following a thorough review by the FEI Evaluation Commission and taking into account recommendations by the Technical Committees.
Following three decades of a unique host formula for senior World Championships under the FEI World Equestrian Games™ format, in 2022 the FEI returned to a more flexible approach accepting single and multiple World Championship bids with a focus on catering to the needs and specificities of each discipline. Herning (DEN) hosted hugely successful events in Jumping, Dressage, Para Dressage, and Vaulting whereas Eventing and Driving Four-in-Hand competitions took place at Pratoni Del Vivaro (ITA), venue of the 1960 Olympic equestrian events. The FEI Endurance World Championships 2022 were held at Butheeb (UAE) last February.
“We are very pleased with the variety of bids we have received,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “Following the outstanding FEI World Championships 2022 organised in Denmark, Italy and the UAE, we are confident this flexible approach with single and multiple bids serves not only the sport, but also the fans and the development of equestrian around the world, allowing different nations and venues to bid to host a major FEI event.”
The FEI World Championships 2026 in Jumping, Dressage, Para Dressage, and Eventing will be the first qualifying events for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
A bit of history
The FEI World Championships have a long history.
Dressage is the FEI discipline with the longest tradition of Championships. A Grand Prix de Dressage, organised in Lucerne (SUI) as early as 1927, had hosted 12 riders representing five nations.
Official FEI Dressage Championships were organised on all non-Olympic years between 1930 and 1939 in Switzerland, France, Austria, Hungary, Germany, and Great Britain. The last such event took place in August 1939, only days before the outbreak of World War II.
The FEI tried to revive the event after the war with limited success. Participation gradually improved and European Championships were organised in 1963, which led to the first FEI Dressage World Championship held in Bern (SUI) three years later.
The first Para Dressage Championship, which took place under the leadership of the FEI, was held in July 2007 only a year after Para Equestrian came under the FEI umbrella. The event enjoyed a truly international representation gathering 133 athletes from 35 nations. Since 2010, FEI Dressage and Para Dressage Championships are being held concurrently.
The first FEI Jumping World Championship was organised in June 1953 at the Parc des Princes stadium in the south west of Paris (FRA). The event was drastically different from its modern equivalent as only 19 athletes from 11 countries, including Yugoslavia, Cambodia and the USA, competed. No women took part since female riders would not be able to enter Jumping competitions until 1956.
The first FEI Eventing World Championship was organised in 1966, the same year as the first FEI Dressage World Championship, at the beautiful estate of Lord Burghley in Lincolnshire, Great Britain. The Championship gathered 39 athletes representing five nations: Argentina, Great Britain, Ireland, USA, USSR.
The previous year the FEI had established the configuration according to which World Championships in the Olympic discipline of Jumping were held every four years in the non-Olympic even years and continental championships were organised in the odd years. This pattern is still in use today for all the FEI Olympic and Paralympic disciplines.
The non-Olympic disciplines
The first edition of the FEI Driving World Championship for Four-in-Hand was held in 1972 in Münster (GER) two years after Driving had become an FEI discipline. Since then, the event continues to be organised every two years.
Endurance became an FEI discipline in 1982, one year before Vaulting. The championship histories of these two non-Olympic disciplines have run in parallel from the start with World Championships organised every other year on even years.
FEI Endurance European Championships had been held in 1984 and 1985 until the first FEI Endurance World Championship was organised in September 1986 at Pratoni del Vivaro (ITA).
In 1983, one year after Driving, Vaulting also joined the FEI. In 1984 the first FEI Vaulting European Championship was organised and was followed by another European edition in 1985. This second European edition was open to the rest of the world. A strong showing from the USA convinced the FEI the time had come for a World Championship. The first FEI Vaulting World Championship took place in in the small Swiss town of Bulle from 18 to 20 July 1986.
FEI World Equestrian Games 1990 - 2018
The inaugural FEI World Equestrian Games™ were held in the Swedish capital Stockholm with the 1912 Olympic stadium as the main venue. On the initiative of the then-FEI President HRH Prince Philip, the World Championships in all the FEI discipline were held in the same city from 14 July to 5 August 1990. Given the smooth organisation and success of these Games, what should have been a one-off event, was extended and seven more editions took place in The Hague (NED) in 1994, Rome (ITA) in 1998, Jerez de la Frontera (ESP) in 2002, Aachen (GER) in 2006, Lexington, KY (USA) in 2010, Normandy (FRA) in 2014, and Tryon, NC (USA) in 2018. Please click here to visit the FEI History Hub where you will find more details about FEI World Championships.
Following the successful launch of the FEI Tack, Equipment & Dress Database and its mobile version the FEI TackApp, the FEI would like to provide the community with an update and clarification, following several queries received from different stakeholder groups.
The FEI Tack, Equipment & Dress Database is still in its first phase of development, as tack, equipment and dress items are currently being entered into the system. This entails uploading existing tack, equipment and dress items with accompanying photographs and/or videos across all FEI disciplines and marking them as “Permitted”, “Not Permitted”, “Not Applicable”, with exceptions where required.
Due to the high number of tack that is being used, or is attempted to be used, in FEI Competitions, this first phase of populating the Database will continue in the following months. Please note that pending items, which have not yet had their designation processed by the FEI, are temporarily marked as “Not Applicable (N/A)”. The FEI is currently developing an additional designation “Pending Review”, which will be used for those items so that the “N/A” designation can be used for items that are truly Not Applicable, i.e. not used in certain FEI disciplines.
This first phase is the most time consuming and once concluded, the number of new items being uploaded to the Database will diminish significantly. Once the first phase is concluded, a thorough review will be carried out to ensure consistency across disciplines and a good quality of photographic and video content. Each time a new item of tack, equipment and dress is added or amended, it will appear in the “Recently Updated” section of the Database.
Following an FEI decision, all “Not Applicable (N/A)” items which will be marked as “Not Permitted” items, will be uploaded into the Database only once a month i.e. on the first Monday of each month. These items will appear in the “Recently Updated” section of the Database. This will allow all stakeholders to acquaint themselves with any new item that may be relevant to them for upcoming competitions. At a later stage, the FEI aims to develop notification alerts which users will be able to activate for their respective discipline(s), when a new item (marked “Not Permitted”) is added. All other “Permitted” items will be uploaded into the Database on a regular basis. Together with items being amended during the final review, “Permitted” items will also appear in the “Recently Updated” section of the Database.
The FEI will continue with developing new features of the FEI Tack, Equipment & Dress Database, to further enhance its practicality and usefulness. In the future, FEI Officials and others will be able to submit new items of tack, equipment and dress directly to the FEI via the FEI TackApp for review and eventual designation in the Database.
In the meantime, we are grateful for your patience while the Database is being populated and perfected. We strive to make the FEI Tack, Equipment & Dress Database and its mobile version, the FEI TackApp, an essential, indispensable and user-friendly tool for FEI Officials, Athletes, their Support Personnel and other stakeholders.
The Rules Revision Process 2023 is well underway with the first draft of the proposed changes now available to National Federations and Stakeholders for review and feedback by 16 August 2023 prior to being submitted to the General Assembly for approval in November as per the timeline below:
1 March 2023
National Federations and Stakeholders with whom the FEI has signed an MOU have the opportunity to propose Rules changes as per the FEI Periodical Rules Revision Policy.
28 June 2023
The FEI provides National Federations and Stakeholders with the first Draft of proposed Rules change.
The 1st Draft of proposed Rules changes Memos as well as the Templates to provide feedback by 16 August 2023 can be found HERE. ONLY proposals submitted online on the Rules Revision Platform using the respective Templates will be accepted.
16 August 2023
National Federations and Stakeholders are given seven weeks to review the first Draft and the proposed amendments in this first Draft and make comments and/or propose any changes in relation to the first Draft.
24 October 2023
Final Draft of the proposed Rules changes is provided to National Federations and Stakeholders.
20 November 2023
Rules Session at FEI General Assembly in Mexico City (MEX).
21 November 2023
Voting of Rules at the FEI General Assembly.
For more information on the FEI Rules Revision processes and timelines, click here.
If you have any questions please contact the FEI Director Governance & Institutional Affairs at Francisco.email@example.com
The Bid Process for the Qualifiers of the
Bids can be initiated by any interested party by uploading the Application Form (available to download via the FEI Online Bid Platform) to the FEI Online Bid Platform. All bids must be validated by the relevant National Federation via the FEI Online Bid Platform. The deadline to submit bids is Friday, 28 July 2023.
The applicable bid process timeline is the following:
MONDAY 26 JUNE 2023
Opening of the Bid Process
FRIDAY 28 JULY 2023
Deadline for receipt of applications.
All applications to be submitted by the FEI Online Bid Platform.
Review of Bids
The FEI reserves the right to create a shortlist of candidates based on its initial review of the Applications/Bids received.
END JULY 2023
Draft Host Agreement provided to (shortlisted) candidates.
JULY – AUGUST 2023
FEI and Driving Technical Committee evaluation of shortlisted bid.
18 AUGUST 2023
Deadline for Host Agreement to be signed by Organiser and National Federation and returned to the FEI.
29 AUGUST 2023
Allocation decision* by FEI and announcement of the Organisers of the FEI Driving World CupTM 2024/2025 Season.
*The FEI reserves the right to allocate a Qualifier(s) at an earlier or later date depending on the progress of the application/review process.
The names of candidates vetted by the FEI Nominations Committee for the Elections & Appointments 2023 are available on Inside.FEI.org. For the positions to be elected by the FEI General Assembly 2023, the candidacy files can also be consulted.
The open positions are:
• Chair of Regional Group III – Board Member
• Chair of Regional Group VII – Board Member
• Chair of Driving Technical Committee – Board Member
• Chair of FEI Tribunal
• Members of FEI Tribunal
• Member of Audit & Compliance Committee
• Members of Nominations Committee, all Regional Groups
• Member of Jumping Committee
• Member of Dressage Committee
• Member of Para Equestrian Committee
• Member of Eventing Committee
• Member of Driving Committee
• Member of Vaulting Committee
• Members of Veterinary Committee
• Member of Medical Committee
Should you have any questions regarding the FEI Elections & Appointments 2023, please contact the Director of Governance & Institutional Affairs, Francisco Lima.
Dear FEI Driving Community,
Please be informed that the new FEI Driven Dressage Test Modification Policy has been published on the Driving Dressage Test page. This policy has undergone further amendments following its presentation and the feedback received at the FEI Driving Forum 2023.
As part of the policy and as per the timetable, a working group will be formed to create the new 2* and 3* Horse and Pony Four-in-Hand Dressage tests), which will be designed for an 80x40 meter arena. The aim is to publish the new dressage test after the FEI Driving Horse Four-in-Hand World Championship in 2024 and to have it implemented as of 01 January 2025.
A second working group will be formed to create the new Children, Junior and U25 Dressage tests (Youth). These will be published after the FEI Driving Youth European Championship in 2024 and implemented as of 01 January 2025.
To ensure a comprehensive and collaborative approach, we are opening applications for various positions within the different working groups.
Application are open from 05 June until 05 July 2023. Please note that the application deadline will not be extended.
The following positions are available:
1. Driving Trainers (recommended and supported by their Federation)
2. FEI level 4 Driving Judge
3. Top-level Athletes from each class
We encourage individuals who meet the eligibility criteria and have relevant expertise in any of the above positions to send us their application. For additional information regarding the requirements, please refer to the policy and application forms.
If you are interested in applying or know someone who might be suitable for any of the positions, kindly complete the attached application form and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 05 July 2023. The selection process will involve careful consideration of the applications to ensure a balanced and competent working group.
Should you have any further questions or require additional information, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com.
We look forward to receiving your application and working together to create new dressage tests.
The FEI Sports and Veterinary Department would like to draw your attention to the application deadline to host FEI Transfer Up or CES (FEI Competency-based Evaluation System) Maintenance Courses in 2024.
We kindly ask you to download the relevant application & budget forms, which can be accessed via the links provided below, and to send them to the FEI via the corresponding email address also provided below, no later than the 31 July 2023.
|Driving & Parafirstname.lastname@example.org||https://inside.fei.org/fei/your-role/officials/driving/course-organisation|
Should you have any questions regarding the administration of our courses, please contact the relevant FEI Sport or Veterinary Department who will be able to assist you.
Discussions, debates and consultations were at the heart of the first FEI Driving Forum held on 11 and 12 April, as the community came together in person and online to discuss the status quo as well as the future of the Discipline. The Forum, which attracted 88 participants from 24 nations was open to all members of the Driving community, including Officials, Athletes, Trainers, Course Designers, Organisers and National Federations with the hybrid set-up allowing remote all participants to watch live and interact directly whenever needed.