Session 8: Endurance - Open Q&A and wrap-up by FEI Secretary General

16 April 2019
16 April 2019 Author: fei

The final session of the FEI Sports Forum 2019 was devoted to an extended questions and answers session to allow further debate on the 16 recommendations put forward by the Endurance Temporary Committee.

Topics that were further discussed included out of competition testing, post mortem examinations, education, also on anti-doping, course design, rider weight, rotation of Officials, cancellation of events, dangerous riding and certificates of competency, mandatory out of competition periods, horse and rider combinations as part of the qualification process, data collection for research, staggered starts, heart rates, overnight stabling, e-reports, definition of significant prize money, the role of sponsors, quality control and ongoing monitoring of time keeping systems.

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 Go to Session 7Session 8: Endurance - Open Q&A and wrap-up by
FEI Secretary General 

16 April 2019, 16:00 - 18:00
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Joe Mattingley (USA), a member of the former Endurance Strategic Planning Group (ESPG), offered his congratulations for the work that has been done to date. “I truly see this as evolutionary this conversation we’re having today, because it’s building on all the work that’s been done in the past”, he said.

“I believe the ESPG, along with a number of other forums we’ve had since then, and the actions in the past that our community has taken has actually gotten us to this point where we’re talking about individual rules, making it better for the officials, making it better for the events, making it better for the organisers, making it better for the athletes, making it better for our championships and, the most important thing, continuing to make it better for our horses.”

Mark Samuel, who moderated the final Q&A session, offered his conclusions on the day. “It’s through forms like this and having a collective will to suggest that we want things to be different and for the world to hear that the industry wants to move in a different direction, I think it gradually gives these bad actors less permission to be bad and I think it gradually allows good officials the strength to be good.

“As Ingmar said in his opening remarks, the status quo simply doesn’t work and we need this call to action. We are at a tipping point and the majority of the world, and we heard it at our stakeholders meeting, wants us to move in a better direction and so we will.”

Immediately before her closing remarks, Endurance Temporary Committee Chair Sarah Coombs presented the timeline for next steps with the proposed rules amendments:

8 July 2019: Final draft rules proposals from the Endurance Temporary Committee to be sent to National Federations and stakeholders;

30 August 2019: deadline for National Federations and stakeholders to revert to the FEI with feedback;

22 October 2019: Final draft rules published;

17–19 November 2019: FEI General Assembly, Moscow (RUS).

Prior to wrapping up the day’s proceedings with an executive summary of the presentations and debate, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez told delegates that she, on behalf of the FEI, had acknowledged during last year’s General Assembly in Bahrain, that the FEI had made mistakes at the World Equestrian Games 2018. The FEI Board had also acknowledged that there had been mistakes, she said, and had made a financial contribution to each National Federation that had an Endurance athlete in Tryon. “We made mistakes and we apologise for that”, she said to applause.

Earlier, Sarah Coombs had also received rousing applause for her call for support for the Endurance Temporary Committee recommendations: “The FEI works as a collaboration of National Federations which is based on respect and trust for each other and, above all, built on a shared respect for the horse. Without mutual respect between the Endurance community and the FEI our sport has no future.

“If we are to take our discipline forward within the FEI we have to rebuild trust and respect on both sides. This will require strong leadership, respect for Endurance as a rapidly evolving discipline, respect and integrity from all the competitors, trainers and owners. Above all of this, respect for the horse, who can only give of his best if his well-being is respected.

“As we have already heard, there is no future for international Endurance within the FEI if everything stays the same. We have no automatic right to practice equestrian sport on an international stage, especially in these days of social media and instant news around the world. We have to bring about positive change if Endurance is to survive within the FEI.”


Supporting document for Day 2 (Session 5-6-7-8)

Speakers bios