Session 5: FEI Key Events Requirements

FEI Key Event Requirements (KERs)
FEI Director of Games Operations Tim Hadaway opened the Session with an overview and background to the FEI Event Standards project, which included a mapping exercise and a survey, with the results presented at the FEI Sports Forum last year. For the final Q&A, he was joined on stage by FEI Director for Driving, Para Driving and Special Projects Manuel Bandeira de Mello and Manager for Event Classification & Sustainability Somesh Dutt.   

All of this information provided the basis for the development of the following 14 Key Event Requirements (KERs): 1) Event Biosecurity; 2) Veterinary Services & Facilities; 3) Stable Cleanliness and Disinfection; 4) Stable Security & Access Control; 5) Stable Size; 6) Stable Ventilation; 7) Drinking Water for Horses in Stables; 8) Fire Precautions & Safety Procedures in Stables; 9) Stable Area Circulation; 10) Horse Inspection; 11) Medical Services; 12) Field of Play; 13) Adequate Availability to Training/Schooling; 14) Footing.

A proposed system for KERs – comprising a Regulatory and Monitoring framework, a follow-up process, and measures to address Non-Compliance – was put forward to delegates for review and consideration.

The presentation showed that the vast majority of the KERs (1-10) identified are related to horse welfare and horse & human safety, and are already covered under the FEI Veterinary Regulations. Medical services (KER 11) is covered under the FEI General Regulations, while Field of Play, Adequate Availability to Training/Schooling, and Footing (KERs 12, 13, and 14) are covered under the specific regulations for FEI Disciplines. 

In consultation with the FEI Discipline and FEI Veterinary Department, a majority of the overall 36 regulatory references to the KERs were deemed fit for purpose, requiring no revision. Nine regulations were identified as requiring some revision.

Details on three such cases were provided during the presentation:

  1. Cleaning & disinfection of stables: As there are already protocols in place that cover cleaning and disinfection of stables, the proposal is to formally link this protocol to the FEI Veterinary Regulations as an annex, and refer to it in FEI Veterinary Regulation 1008.5 therefore establishing a formal rule link to the protocol.
  2. Stable Ventilation: As there are no protocols currently in place on stable ventilation, the proposal is for the FEI Veterinary Committee to draft a protocol that provides more clarity on requirements. This would then be included as an annex to the FEI Veterinary Regulations, and linked to rule 1998.6 b.
  3. Field of Play: The Jumping Committee has been asked to look into minimum sizes for indoor versus outdoor arenas and if there should be varying size recommendations for different star levels of event.

In terms of next steps, the relevant Technical Committees will follow-up on the rules revisions proposed ensuring that these are included for National Federation feedback by the 28 June 2023 deadline as per the Rules Revision process. Proposed rules revisions will then be voted on at the FEI General Assembly in Mexico City (MEX) in November 2023. The KER system is expected to be launched on 1 January 2024.

Some delegates raised concerns about potential crossover with the Event Classification System (ECS) and the possibility that Organising Committees would be required to complete additional forms and the need for different Officials to respond on certain KERs. The FEI delegation stressed that the KER system was based on existing not additional reporting structures and confirmed that where more than one Official was required to give input for the KERs – only KER 10 Horse Inspections - this was intentional in order to receive different points of view on the requirements and associated operations. But with regards to the ECS, responses would be useful in the KER process by providing additional information when issues are flagged with KERs.  

Monitoring Framework & Follow-up Process
With the relevant monitoring systems already in place, it was noted that there was no need to  produce new reporting systems and that existing event reporting systems will be used, with simple “yes” or “no” questions set up for each of the 14 KERs in the relevant FEI report(s). An open text box for the relevant official to elaborate on the response (whether positive or negative) will also be provided. Each of these “yes” or “no” questions will also mention the link to the relevant FEI regulation.

Of the 14 key requirements, nine will be reported on through the FEI Veterinary Delegates report, one through the Chief Stewards’ Report as well as the FEI Veterinary Delegates report, and the remaining four KER requirements will be covered under various other FEI Officials Reports.

Upon submission of the post-event reports, responses will be reviewed by the relevant discipline. If all the KERs are met, then the Organisers can go ahead with the next event without any action required. If one or more of the KERs have been reported as ‘not met’, the FEI Discipline, or the Veterinary Department will be notified so they can consult the concerned FEI Official(s) and investigate the matter further.

Addressing Non-Compliance
In cases of non-compliance, formal communication will be sent to the Organising Committee highlighting the KER/s that have not been achieved. The Organisers will then be required to submit a ‘formal commitment’ to show how they intend to resolve the issue(s) so they can achieve the KERs in the future. Once this is accepted by the FEI Discipline Director and/or the FEI Veterinary Director, the following year’s event will be included in the calendar. The concerned NF, and the relevant FEI Officials (once appointed), will be informed of any KER failure, and the proposed plan for resolution.

Should the same problem arise at the next Event, it will again be reported by the relevant FEI Official, and the Event will be put on hold in the calendar for the next year. In this case the Organiser will be required to provide concrete evidence that the issues have been resolved before being accepted back in to the calendar.

During the discussions, delegates were supportive of the proposed KER system, though many cautioned about being careful not to add to overall costs for Organisers. It was also suggested that more assistance be provided to Organising Committees when they fail to achieve the required KERs.  The project team agreed that this system should provide the framework for all parties to work in partnership to improve conditions.

Event Organiser Guidelines
Delegates were reminded of discussions during the FEI Sports Forum 2022 concluding that certain key aspects of event delivery could not be managed through FEI regulation but best improved through promotion of best practice, guidelines and education. Such points include accommodation, catering and other such facilities and services. Work had already been done in this respect including publication of the note on ‘Facilities, services and conditions for Grooms’ and the ‘FEI Accessibility Handbook for Event Organsers’. Both are available on the FEI Knowledgebase Event Organisers Guide at

FEI Sustainability Handbook for Event Organisers
Following the presentation on the KER system, Manager of Events Classification & Sustainability Somesh Dutt provided an overview of the second edition of the FEI Sustainability Guide. The Guide was developed as a tool to assist Event Organisers with practical initiatives that can be actively implemented. The various initiatives have also been regrouped under the different phases of an equestrian event’s timeline, ranging from Pre-planning (Event conceptualisation) to Post-event operations (Venue wrap-up).
Read the full Executive Summary here.


© FEI / Richard Juilliart

♦ Mr Tim Hadaway - FEI Director, Games Operations
♦ Manuel Bandeira de Mello - FEI Director for Driving, Para Driving and Special Projects 
♦ Mr Somesh Dutt - Manager of Events Classification & Sustainability