Session 6: FEI Endurance Rules Revision

Session 6: FEI Endurance Rules Full Revision

The last session of the FEI Sports Forum 2023 was dedicated to the FEI Endurance Rules, which this year are undergoing full revision.

The session included a presentation (see FEI Documents Library below) of the main proposals made by a panel consisting of the Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee Christian Lozano (FRA), Deputy Chair Dr Sarah Coombs (GBR), and FEI Endurance Director Christina Abu-Dayyeh (JOR).

“This process has attracted strong interest from the community and proposed rule changes have been received from over 20 National Federations,” Christian Lozano said in his introduction. “We are always seeking to improve and better protect horse welfare as well as find systems to reward positive action. The modifications presented today go in that direction.”

Some of the proposals are:

Novice Qualifications (Art. 832) Validity of CEI Star Level Qualification (Art 835a)
In order to alleviate the difficulties of Athletes living in countries where there are few opportunities to qualify Horses in CEN or CEI rides, a proposal has been made to extend the qualification period and its validity from two to three years.

Badges of Honour (Art. 860)
In order to reward a wider range of positive achievements of Horses and Athletes, it is proposed to expand the Badges of Honour system to recognise various achievements, and reward, in particular, the longevity of a successful partnership.

The proposal covers:

  • Recognition of combinations that have had a long career together;
  • Recognition of consecutive successful completions;
  • Recognition for multiple Best Condition awards received by Athletes, Horses and combinations; and,
  • Recognition for combinations who compete successfully on varied types of terrain (example: mountain, desert, forest).

FEI General RegulationsAppendix E – CIMs 803. Star Level of Events
In order to address the hardships that some National Federations have reported as a result of removing the CEI2* from the CIM category, there is a proposal to re-instate the CEI2* as a CIM provided that it meets certain criteria that will be set out in the FEI Endurance Rules (subject to approval at the FEI General Assembly 2023).

It is expected that the majority of current CEI2* will meet the criteria to be considered as a CIM.

Other proposals include:

  • Correction of average loop speed trigger in relation to the consequences for repeated FTQ and/or DSQ designations with average speeds exceeding 20 km/hour (Art. 837);
  • Proposal to reinforce concept of Reserve Horses and number of Reserve Combinations allowed in CEIOs and Championships (Art. 843.2);
  • Proposal to the addition of new elements to the Endurance Ranking System (Article 858 and Annex 4); and,
  • Review of Warning Cards system (Art. 865) - proposal to remove Incorrect Behaviour Card.

One of the modifications, which attracted diverse feedback, was the proposal to include a margin to the minimum weight allowed to be lost by Athletes during competitions (Art. 805).

The current system of minimum weights does not take into account the fact that Athletes can lose body weight during the competition. According to the proposal presented today, for all Events, if the Athlete is found to lose up to 1kg of their starting weight, the Combination will be allowed to continue. If, during the same competition, the same Athlete is found to be underweight a second time, the Combination will then be Disqualified. The Chair of the Endurance Committee clarified that further work on the wording would continue.

The proposal to increase of minimum age requirements for Horses from 6 to 7 years for CEI1* (Art. 827) and to revise the Mandatory Out of Competition Periods (MOOCP) (Art. 839) in order to ensure that there is no link between adverse outcomes for Horses and insufficient recovery periods between competitions resulted in significant debate. All agreed that changes should always be made to prioritise horse welfare but the representatives of some NFs argued that modifications should occur only when supported by scientific data. The Deputy Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee appealed to all the NFs to share their research and data, which the FEI Endurance Committee and the FEI Veterinary Committee, which has strong Endurance expertise, will eagerly review. The FEI Endurance Director reassured the delegates both the FEI and the Committee would do their due diligence.

The procedures for Vet Gate protocols are currently under review by a working group comprising members of the Endurance Technical Committee and the Veterinary Committee.

In an effort to provide immediate care to horses, who present with poor metabolic conditions, proposed change to Art. 816.6 Heart Rate Assessment are also being considered.

Way forward
The FEI has taken on board the comments made by the Sports Forum delegates and will continue the work on the revision of the FEI Endurance Rules according to the following timeline:

28 June: The FEI will provide National Federations and Stakeholders with the first draft of proposed Rules changes.

16 August: National Federations and Stakeholders are given seven weeks to review the 1st Draft and the proposed amendments lay down in this 1st Draft and make comments and/or propose any changes in relation to the amendments referenced in the first Draft only.

24 October: Final Draft of the proposed Rules changes to be provided to National Federations and Stakeholders.

20 November 2023: Rules Session.

21 November 2023: Voting of Rules at the General Assembly.

Further details on the FEI’s rules revision policies are available here.
Read the full Executive Summary here.

© FEI / Richard Juilliart

♦ Mr Christian Lozano (FRA) - Chair, FEI Endurance Committee
♦ Dr Sarah Coombs (GBR) - Deputy Chair, FEI Endurance Committee
♦ Mrs Christina Abu-Dayyeh - FEI Director, Endurance

Session 6 Documents Library
Panellists' biographies (pdf)
Supporting Document (published on 20 April 2023)
Presentation (pdf)
Executive Summary (pdf)