News

Endurance Temporary Committee holds first in-person meeting at FEI HQ

12 Dec 2018
News
12 Dec 2018 Author: VRA

The Temporary Committee, established by the FEI Board in October to urgently review the Endurance rules in order to address the issues currently affecting the discipline, held its first in-person meeting at FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI) today.

Dr Sarah Coombs (GBR), who chairs the Temporary Committee, said after the meeting: “Today’s meeting generated really strong and productive debate and, together with input from a broad spectrum of stakeholders, we have already drawn up a list of our key focus areas. Your voices are being heard. We are under no illusions about the challenges of the task ahead, but the future of the discipline is under the spotlight and we will do whatever is necessary to rebuild the trust of our community and restore the image of a discipline that has every right to remain a part of the FEI, provided the rules are adhered to and enforced to ensure that our horses are protected and cheating is stamped out.”

The Temporary Committee has already received a huge amount of feedback from the Endurance Community on a number of key areas, including:

  • Increased testing of horses for prohibited substances;
  • Increased sanctions for horse abuse;
  • Review of speeds;
  • Reassessment of rules on mandatory rest periods;
  • Redefinition of elimination codes (particularly Catastrophic Injury);
  • Elite athlete status and “jockey riders”;
  • Qualifications, including qualification as a combination;
  • Increased completion percentage before allowing upgrade to next level;
  • Reinstate and redefine two-hour invasive treatment rule;
  • Hyposensitivity screening (the use of the FEI Hyposensitivity Control System (HCS) was voted in at last month’s FEI General Assembly for implementation in 2019);
  • Heart rates and presentation times at Vet Gate;
  • Definition of and registration of trainers;
  • Over-training/over-competing;
  • Mandatory medication logbook and out of competition testing;
  • Extended provisional suspension for horses testing positive to Banned Substances
  • Course design 
  • Tack and equipment
  • Crewing numbers

This first meeting also provided the Temporary Committee with the opportunity to establish the methodology it will use to fulfil its remit to carry out an in-depth review of the rules that will bring the discipline back to its original roots of Endurance riding as opposed to Endurance racing, with horse welfare and horsemanship at its core, while still maintaining the competitive aspect of the sport. The Temporary Committee also agreed a consultation process that will involve further liaison with stakeholders to avail of their expertise and in-depth knowledge of the discipline.

In addition to the chair Dr Coombs, the other members of the Temporary Committee are Endurance athlete and member of the FEI Athletes’ Committee Tarek Taher (KSA), chef d’équipe of the Dutch Endurance team Pieter Wiersinga (NED), FEI Veterinary Committee member Dr Tim Parkin (GBR), who heads up the scientific research conducted at the University of Glasgow as part of the FEI’s Global Endurance Injuries Study (GEIS), and Valerie Kanavy, a former member of the FEI Athletes’ Committee and the Athletes’ Representative on the Endurance Committee (2014-2018).

FEI Vice President Mark Samuel (CAN) joined today’s meeting and will facilitate communications between the Temporary Committee and the FEI Board. The FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez, FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira De Mello, FEI Veterinary Director Göran Akerström and other FEI staff members also attended the meeting.

The Temporary Committee will hold its next in-person meeting on 15 January 2019 and there will be a dedicated Endurance session at the FEI Sports Forum 2019 (15-16 April) during which the Temporary Committee will provide an update to delegates.