The FEI Bureau has today approved the revised Endurance rules during the second day of its in-person meeting in the FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI). The revised rules, which are in line with the recommendations of the Endurance Strategic Planning Group (ESPG) and which received widespread support at the FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne (SUI) in April 2014, will be implemented on 1 August 2014.
Additionally, and in order to more formally recognise HRH Princess Haya’s previously stated conflict of interest with regard to the discipline, the Bureau voted unanimously to officially mandate the 1st Vice President John McEwen to take over full responsibility for the entire Endurance discipline during Princess Haya’s term of office.
The FEI and the National Federations have consistently stressed the importance of putting the new rules in place as soon as possible rather than waiting for a vote at the FEI General Assembly in December, which would mean delaying implementation until 1 January 2015. Under Article 20.3 of the FEI Statutes, the Bureau can, in emergency situations, pass resolutions that are normally voted on at the General Assembly.
Brian Sheahan, Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee and a member of the ESPG, welcomed the rapid implementation of the new rules. “The new rules for Endurance are a great step forward for horse welfare and fair play, and we strongly believe they address the key issues that the discipline has been facing,” he said.
“We are all aware that the discipline has faced a number of difficult challenges recently, but the combination of the ESPG, the consultation process with the National Federations and other stakeholders, and the determination of the Endurance Committee and the team at FEI Headquarters to address the issues within the discipline has resulted in some fundamental rule changes specifically aimed at improving horse welfare protocols and ensuring a level playing field globally.
“Now we can go forward with confidence to the World Equestrian Games, knowing that we have the right regulations and the right officials in place to ensure horse welfare and fair play, and also knowing that the athletes and their teams are confident in the rules and their implementation. While we will of course continually monitor the effectiveness of the new rules to make sure they are fit for purpose, this is definitely a major breakthrough for Endurance that means that we can now turn the focus back onto the sport.”
In addition to the new rules and in response to one of the ESPG recommendations, the Endurance Task Force is looking at ways that new technology can also be used to ensure horse welfare and provide a level playing field for Endurance events around the world.
Following on from the strong support for the far-reaching initiatives outlined at the special Endurance session at the Sports Forum, a large number of the leading Endurance National Federations have expressed their further support in writing.
Notes to Editors:
Under Article 20.3 of the FEI Statutes, National Federations have 30 days to object to the amendments to the Endurance rules, but further changes can only be made if a majority of National Federations register their objections within the specified timeframe.
The new Rules for Endurance to be implemented on 1 August 2014 will be published shortly on the FEI website here. Any media requiring a copy of the rules should contact the FEI Press Team at email@example.com.