Opening by FEI President Ingmar De Vos and IMD Professor Sameh Abadir
FEI President Ingmar De Vos opened the eleventh FEI Sports Forum, warmly welcoming delegates to Lausanne (SUI).
“It’s hard to believe the last in-person Sports Forum was in 2019,” President De Vos said. “So after three years we are happy to be back here in IMD and to see all of you in person and also our greetings to all those following the Sports Forum online.”
The President also acknowledged the presence of the Ukrainian delegation attending the Sports Forum under the leadership of Secretary General Mykhailo Parkhomchuk.
“It was only in December of last year that I made an official visit to your National Federation in Kiev and it is unbelievable what happened to your country and its population since then,” said President De Vos.
“I still have great memories of your warm welcome and hospitality and I can tell you that you are more than ever in our hearts and thoughts and we commend you for the great resilience you have demonstrated so far.
“Having the Ukrainian delegation with us the coming days will allow us in the margin of this Sports Forum to continue discussions on how we can continue to support you and our equestrian family in Ukraine in these difficult times.
“It’s also great to see the solidarity and support initiatives from our National Federations not only from the region and the coordination done by the Ukrainian Equestrian Federation and the Ukrainian Charity Foundation in cooperation with the EEF and FEI. Together we have established the priorities to ensure the CHF 1 million FEI Solidarity Relief Fund reaches as many individuals and horses as possible.”
This is the eighth time that the FEI Sports Forum has been held at the IMD Business School in Lausanne, with the 2020 and 2021 editions organised online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The FEI Sports Forum 2022 has brought together 250 delegates for discussions on the Olympic and Paralympic Regulations for Paris 2024, in addition to the FEI Eventing, Dressage and Para Dressage Rules and FEI Veterinary Regulations.
With the FEI Sports Forum a key opportunity for a community wide discussion on these Rules and Regulations, the President urged everyone in attendance to provide their input so that clear and broadly supported proposals can be put forward to the FEI General Assembly in November in Cape Town (RSA).
With World Championships to be held in all six FEI disciplines in Denmark and Italy this year, delegates will have the opportunity to hear updates from the Organisers of the Events and about the digital activations that will take place around the Championships.
The results of the first phase of recently launched FEI Event Standards project will be presented to delegates for feedback and discussion. The Sports Forum 2022 will also see the formalisation of the FEI’s relationship with the newly created International Grooms Association.
The President then gave the floor to IMD Professor of Leadership and Negotiation Sameh Abadir, who provided a stimulating talk on ways to overcome decision-making biases especially during time of crisis.
In his talk, he spoke about the importance of recognising ‘low-signals’ and put forward the following five tips for developing an organisation’s global ability:
Organisations need to train people to react with logic during a crisis.
Organisations must learn to predict people’s behaviour when under severe stress.
Leaders are globally in charge of their employees’ energy.
Leaders must be surrounded by people who are willing to raise negative issues quickly.
Leaders must find ways of reversing the pressure that employees are often under.
Professor Abadir also stressed the importance of each person developing their own agility during times of stress.
He ended his talk to delegates reiterating that good leaders help their employees overcome their own limitations and motivate people to achieve things they would not have necessarily been able to do on their own.
You can download the full Opening by the FEI President in the below Library.
Day 1 - 25 April 2022, 09:00 - 9:30
Watch on Replay
Session 1: Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Regulations
The purpose of the first Session of the 2022 FEI Sports Forum was to discuss topics that are common to the Paris 2024 Regulations for Jumping, Dressage, Eventing and Para Dressage.
The Session was led by FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez, FEI Director of Olympic Games & Eventing Catrin Norinder, and FEI Deputy Legal Director Áine Power.
The FEI Secretary General opened the Session, by reviewing the key dates and milestones in the Paris 2024 consultation process which started at the 2021 FEI Hybrid General Assembly in Antwerp (BEL).
The Paris 2024 Olympic Qualification System for Jumping, Dressage and Eventing was approved at the 2021 FEI General Assembly, including the teams of three concept, the method for the distribution of Quota Places and the Qualification Systems. It was decided that the Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs), the reallocation of unused quota places, specific deadlines and the competition structure would be put to the FEI General Assembly in 2022 for approval.
The FEI General Assembly in Antwerp (BEL) also approved in full, the Paris 2024 Paralympic Qualification Systems, due to the fact that Para Dressage Athletes could start earning their MERs as of 1 January 2022.
The following key topics of discussion emerged from the Pairs 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Regulations Consultation Process that followed:
The timelines for Paris 2024 Qualifications, MERs and entries
Pre-Competition changes and substitution processes
NOC Certificate of Capability Concept
Additional NOC Accreditations for Equestrian
Reallocation of Quotas
Provisional schedule for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games
Each of these topics were addressed during Session 1 of the 2022 FEI Sports Forum, and delegates were provided with the following information and proposals for consideration:
A detailed timeline for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Qualifications, MERs and Entries that has been created on the basis of FEI and Tokyo 2020 deadlines. It was proposed to set Monday 24 June 2024 as the deadline for Athlete/Horse combinations to achieve the Minimum Eligibility Requirements.
A thorough overview of the pre-competition changes and the substitution processes for the Olympic and Paralympic Games for Jumping, Dressage, Eventing and Para Dressage. It was proposed that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games systems/concepts are also applied for Paris 2024.
An explanation of the Athlete/Horse Nationality rule as has applied for previous editions of the Olympic Games whereby the Horse must be registered by 15 January of the year of the Olympic Games as having the same nationality as the Athlete it will compete with at the Olympic Games, and a proposal to apply the same system/concept to Paris 2024.
A proposal to retain the same NOC Certificate of Capability concept for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games as was applied for Tokyo 2020. Under this concept, which only applies for team quota places, the NOC will have to confirm to the FEI by 5 January 2024 that at least three Athlete/Horse combinations from the NOC have achieved the minimum eligibility requirements during the period of the respective discipline’s FEI World Championship 2022 to 31 December 2023.
Additional delegation accreditations for Equestrian at the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The details are still under discussion with the IOC, IPC and the Paris 2024 OCOG. According to the proposal, each NOC may request accreditation for a maximum of two owners for each Horse allowed in the Olympic Stables (maximum of four horses per team (three + one reserve), one horse per individual) during the Olympic Games and Training venue passes. The cost of additional delegation accreditations would be at the cost of the NOCs/NPCs.
Confirmation that all Athletes of a Team who are on the field of play or contributed to the team result will be eligible for a medal.
An overview of the ways in which quota places will be reallocated. It was proposed that the same general system/concept that applied for Tokyo 2020 would apply for Paris 2024, subject to further discussion and confirmation with the IOC.
An overview of the 11 day competition schedule allocated to the equestrian competitions at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The schedule allows for three days for Eventing, four days for Jumping, and four days for Dressage as the venue is shared with Modern Pentathlon. The format and detailed program within the Equestrian competitions was still to be confirmed with Paris 2024 OC and the IOC once approved by the FEI GA.
During the Q&A session, Belgian athlete and IJRC Board Member François Mathy requested greater clarification on the substitution processes for the Olympic Games with particular emphasis on the requirement to have a medical/vet certificate as opposed to the pre-competition change which does not require this. The panellists clarified that the reason that a medical/veterinary certificate is required for “Substitutions” is to ensure that the quota assigned to the respective disciplines is respected and that the reserve Athlete/Horse is only activated for a medical/veterinary reason so that the reserve is not considered as an additional quota place. It was also clarified that the two different procedures – for before and after the start of the competition - was in line with the principles of other sports in the Olympic Games.
This led to the request from Will Connell from USEF for clarification on the two hour cut off for making substitutions and pre competition changes – and the need to have the process completed by the two hour cut off. The panellists confirmed the required deadline to complete any substitution or pre competition change two hours from the start of competition was necessary from an organisational perspective and had been successfully applied in Tokyo with the FEI and OCOG pulling out all the stops to ensure all requests were fulfilled.
Eleonora Ottaviani (IJRC) also requested confirmation about the nationality of companies that own horses and it was confirmed that the nationality corresponds to the country in which the company is registered rather than the nationality of the owners/shareholders of the company.
There were also questions about the possibility of moving the deadline for registering the nationality of the Horse. While the FEI is flexible on changing the date, the FEI will wait to see what feedback is provided by NFs/stakeholders on this rule/date as part of the rules revision process and, if necessary, it could be voted on separately at the FEI General Assembly 2022. FEI Deputy Legal Director Aine Power also cautioned that moving the deadline closer to the Olympic Games would mean that NFs/NOCs have less certainty in the run up to the Olympic Games as to the pool of horses at their disposal for selection.
While conversations about the owner accreditations are still ongoing with the IOC, Quentin Simonet from the French Federation requested that owner accreditations are maintained even after a substitution is made and the horse that is substituted is no longer competing.
Will Connell from USEF encouraged National Federations to lobby the International Paralympic Committee for more training venue passes and access to the Paralympic Village, particularly for carers. He stressed that support staff and carers are essential to the running of the Games and the need to provide this support for them. The panellists confirmed that this is a concern that the FEI is also raising directly with the IPC.
Following the number of suggestions about changes to the timetable, and in particular about the one day that is assigned to the Dressage test of Eventing, Olympic Games Director Catrin Norinder informed delegates that the FEI will be looking at ways to make the Eventing dressage test more efficient and that the one day for dressage will be tested in advance of the Olympic Games. However, these plans will only start taking shape when the delivery partner for the equestrian events will be appointed by the Organising Committee, which is expected to occur by the end of May 2022.
♦ Sabrina Ibáñez, FEI Secretary General
♦ Catrin Norinder, FEI Director Olympic and Eventing
♦ Áine Power, FEI Legal Deputy Director
Day 1 - 25 April 2022, 09:30 - 10:30
Watch Session 1 on Replay
Proposals outlining modifications to the Paris 2024 Olympic Regulations for Jumping were discussed during the second session of the FEI Sports Forum 2022.
The proposals put forward to delegates in this Session are the result of a widespread consultation process which saw athletes, officials, National Federations, and stakeholders with whom the FEI has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), submit key topics for review as part of an initial survey. The feedback from the survey was discussed during an online meeting held last month on 22 March and the main points consolidated for further deliberation at the FEI Sports Forum.
The topics of discussion included timelines for entries, competition schedule, the substitution process, Minimum Eligibility Requirements, the order of the Competitions, as well as modifications related to rankings and penalties.
Presenters for this Session included FEI Chair of the Jumping Committee Stephan Ellenbruch and FEI Jumping Director Marco Fusté. Tokyo 2020 Jumping Course Designer Santiago Varela, Swedish Jumping chef d’equipe Henrik Ankarcrona and Olympic champion and President of the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) Kevin Staut from France were the panellists for the Session.
Key information and proposals put forward to delegates for discussion included:
To have the timeline for entries for Paris 2024 follow the same deadline principles as Tokyo 2020.
To revert to the pre-Tokyo competition order with the team competition held first followed by the individual competition. According to the suggested competition schedule, the second horse inspection would be open to all four horses, and the first horse inspection open to horses for both team and individual competitions.
Only medical and veterinary substitutions will be allowed, and require a veterinary or medical certificate.
The event begins at the first horse inspection and only horses stabled at the Olympic stables can be substituted for the team competitions, the exact time is to be defined.
In terms of MERs, the number of results required will be three and the maximum number of penalties allowed is four at 1.55m and eight at 1.60m.
To increase the number of wild cards per Event for the purpose of achieving MERs.
To have the first individual qualifier judged on penalties and time.
To have an additional judge appointed for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games so that the requirements for the Olympic Games meet the Jumping Rules requirements.
During the Q&A, Belgian athlete and IJRC Board Member François Mathy JR cautioned that it will be necessary to manage the public perception of having a horse taken out of a competition one day for veterinary reasons and then allowed to compete again a few days later. Stephan Ellenbruch responded that transparency in the process and fitness to compete were the primary ingredients to ensuring the public understood and approved the process.
Gerald Kuh (HKG) also brought up the point that there is real concern for smaller countries to qualify for the Olympic Games without the existence of special qualifying competitions.
IJRC Director Eleonora Ottaviani (IJRC) and Lizzy Chesson US Equestrian Managing Director of Show Jumping also proposed that if Wild Cards are included that they should be outside of the quota places assigned through the FEI Online Invitation system.
Presenters: ♦ Stephan Ellenbruch (GER), Chair of the FEI Jumping Committee
♦ Marco Fusté, FEI Jumping Director
♦ Santiago Varela ESP), Tokyo 2020 Jumping Course Designer
♦ Kevin Staut, IJRC President
♦ Henrik Ankarcrona, Deputy Chair of the FEI Jumping Committee
Day 1 - 25 April 2022, 10:30 - 11:30
Watch Session 2 on Replay
Session 3: Paris 2024 Olympic Regulations – Eventing
Proposals outlining modifications to the Paris 2024 Olympic Regulations for Eventing were discussed during the third session of the FEI Sports Forum 2022.
The proposals put forward to delegates in this Session are the result of a widespread consultation process which saw Tokyo 2020 athletes, officials and National Federations and stakeholders with whom the FEI has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), submit key topics for review as part of an initial survey. The feedback from the survey was discussed during an online meeting held on 28 March and the main points consolidated for further deliberation at the FEI Sports Forum.
The topics included timelines for entries, ranking rules, Minimum Eligibility Requirements, substitution process, competition schedule; and the timeline between the Eventing Team and Individual Jumping tests.
The proposed changes were introduced by FEI Eventing Committee Chair and Sydney 2000 Olympic Champion David O’Connor and FEI Eventing and Olympic Director Catrin Norinder. They were debated by delegates and a panel of experts – FEI Eventing Committee Deputy Chair Geoff Sinclair, three-time Olympian and double Asian Games medallist Alex Hua Tian, and Australia’s most medalled Olympian Andrew Hoy.
Key information and proposals put forward to delegates for discussion included:
That the principles applicable to FEI deadlines for Olympic Rankings and MERs, which were used for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, be maintained for Paris 2024.
To apply the FEI Eventing World Athlete Ranking Rules to the Olympic Rankings.
Taking into account the comments received during the consultation process and the lessons learnt from Tokyo, it was proposed to include an additional CCI4*-S which would see the MERs consist of one CCI4*L (or CCI5*L) AND a minimum of two CCI4*S, one of which needs to be achieved after 1 January 2024. Also presented for discussion were two propositions: to have MERs be achieved at two different events or in two different countries.
To adapt the Dressage test length & timetable to fit on one day and organise a trial event for Judges.
To reduce the number of participants in the Individual Jumping test from 25 to 20 competitors.
To maintain a maximum of 90 minutes between the Eventing Team and Individual Jumping Test.
Other topics related to Technology, Sports Presentation and NOC accreditation quotas would be addressed and referred to discussion with the IOC.
The sports format would be open for review in the future.
During the discussions, there was widespread consensus that MERs should be achieved in two different events and venues, the proposal of obtaining the MERs in two different countries was deemed to be too difficult in the smaller countries.
In terms of reducing the number of participants in the Individual Jumping test from 25 to 20 competitors, there were key arguments put forward in favour of having either number.
Andrew Hoy (AUS) noted that it is important that any competition to put forward the best of the sport, athletes and horses. With 25 athletes jumping in the individual competition, it is unlikely that the athlete who ranks 25th will medal.
While Alex Hua Tian (CHN) agreed with this, he also argued in favour of having 25 competitors for the promotion and growth of the sport in different regions. From Hua Tian’s personal experience, being in the Individual Final does provide a public relations boost for athletes from developing countries.
Soenke Lauterbach (GER) cautioned that if the test included 25 participants, competitors from further down the list should not be allowed to participate in cases of withdrawals.
Regarding the length of the dressage tests, Andrew Hoy believed that the length of the current test works as it creates much better riding and viewing for the people watching. Today’s spectators like to see the results quickly, and this one of the challenges of Eventing as a sport.
Speakers: ♦ David O'Connor (USA), Chair of the FEI Eventing Committee
♦ Catrin Norinder, FEI Director Olympic and Eventing
Panellists: ♦ Alex Hua Tian (CHN), Eventing Athlete
♦ Andrew Hoy (AUS), Eventing Athlete
Day 1 - 25 April 2022, 12.00 - 13:00
Watch Session 3 on Replay
Session 4: Paris 2024 Olympic Regulations – Dressage
Proposals outlining modifications to the Paris 2024 Olympic Regulations for Dressage were discussed during the fourth session of the FEI Sports Forum 2022.
The proposals put forward to delegates in this Session are the result of a widespread consultation process which saw Tokyo 2020 athletes, officials, National Federations, and stakeholders with whom the FEI has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), submit key topics for review as part of an initial survey. The feedback from the survey was discussed during an online meeting held on 21 March and the main points consolidated for further deliberation at the FEI Sports Forum.
The proposals cover timelines for entries, competition schedule, Minimum Eligibility Requirements, horse inspections, team competition format, team test to music, and various other topics.
The following proposals were introduced by FEI Dressage Committee Chair Maribel Alonso, FEI Dressage, Para Dressage and Vaulting Director Bettina De Rham and three time Olympian and FEI Dressage Committee Member Patrick Kittel.
To have the same deadline principlesused for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games maintained for Paris 2024.
To increase the Minimum Eligibility Requirements from 66% to 67%. All other provisions would remain unchanged.
To keep the current system for the allocation of qualifying events, with the list of the 2024 MER Events to be published by the FEI in December 2023.
Given the scheduling constraints for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, to have the rest day take place after the second day of Grand Prix and before the Grand Prix Special as was the case for Tokyo 2020.
To modify the Veterinary Regulations to allow for one day between the horse inspection and the start of the Grand Prix.
To increase the number of Teams in the Grand Prix Special from eight to 10 (three groups of 10) if the starting order in the last group remains unchanged and the break would be shorter.
To remove the team test music option, and to have a provision in the rules for a Music provider so that all of the music is fair and that volume and quality are controlled.
Feedback received during the consultation process on the use of points vs percentages, scoring display, qualifying events, individual athletes, steward checks, scribes and timing of the competitions was also discussed during the Session.
With regards to the Grand Prix Special Competition break, there was general consensus during the Q&A session to keep the same order in the last group and that a longer break was not necessary.
The delegate from New Zealand expressed his appreciation for the proposal to add two teams in the Grand Prix Special as it will be a good boost for some developing nations who are looking for funding.
There were also several requests for changes to Dressage Sports Presentation, with Will Connell from USEF asking about the possibility of having running scores visible during the Team Final and Jason Brautigam from British Dressage proposing better graphic information. Klaus Roeser (IDIC) suggested setting up a Working Group which would look at proposals from the community to boost sports presentation to allow viewers to better understand the sport.
It was confirmed by the panellists that these proposals are already being considered by the FEI, along with the list of potential commentators, which was suggested by athletes at the meeting held during the FEI World Cup™ Finals in Leipzig (GER).
Speakers: ♦ Maribel Alonso de Quinzaños (MEX), Chair of the FEI Dressage Committee
♦ Bettina de Rham, FEI Director Dressage, Para Dressage and Vaulting
Panellist: ♦ Patrik Kittel (SWE), Member of the FEI Dressage Committee
Day 1 - 25 April 2022, 14:00 - 15:00
Watch Session 4 on Replay
Proposals outlining modifications to the Paris 2024 Paralympic Regulations for Para Dressage were discussed during the fifth session of the FEI Sports Forum 2022.
The proposals put forward to delegates in this Session are the result of a widespread consultation process which saw Tokyo 2020 athletes, officials, National Federations, and stakeholders to submit key topics for review as part of an initial survey. The feedback from the survey was discussed during an online meeting held on 21 March and the main points consolidated for further deliberation at the FEI Sports Forum.
The topics of discussion included timelines for entries, the competition schedule, Minimum Eligibility Requirements, Team Test to Music, Music Rights and Technology, the Qualification system and Accreditations.
Presenters for this Session included Chair of the Para Equestrian Technical Committee Amanda Bond and FEI Director of Dressage, Para Dressage and Vaulting Bettina de Rham. Para Dressage Athlete Rodolpho Riskalla (BRA) and Member of the Para Equestrian Technical Committee Michel Assouline (FRA) were the panellists for the Session.
Key information and proposals put forward to delegates for discussion included:
To have the same deadline principles for the Definite Entries and Nominated Entries as for Tokyo 2020.
To ensure that the rules reflect that just one panel of five Judges would judge all of the Dressage Tests in the Team competition, and the team competition to take place over one day.
To keep the competition format as it was in Tokyo 2020, with the Individual competition first, Team competition second and Freestyle last.
Maintaining substitution principles as per the Tokyo Regulations. Bettina de Rham reported recent discussions with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) where changing the Delegate Registration Meeting (DRM) is challenging due to it being coordinated across all sports at the Games.
For the MER criteria to be raised to 64% as per the Qualification criteria which had been approved at the FEI General Assembly in 2021.
To remove the option that Athletes provide their own team test music, and to have a provision in the rules for a Music provider so that that the volume and quality of the music is controlled and equal.
To appoint five judges, one travelling reserve and one non-traveling reserve for Paris 2024.
To have the Paralympic Games Regulations include information on Music Rights.
To consider a Judging Supervisory System for Para Dressage in time for Paris 2024.
To introduce paperless judging in Paris 2024 and to make the necessary changes to the Rules.
A key topic of discussion for delegates during the Q&A Session was the Starting Order, with one proposal to keep the Draw of the Starting Order as it is currently in the Rules, with the alternative to base it on the FEI World Ranking.
Some delegates were concerned that putting the highest ranked athletes at the end of the competition would be unfair to those who are lower in the rankings.
Michel Assouline explained that the Grade system in Para Dressage makes it difficult to have a Draw according to Rankings. In some Grades there are fewer athletes so having a Draw based on Ranking systems would be less relevant across some Grades.
The Para Dressage Technical Committee will consider the Draw further in its upcoming meetings.
Speakers: ♦ Amanda Bond (GBR), Chair of the Para Equestrian Committee
♦ Bettina de Rham, FEI Director Dressage, Para Dressage and Vaulting
Panellists: ♦ Michel Assouline (USA/FRA), Member of the Para Equestrian Committee
♦ Rodolpho Riskalla (BRA), Para Dressage Athlete
Day 1 - 25 April 2022, 15:00 - 15:30
Watch Session 5 on Replay
Session 6: Digital Activation during the 2022 FEI World Championships
The Session was opened by FEI Commercial Director Ralph Straus who noted that the FEI Championships are a key opportunity to promote equestrian sport. He provided some key statistics to illustrate the changes in sports consumption habits:
The viewing time of sports content in 2015 was 7 hours and 44 minutes on average, while in 2021 the average viewing time per week was reduced to 6 hours and 22 minutes.
Only one of three members of Generation Z (aged 9 to 24) watches linear TV, while 67% of baby boomers still consume sports on linear TV.
Half of Generation Z watches sports on Over The Top (OTT) channels, but only one out of five Baby boomers watch sports this way.
One out of four members of Generation Z consumes sports on social media while only one out of 10 baby boomers consume sports on social channels.
Straus stressed the importance of keeping up with the changes in sports consumption habits so as to better assess the choice of communication channels for the organisation. He also noted that linear is still important and that we should not forget about this medium when looking at other ways of promoting the sport.
The digital activations during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games provided some key learnings for the FEI World Championships. A key takeaway from the Tokyo 2020 digital activations was that all campaigns must be integrated and each stakeholder has a role to play in sharing and amplifying content, and promoting each other.
The Organising Committees of Herning, Pratoni and Verona then took the stage to provide a status update on the event and an overview of their promotional efforts for the FEI World Championships, specifically in the digital sphere. Their presentations are available in the documents library below.
Jonny Murch, the CEO of RedTorch, an award winning research, digital and social media agency, then took the floor to provide the following six best practices in digital sports promotion:
1. To ride the wave of growing interest in women’s sport
2. Think lifestyle as well as sport in order to build community
3. Make athletes your social media stars
4. Build direct fan relationships to grow commercial potential
5. Align with interests of young people to create positive change
6. Keep an open mind about technology.
Straus then explained the reasons behind the FEI’s remarkable Digital growth and the increase in engagement rates. Some of the key learnings for increasing engagement rate are as follows:
Photos generate on average 2 times more engagement than videos;
To make story telling unique for each channel and to adapt the content to each channel;
To separate discipline, content, channels and community and to have a social media presence which caters to each one individually;
Encourage direct feedback from fans to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t.
Since 2021, the FEI has also broadened its advertising strategy, opening up its digital channels to organisations to advertise on FEI channels and not just to have traditional sponsorship opportunities at equestrian events.
Not only does the FEI open up its channels for advertising but it has also now become content creator, helping brands get closer to the equestrian audience. What is absolutely essential with these campaigns is that they are authentic and that are meaningful to the equestrian community. The FEI is currently in discussion with numerous different brands, to produce campaigns that have relevance to the equestrian community which drives viewership and engagement.
FEI Head of Digital Stéphane Schwander then took the floor to explain the key ingredients for the success of a digital campaign based on the FEI experience of the #FortheLoveofEquestrian, #WeDontPlay and the #TimetoBeat campaigns. All have the key elements of good story telling, design and creativity and the right choice of channels and technology. He also stressed the importance of collaboration, distribution and amplification to the success of a campaign.
He then provided a brief overview of the FEI World Championships 2022 umbrella Campaign – “Thousands of Heroes. Champions As One” – which was created to honour all those who contribute to the journey of a champion.
During the Q&A session the delegate from Colombia suggested translating these campaigns into other languages in order to increase their reach. This is particularly important for National Federation that do not have the required budget.
Speakers: ♦ Ralph Straus, FEI Commercial Director
♦ Jonny Murch, RedTorch Founder & CEO
♦ Casper Cassøe, CEO Operations - FEI World Championships Herning 2022
♦ Jens Trabjerg, CEO Sport - FEI World Championships Herning 2022
♦ Malou Trabjerg, Head of Office & NF Relations - FEI World Championships Herning 2022
♦ Simone Perillo, Secretary General Italian Equestrian Federation (FISE)
♦ Maria Baleri, Executive Coordinator - FEI World Championships Verona 2022
♦ Stéphane Schwander, FEI Head of Digital
Day 1 - 25 April 2022, 16:00 - 18:00
Watch Session 6 on Replay
Representatives of the Organising Committees of this year’s FEI World Championships for Seniors were in attendance throughout the FEI Sports Forum to meet National Federation representatives to discuss their plans for participating in the Championships. FEI World Championships Herning 2022 (Jumping, Dressage, Para Dressage & Vaulting) Malou Trabjerg, Head of Office – firstname.lastname@example.org/+45 53 65 80 06 Casper Cassøe, CEO - email@example.com/+45 40 29 32 08 Jens Trabjerg, CEO - firstname.lastname@example.org/+45 40 25 49 86
FEI Event Standards, FEI Sports Forum 2022 Session 7
FEI Director of Games Operations Tim Hadaway opened the Session with an overview of and background to the FEI Event Standards project, an idea that was first put forward during the Jumping Round Table meeting in 2019 in Lausanne (SUI). Stakeholders in attendance had agreed that there was a need for stronger minimum requirements to improve the overall standard of FEI Events, particularly with regards to stabling, security and biosecurity.
The first step in the project was a mapping exercise to establish what framework is already in place for defining and monitoring standards.
The secondstep was to present the results of the mapping exercise to technical committees which resulted in an initial shortlist of topics requiring attention i.e. review/tightening up of regulations, areas which require more effective monitoring and follow-up.
The third step was the launch of a global stakeholders survey that was launched in December 2021. There were 2001 completed survey responses across all stakeholder groups, disciplines, and geographical regions, covering 54 specific event delivery aspects, where they felt their expectations were not always being met.
The “Top 20” aspects identified as areas of concern by the survey respondents across all stakeholder groups and disciplines were then discussed under the following groupings:
Security & access control
Training & exercise provision
Event facilities & services
Cleanliness & biosecurity
During the discussion period, delegates were asked to consider the following three questions:
Are existing regulations sufficiently clear and objective?
If regulations do not exist, how do we ensure that these aspects are delivered in line with expectations? Is regulation and/or clear guidance required?
What should be done when requirements and/or expectations are not met?
Many delegates were of the opinion that while regulations are in place for stable security, the rules are not adequately applied or enforced consistently.
There can be significant difference in stable security standards across shows.
Many delegates called for better systems of access control at Events and the need to take a closer look at the ways in which technology can be used to create a more robust accreditation system.
Training and exercise
It was noted by various delegates that while there are discipline specific rules that exist on training areas, there is no one-size-fits-all approach and it will be difficult to be overly prescriptive about training area numbers, sizes etc. Therefore a degree of flexibility would be necessary to take account of varying capacities across venues.
Organisers need more regular advice from the FEI on what they provide during Events, although the general feedback was that training and exercise areas are improving in quality.
Number of officials (Stewards) need to be considered, as well as a detailed training timetable – in relation to available areas – so as to provide all athletes equal opportunity to access these for training, warm-up, cool down etc.
Organisers present at the Sports Forum cautioned that an increase in regulations on training and exercise areas could increase financial costs.
Current regulations are mostly unspecific and therefore left to the interpretation of Organising Committees working with the officials. Stabling standards vary hugely across level of events with concerns about stable security cited even at top level events. The lack of air flow and lighting were put forward as the key concerns for horses and grooms, as well as stable size.
Many delegates believed that while the quality of the stables has improved over time, the clutter created from having grooms chairs, barrier ropes, dogs tied up etc creates safety and welfare issues.
From the Organisers perspective it was noted that becoming too prescriptive in some areas (eg. power outlets) could be counter to local level health and safety requirements and legislation.
A key takeaway from the discussion was that the way forward should consider an appropriate mix of more specific requirements, while recognising the need for flexibility depending on local factors, combined with clearer guidance, sharing of best practice and communication/education.
Event facilities and services
Four of the top size issues identified through the survey covered general event facilities and services including wifi service levels, toilets, showers and catering.
Wifi is particularly important now horse health requirements need to be logged through the FEI Horse App at Events. Often Grooms/Athletes etc are unable to register the required horse temperature information in the App because they do not have wifi access.
There are many examples of best practice in this respect that improve conditions in particular for Grooms that do not necessarily require a lot of money e.g. rest areas, tea/coffee provision, dedicated stables catering outlets etc.
There was general agreement that this aspect of event standards should be addressed through guidelines, sharing of best practice, education and communications.
Although relatively thorough monitoring of event standards exists through the established post event reporting systems, effective follow up to ensure issues raised through this are addressed prior to the next event is varied
Although FEI regulations allow in theory for sanctioning events for not meeting requirements as defined in FEI rules, this is difficult to action without a clear, fair, objective and accountable process for addressing issues with Organisers.
Clearly defined requirements could be considered for such a process and could also be included alongside for example prizemoney levels when determining the rating of events.
There was strong consensus that the Event Classification System (ECS) remains an important tool in the monitoring and feedback process for Organisers. Organisers expressed support for publication of ECS results and see this as a benefit for the promotion of their events. It was acknowledged that publication would encourage Organisers to improve standards in weaker areas.
It was noted that the ECS should be reviewed to ensure objectivity wherever possible and that consideration be given to extending the ECS to other FEI disciplines.
Speaker: ♦ Tim Hadaway, FEI Director Games Operations
Day 2 - 26 April 2022, 9:15 - 11:00
Watch Session 7 on Replay
Session 8: FEI Veterinary Regulations – full revision
The Session was opened by FEI Veterinary Committee Chair Dr Jenny Hall who introduced FEI Veterinary Director Dr Göran Åkerström, Professor of Equine Infectious Diseases Mr Lutz Goehring, and FEI Official Veterinarian and member of the FEI Veterinary Committee Dr Yves Rossier.
Professor Goehring then took the floor to give delegates an overview of the impact of the EHV-1 virus in infected horses. In terms of reducing the spread of the EHV-1 virus, Professor Goehring stated the following:
Vaccination alone is not enough and we need a concerted effort from the entire community to combat EHV-1 outbreaks. A vaccination coverage of higher than 85% is also required.
There is a need to explore options for modernising vaccines.
It is necessary to advise and support organisers in meeting biosecurity requirements, and to consider how to increase distances between horses and reduce bottle necks and barriers.
Event personnel need to work fast to remove a shedding horse from a barn area to decrease the infection among other horses.
Plans need to be put in place for Group bubbles and to have rapid detection followed by isolation in proper isolation facilities.
FEI Veterinary Director Dr Göran Åkerström then took the floor, to outline some of the proposed modifications to the FEI Veterinary Regulations, which this year are undergoing full revision.
Following an overview of the efficiency, availability and legislation of EHV-1 vaccinations in protecting horses against outbreaks of EHV-1 at FEI Events, Dr Akerström put forward the following two proposals for consideration:
For the FEI to seek further input and keep the situation under review, deferring a rule proposal on mandatory EHV-1 vaccination to the 2023 FEI General Assembly at the earliest.
The FEI requires mandatory vaccinations against EHV-1 with implementation in 2025 in countries with available licensed vaccines.
Other recommendations that will be discussed during the Rules revision process:
For National Federations to implement their own biosecurity rules and regulations so they can manage outbreaks, shut down a national event, and block in contact horses.
To have continued dialogue with stakeholders, introduce biosecurity campaigns, promote biosecurity education on FEI Campus and support solidarity projects geared towards education for National Federations and Organisers.
Sanctions to remain, but to be reviewed to better reflect the level of biosecurity risks at Events.
The further development and support for the FEI Horse App including the launch of offline capabilities.
TheFEI to review other methods to taking horse body temperature.
Increase identification of risk factors at FEI Events and to consider different biosecurity protocols based on discipline specifics.
To increase inspection before and during an Event to help increase compliance with biosecurity protocols.
To improve the level of pre-event PCR testing.
For FEI Officials to carry out spot checks of horses’ body temperatures to verify that they are taken correctly.
The FEI to establish protocols for the use of validated stable side tests when they become available.
To establish an Emergency Response Unit to be fully funded by the FEI and which will include veterinary medicine experts, and experts dedicated to collecting data.
The FEI to provide material to organisers and producers of permanent and temporary stabling to minimise the spread of infectious agents.
An additional proposal from the GBR NF on changes to the Equine Influenza First booster interval to harmonise the vaccination requirements with other horse sports was also put forward to delegates for consideration.
Speakers: ♦ Dr Jenny Hall (GBR), Chair of the FEI Veterinary Committee
♦ Dr Lutz Goehring, Professor of Equine Infectious Diseases, University of Kentucky
♦ Dr Göran Åkerström, FEI Veterinary Director
Panellist: ♦ Yves Rossier (CAN), Member of the FEI Veterinary Committee
Day 2 - 26 April 2022, 11:30 - 13:00
Watch Session 8 on Replay
Proposals outlining the modifications to the FEI Eventing Rules that are undergoing full revision this year, were discussed during the ninth session of the FEI Sports Forum 2022.
The draft changes were presented by FEI Eventing Committee Chair David O’Connor and FEI Eventing and Olympic Director Catrin Norinder.
The main proposals from the Eventing Committee put forward for discussion included:
For Jumping test scores of 20 penalties or higher to lead to elimination with no participation in the Cross Country test when Jumping is before Cross Country.
Additional MERs for CCI4*/5* to ensure recent results at this level.
Reduction of Athlete Categories timeframe and adjustment of the number of MERs.
Requirement for National Safety Officers (NSOs) to attend annual Eventing Safety meeting.
Additional responsibilities for Course Designers on Cross Country (dangerous riding sanctions)
Tack and Equipment in particular on lever arms on bits.
The main proposals received from the National Federations and Stakeholders focused on the following:
Rotation of Course Designers at Events
Monthly update of Athlete categorisation
Dressage penalties and tiebreaks
Modernisation of the dress code for Dressage and Jumping Tests
Measurement of obstacles with a spread
Number of efforts on cross country
Faults at obstacles – activation of frangible device/missing a flag
Introduction of a remuneration for Officials at all events
During the discussion session, a question was raised about the number of years that would apply for the rotation of Course Designers to which the FEI Eventing Committee had suggested a six year roll over. Some delegates felt that there should be a differentiation of the number of years depending on the level of events, allowing Course designers for high level Events to take more time to integrate their ideas in the design. Some delegates also raised concerns about the costs of changing course designers.
With regards to the proposal to prioritise Dressage results to alleviate the pressure of the 1 decimal penalty in the tie breaks, one view was that objective results should take precedence in the tie break decisions i.e. the decision should be made on a factor that the athlete can influence such as optimum time, rather than on the Dressage test.
Delegates also debated whether activating a frangible pin or missing a flag impacts on athlete performance in Cross Country and if this should incur penalties. Some delegates suggested that the implementation of penalties would help to maintain a higher level of riding among Eventing athletes, which would in turn positively impact the social acceptance of the sport.
Speakers: ♦ David O'Connor (USA), Chair of the FEI Eventing Committee
♦ Catrin Norinder, FEI Director Eventing & Olympic
Day 2 - 26 April 2022, 14:30 - 15:30
Watch Session 9 on Replay
This session included presentations on the main changes proposed for the full revision of the FEI Dressage and FEI Para Dressage Rules.
The first part of Session on FEI Dressage Rules was led by FEI Director of Dressage, Para Dressage and Vaulting Bettina de Rham, Chair of the Dressage Technical Committee Maribel Alonso and Member of the Dressage Technical Committee Patrik Kittel.
The following information was put forward to delegates for discussion:
A revised structure of the Dressage rules, with new Chapters proposed.
A more progressive structure of events, with each level comprising tests with progressive technical difficulties, and a qualification system which would allow athletes the possibility to progress between different star level Events.
A review of the definition of and requirements for Amateurs. There was general support for the creation of an amateur tour as this would be good for the growth and development of equestrian sport over the long term. However, it was agreed that there needs to be more discussion on what constitutes Amateur and Professional classes.
The following proposals received from NFs and stakeholders was also put forward for discussion:
To re-introduce a second collective mark. There was general agreement that more review and scientific based evidence would be needed before making any further decisions.
To introduce a protocol to ensure consistency regarding the procedure for the main arena familiarisation.
To introduce random checks at Events of false tails and if weights or metal is found, it would result in a yellow warning card and elimination.
The second half of the Session was dedicated to the main changes proposed for the FEI Para Dressage Rules full revision, with some of the proposals emanating from the online FEI Para Equestrian Forum that was held in January 2022.
Chair of the Para Equestrian Technical Committee Amanda Bond first provided delegates with a short overview of the progression and the development of the sport from the 1970s until the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020. While the quality of the para sport has increased exponentially over the years, there is still more work to be done to grow the number of athletes and ensure the sustainability of the sport. Many of the proposals that have been put forward for consideration have been done with this in mind.
Proposals for changes included:
As with Dressage, to review the Structure of the Rule book for Para Dressage.
A more progressive structure of Events to encourage National Federations to hold competitions at every level. Each level proposed would have different sets of tests with progressive technical difficulty and a qualification system, with two proposals creating a space for progression from 1* to 3* Events, or only to 3* Events.
A proposal for new FEI Para Dressage Test Names to avoid the confusion created using the term “Team” and “Individual”. There was widespread agreement that a change in terminology is required and the use of “Para Grand Prix” is more reflective of the top level of the sport.
A proposal for a new qualification process which would encourage development of the sport through the different levels and provide an incentive for Organising Committees to hold lower level Events.
Projects to ensure further development of the discipline were also presented:
The FEI Para Dressage World Challenge concept which would be developed together with the FEI Solidarity Department. The Challenge is intended to be used as a key tool to developing Para Dressage sport structures and Officials, as well as broadening and increasing participation levels in the sport.
The idea of an FEI World Cup™ and FEI Nations Cup™ Series for Para Dressage as a next step in the development of the sport.
Delegates were also provided with updates on the Compensating Aids project and the FEI Classification Research Project.
Dressage Rules Speakers: ♦ Maribel Alonso de Quinzaños (MEX), Chair of the FEI Dressage Committee
♦ Bettina de Rham, FEI Director of Dressage, Para Dressage and Vaulting
♦ Patrik Kittel (SWE), Member of the FEI Dressage Committee
Para Dressage Rules Speakers: ♦ Amanda Bond (HKG), Chair of the Para Equestrian Committee
♦ Bettina de Rham, FEI Director of Dressage, Para Dressage and Vaulting
♦ Michel Assouline (USA/FRA), Member of the Para Equestrian Committee
Day 2 - 26 April 2022, 16:00 - 17:15
Watch Session 10 on Replay