Category Archives: FEI

Brilliant Brazilians Post Historic Victory at Hickstead

Marlon Zanotelli, Pedro Veniss, Yuri Mansur and Pedro Junqueira Muylaert (FEI/Liz Gregg)

Debut for winning nation at iconic British venue: runner-up spot promotes Dutch to second on Division 1 league table

Brazil’s Marlon Zanotelli, Pedro Veniss, Yuri Mansur and Pedro Junqueira Muylaert made sporting history when winning the seventh leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 1 series at Hickstead (GBR).

According to Veniss, this was the first Brazilian team ever to compete at the world-famous British showground, and the first time for each of the four horses and riders to tackle the notoriously difficult Hickstead fences. And on a truly tough afternoon when wet and windy weather led to Kelvin Bywater’s 12-fence track being relocated for the second round in order to ensure better ground, they didn’t just come out on top but they did it emphatically.

Adding nothing to their first-round score of just four faults they overtook the Germans who fell apart in the closing stages to finish a full 10 faults ahead of the eventual runners-up from The Netherlands, while Switzerland and Ireland filled the next two places when posting 16 and 17 faults apiece.

“We are definitely going to celebrate tonight, because tomorrow is a whole new day and it’s not often that you can win a competition as big as this, so we have to be happy when it happens!” — Marlon Zanotelli (Brazil)

There were six Division 1 teams in action along with the Brazilians who compete in the South America League and the hosts from Great Britain who have been fighting hard since relegated to Europe Division 2 last season.

It was anchorman Pedro Junqueira Muylaert’s (31) single error with Prince Royal Z at the very last fence that Brazil carried into the second round after Zanotelli’s mare Sirene de la Motte and Veniss’ mare For Felicila both jumped brilliantly clear. Yuri Mansur’s Babylotte had three fences down, but this pair turned that all around at their second attempt so Junqueira Muylaert didn’t have to jump again because double-clears from Zanotelli (29) and Veniss (34) ensured Brazil already had the victory in the bag.

Dutch chances seemed dim after collecting 14 first-round faults for sixth place at the end of the first round, but when they added no more that would prove good enough for second spot at the end of a day of mixed fortunes for many. Harrie Smolders’ second clear with Don VHP Z was followed by fault-free runs from both Ruben Romp and Audi’s Teavanta ll who posted just a single time fault first time out, and Jur Vrieling whose stallion VDL Glasgow vh Merelsnet threw in an objection to the open water in round one but then popped it like a puddle in round two.

Marlon Zanotelli – Brazil (winners): “This was my first Nations Cup since we started our own business and it’s great to be back on the team. I have my mare (Sirena de la Motte) since the end of last year and it was a huge thing to go in the team as first rider today but I know her very well and she was so confident on the track; she jumped amazing! I worked for Enda Carroll for six years and had a fantastic time so it was a difficult decision to go out on my own. Enda gave me everything, but my wife and I started on our own and we didn’t expect that this year we would be back so quickly so I have to thank my fantastic horse-owners!”

Pedro Veniss – Brazil: “The weather was not the best today so the course designer made a good decision to move the jumps in the second round. I believe this is the first time a Brazilian team has competed here in Hickstead in a Nations Cup and this was the first Nations Cup for my horse (For Felicila). Cabri (Cabri des Isles, his Rio Olympic horse) was in Aachen so we changed the plan and it has worked out really great, especially for our Chef d’Equipe (Pedro Luz Lacerda) who came all the way from Brazil on Monday!”

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 145

FEI Secretary General on Global Judging Panel for Leaders under 40 Awards

Lausanne (SUI), 26 July 2017 – FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez was part of an international judging panel put together by Leaders and Aspire Academy to select the Leaders under 40 Awards Class of 2017.

Brainchild of Leaders and Aspire Academy, this annual celebration of young leadership, now in its third edition, aims to uncover the best global talent in sport business. The campaign involves an extensive worldwide search to identify those unique individuals who are recognised leaders and the driving force in their field of expertise.

A total of 585 nominations were received over the nine-month campaign, with 42 candidates selected to join the Class of 2017.

The FEI Secretary General was one of 87 international judges invited onto the panel, made up of CEOs and top level executives across all sports, including New Zealand All Blacks CEO Steve Tew; Tottenham Hotspur FC Executive Director Donna-Maria Cullen; Eredivisie CEO Alex Tielbeke; and Nick Bitel, CEO of the London Marathon. The judging panel’s combined knowledge, expertise and experience gave them special insight into the challenges and demands of sports business success.

The final shortlist of candidates across the six categories, which include Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Digital, Marketing & Communications, Sales, and Legal & Governance, will come together to form the talented Class of 2017 and will be acknowledged for their outstanding achievements at a special awards ceremony later this year.

“I was thrilled to be on the judging panel to review the Legal and Governance candidates for these prestigious awards,” Sabrina Ibáñez said. “With just under 600 nominations received from all around the globe for all categories, it has been an extremely difficult process to narrow down the shortlist for the Class of 2017.

“I was very proud to be part of this panel and the fact that our Federation has been recognised as one at the forefront of governance. I am really impressed with the incredible level of professionalism amongst this elite collection of high achievers within the sport business industry.”

“We’ve been overwhelmed with the response to this year’s Awards with the best quality of nominations from more counties than ever before,” Leaders CEO and Founder James Worrall said. “The competition was tough, but the 87 judges did a fantastic job in finalising this year’s incredibly talented Class of 2017. We’re really looking forward to celebrating with them all during Leaders Week this October.”

The prestigious awards ceremony celebrating the elite selected for the Class of 2017 will take place during Leaders Week at London’s iconic Natural History Museum on 3 October 2017.

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46

Prohibited Substance Case under FEI Anti-Doping Rules

Lausanne (SUI), 6 July 2017 – The FEI has announced an adverse analytical finding involving a prohibited substance.

The new case involves the use of Stanozolol, an anabolic steroid, which is a Banned Substance under the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs).

Horse: Shiners Chic (FEI ID 103DF20/GBR)
Person Responsible: Jessica Sternberg (FEI ID 10055844/GBR)
Event: CRI3* – Katy, Texas (USA), 20-21.04.2017
Prohibited Substance: Stanozolol

The athlete has been provisionally suspended from the date of notification (5 July 2017) until the FEI Tribunal renders a decision. The horse has been provisionally suspended for two months.

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46

FEI Tribunal Issues Final Decisions on Banned Substance Cases

Lausanne (SUI), 29 June 2017 – The FEI Tribunal has issued its Final Decisions on three banned substance cases under the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs).

Samples taken on 4 September 2015 from the horse Houkoumi G (FEI ID 104XV97/BEL), ridden by Evelyne Stoffel (FEI ID 10128731/BEL) at the CEI1* 100 in Virton (BEL), tested positive for the opioid analgesic O-Desmethyl-Tramadol. The FEI Tribunal has imposed a 15-month suspension on the athlete with a fine of CHF 2,500 and contribution of 1,000 CHF towards legal costs.

Samples taken on 29 August 2015 from the horse Felix Van De Mispelaere (FEI ID 104JQ57/RSA), ridden by Jonathan Clarke (FEI ID RSA/10020663) to win a class at CSI1*-W in Polokwane (RSA), tested positive for the vasodilator Minoxidil.

The athlete had been provisionally suspended from 21 October 2015 until 18 May 2016. The FEI Tribunal found that while the EADCMRs were contravened, the athlete did not bear fault for the rule violation, so there was no further period of suspension imposed. He was ordered to contribute 1,000 CHF towards legal costs.

Samples taken on 14 October 2016 from the horse La Petite Fleur 6 (FEI ID 103TN40/MEX), ridden by Andres Arozarena (FEI ID MEX/10094207) at the CSI4* in Coapexpan (MEX), tested positive for the anti-inflammatory Piroxicam.

The FEI Tribunal has imposed a six-month suspension. The period of provisional suspension, effective from 20 December 2016, has been credited against the period of ineligibility imposed in this Decision. The athlete was therefore ineligible through to 19 June 2017. The athlete will also be fined 2,000 CHF and contribute 1,000 CHF towards legal costs.

Athletes have 21 days to appeal decisions to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) from the date of notification.

FEI Media Contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 145

US Dressage Team Prepares for FEI Nations Cup CDIO5* Rotterdam

Dawn White-O’Connor and Legolas 92. Photo:

Rotterdam, Netherlands – Continuing their European Nations Cup tour, The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team will compete at FEI Nations Cup CDIO5* Rotterdam, June 22-25. The U.S. team, led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover, includes Dawn White O’Connor, Kasey Perry-Glass, Laura Graves, and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz. Additionally, U.S. combinations Charlotte Jorst with Kastel’s Nintendo, Adrienne Lyle with Salvino, and Shelly Francis with Doktor will compete individually in the CDI3* competition. The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team will ride in the following order.

Dawn White-O’Connor with Legolas 92: White-O’Connor (Cardiff, Calif.) and Legolas 92 make their first Nations Cup appearance together. White-O’Connor and Four Winds Farm’s 2002 Westphalian gelding posted back-to-back victories in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special at the Dressage Affaire CDI3* in San Juan Capistrano in March. The combination then went on to win the $2,000 FEI Grand Prix Special at the Del Mar National Horse Show.

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz with Lonoir:  In 2016 and 2017, LaGoy-Weltz (Haymarket, Va.) and her own 2004 Danish Warmblood gelding placed inside the top ten at every major competition. Already in 2017, LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir accomplished eight top-ten finishes, including first place titles in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special during the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup CDIO3* at the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, Fla.

Kasey Perry-Glass with Goerklintgaards Dublet: Perry-Glass (Wellington, Fla.) and Goerklintgaards Dublet, Diane Perry’s 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding contributed to the team bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. They then went on to achieve a top-ten finish at the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final in Omaha, Neb. and recently won the USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship at The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions.

Laura Graves with Verdades: Graves (Geneva, Fla.) is a well-known face on the U.S. dressage landscape. She and Verdades, her own and Curt Maes’s 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding, placed second at the 2017 FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Omaha, Neb., in April. The duo also contributed to a team bronze medal in Rio and were part of the team silver medal efforts at 2016 CDIO5* Rotterdam.

Find out more about FEI Nations Cup CDIO5* Rotterdam and watch it live on FEI TV.

By US Equestrian Communications Department

Working Group Agrees Key Recommendations on Jumping Invitation Rules and Event Requirements

Lausanne (SUI), 21 June 2017 – The Working Group put in place to review the Jumping Invitation Rules and CSI/CSIO requirements met at FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI) on 20 and 21 June, and has produced a series of recommendations which will be passed on to the FEI Jumping Committee to draft proposed rule changes.

The Jumping Committee will now work on drafting formal proposals that will be sent to National Federations and stakeholders by 6 July for their input. Following that process, further modifications can be considered prior to a vote on rule changes at the FEI General Assembly in Montevideo (URU) in November.

The working group is made up of representatives from:

  • National Federations – Marco Fuste (ESP), Quentin Simonet (FRA), Soenke Lauterbach (GER), Emile Hendrix (NED) and Murray Kessler (USA)
  • European Equestrian Federation – Hanfried Haring and Henk Nooren
  • Organisers – Ian Allison, Peter Bollen, Stephan Conter, Tom Struzzieri, Fred Van Lierop and Volker Wulff
  • Athletes – Abdel Said and Henrik Von Eckermann
  • Owners – Dominique Mégret
  • Officials – Stephan Ellenbruch
  • FEI – John Madden, Jack Huang, Sabrina Ibáñez and John Roche

The two sessions were moderated by Tom O’Meara (USA) and Janice Shardlow (GBR).

FEI President Ingmar De Vos opened Tuesday session, underlining the importance of the meeting for the future of the sport and the clear need to come to well-balanced conclusions that respect the interest of all stakeholders, while keeping the sport accessible to all.

“We have had very constructive debate over the past two days and I am confident that the recommendations that have come out of our frank and open discussions will ultimately result in consensus on the way forward on the Jumping Invitation Rules and CSI/CSIO requirements,” John Madden said.

Amongst the recommendations on the invitation rules as agreed by the Working Group are varying percentages at different star levels and that an invitation system needs to be implemented for CSIs at all levels except for CSI1*.

On CSI/CSIO requirements there was an agreement that no drastic changes are needed, but that the services that an organiser has to provide and that are covered by the applicable entry fees must be clearly defined. There was also consensus that the level of the entry fee can vary according to the region.

The FEI’s online invitation system, which is currently in development and which will guarantee the correct application of the invitation rules, will be fully operational as of 1 January 2018 to coincide with the implementation of the new Jumping Invitation Rules.

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
+41 787 506 142

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46

FEI Campus – Get e-Learning Anytime, Anywhere!

Lausanne (SUI), 19 June 2016 – The FEI has launched FEI Campus, a unique and free e-learning gateway for everyone with a love of horses and equestrian sport, wherever they are in the world.

FEI Campus is an FEI Solidarity project and the online resource – – is expected to become the virtual reference point for millions of equestrian fans globally, as well as athletes and FEI Officials.

FEI Campus content and courses have been carefully crafted by equestrian experts and are designed for everyone, including those looking for invaluable horse training and stable management tips to educational programmes on veterinary needs, equine behaviour and also for judging certification.

The platform is designed to give the equestrian community an immersive experience, with all courses and connection with tutors and peers just a click away from any device.

FEI Campus will be constantly enriched with up-to-the-minute and wide-ranging information to reflect the global interests of the rapidly growing international equestrian community, which now includes over 41,000 athletes, 7,500 officials and 750 million fans around the world.

One of the key goals of this important development tool is to make it less expensive for current and future FEI officials from across the world to get education, meaning that they will be able to follow courses without the costs of travelling and accommodation. Although FEI Campus cannot replace practical courses, it will also help reduce education costs for our National Federations.

“FEI Campus is a real milestone for equestrian sport,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“We’re connecting to millions of fans by sharing invaluable content on a sport and hobby we all love, and we’re modernising the way we educate our officials and athletes with the natural efficiencies that come with e-learning.

“We’ve focused on making strong, memorable and attention grabbing content that is easily accessible for our international equestrian community that is always on the go.

“This is just the beginning for FEI Campus, with new information and courses being added throughout 2017 and beyond.”

Sign up now to FEI Campus and get learning!

FEI Media Contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 145

IOC Confirms Equestrian Sport in 2024 Olympic Programme and Approval of Tokyo 2020 Formats

Lausanne (SUI), 9 June 2017 – The FEI President has welcomed the confirmation by the IOC that equestrian sport will be in the Olympic programme for the 2024 Games and approval of the Olympic formats submitted by the FEI for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The quota for equestrian at the 2020 Games remains unchanged.

“The IOC’s confirmation of equestrian on the Olympic programme for the 2024 Games and approval of the new formats for Tokyo 2020 is a direct acknowledgment of our willingness to adapt and modernise our sport, so all the work to drive change and increase universality has been worthwhile,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“Approval of the formats for Tokyo means that we can now increase the number of flags in equestrian sport in line with the Agenda 2020 recommendations. With more than 30,000 athletes registered to compete in our three Olympic disciplines – and the numbers are growing every year – our new formats mean that athletes from more countries than ever before will now have the opportunity of one day realising their dream of representing their country at the Olympic Games.”

The new formats include teams of three and no drop score across the Olympic disciplines (Eventing, Dressage and Jumping) and the use of reserve athletes (horses and riders) for medical reasons. The format changes were approved by the FEI’s member National Federations at last year’s FEI General Assembly in Tokyo (JPN) following almost two years of consultation.

“It wasn’t easy for our community to make such drastic changes to our Olympic formats, but the National Federations knew the importance of this decision and ultimately supported the proposed changes. Their willingness to embrace this change is without any doubt the reason we have got this fantastic news from the IOC today.”

Ingmar De Vos also welcomed the confirmation of the IOC Executive Board’s unanimous approval of a working group recommendation that both the 2024 and 2028 Games be awarded later this year. The recommendation will be voted on at an IOC Extraordinary Session in Lausanne (SUI) next month and, if passed, the two Games will then be allocated at the IOC Session in Lima (PER) in mid-September, with Paris (FRA) and Los Angeles (USA) as the two candidate cities.

“We have visited the equestrian venues at Paris and Los Angeles and we’re really excited to know that they will be hosting the next two editions of the Games after Tokyo 2020, as they both offer a fantastic opportunity to showcase our sport. We will have an iconic venue in Paris, as equestrian will be staged in the grounds of Versailles, with the chateau as a truly spectacular backdrop not only for the stadium, but also for the cross country. And for Los Angeles we will be in the beautiful Sepulveda Basin, just 15 minutes from the Athletes Village, on the site of an existing golf course.

“Both venues provide us with a great opportunity to deliver the Games in a cost-effective way and, as France and the United States have a long and successful equestrian tradition, there will be huge public support for our sport.”

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
+41 787 506 142

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
+41 79 314 24 38

FEI Clean Sport on

Lausanne (SUI), 31 May 2017 – In order to make all information about FEI Clean Sport more easily accessible, we have aggregated everything about Clean Sport for Humans and Clean Sport for Horses under one roof.

The Clean Sport button at the top of the home page on now takes you directly to all the FEI Clean Sport information, together with details about testing, test results (both positive and negative) and FEI Tribunal cases and decisions.

Once you’ve accessed the landing page:, you can choose between Clean Sport for Horses: and Clean Sport for Humans:

We hope this will make your FEI Clean Sport journey more user-friendly.

FEI Media Contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 145

FEI Endurance Forum 2017: Welfare, Education and the Future

FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello speaks at the 2017 FEI Endurance Forum, with panellists (L-R) Brian Sheahan, FEI Endurance Committee Chair, elite athlete Valerie Kanavy (USA), and Stephane Chazel (FRA), who is an event organizer, athlete and trainer. (FEI/Morhaf Al Asaaf)

Lausanne (SUI), 26 May 2017 – Welfare, education and the future direction of the sport were prominent topics at the FEI Endurance Forum 2017, which took place this week in Vic, Barcelona (ESP). A total of 100 delegates from over 30 countries gathered together at a pivotal time for the discipline of Endurance, which is seeing massive growth year on year across the globe.

Scientific presentations on Endurance risk factors, bone fatigue and risk management set the scene, providing a data-based approach for the Forum’s further discussions on education, rules revisions and the future of the sport. Key topics including horse welfare, speed, athlete education and how the elite level of the sport could look in the future were debated in an open and honest dialogue by representatives from across the Endurance community.

“This growth of the sport is remarkable and brings great opportunities but also presents challenges to the global endurance community,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said in her opening address. “Endurance is clearly appealing and has potential, but as we grow we need to secure the integrity of the sport with correct processes, and maintain the highest standards of horse welfare. We are all here because we want to ensure that Endurance continues to develop and thrive around the world. And we are also here because we want to ensure the very best for our horses, for our athletes and for the greater Endurance community.”

First presented at last month’s FEI Sports Forum 2017, Dr Euan Bennet from the University of Glasgow took delegates through the highlights and main results of the first year and a half of the FEI’s Global Endurance Injuries Study, and Professor Chris Whitton from the University of Melbourne presented data on bone fatigue. Both reiterated the message that speed and non-compliance with mandatory rest periods are the key risk factors, highlighting that an increase of seven days on the mandatory rest periods established in 2014 could potentially prevent 10% of the failed-to-qualify statistics and that small reductions in speed have large beneficial effects on bone fatigue for the fastest horses. It was unanimously agreed that key to injury reduction is a combination of rules revisions and education for athletes, trainers and all involved in the sport.

Diarmuid Byrne and Sam Watson from equestrian data science company EquiRatings, presented a potential model for an athlete index in Endurance, aimed at identifying those at higher risk of non-completion and following a similar concept to the ERQI model in Eventing. This was received with interest and generated discussions on data collection in the future to enhance this tool, possible applications to reward positive performance and good horsemanship, and potential application to trainers, and horse/athlete combinations.

EquiRatings founder Sam Watson explained: “It is about changing psychology and attitude. We need to create awareness and provide a tool that can guide the level of responsible horsemanship and help maintain a standard for the sport around the world.”

The new Endurance Education System for Endurance Officials was presented and received widespread support, with unanimous agreement on the benefit and importance of rewarding excellence and increasing experience. The introduction of job descriptions, promotional courses for top level Officials, horsemanship education for all Endurance Officials, requalification every three years and the introduction of a new 5* level of Officials were all on the agenda.

Wrapping up the first day’s proceedings, FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello led delegates in discussion around potential rule revisions aimed at improving horse welfare and based on the scientific findings relating to areas such as qualifications, speeds, rest periods and weight regulations.

There was widespread support for the creation of a new 5* level of elite competition, with further consultation needed on what form it will take, and a general consensus that there should be clear and increased qualification criteria for entry to 1* level and for progression onto 4* and 5*; however, further work is needed to flesh out proposals for the introduction of completion rates for Championship qualifications.

Discussions also covered the need for any potential changes to mandatory rest periods to be clearly based on welfare and not as sanctions for speed. The extensive feedback will be discussed by the FEI Endurance Committee as the next step in this rules revision process.

Inspiration for the second day’s discussions on the future of the sport covered everything from event promotion, sponsorship, innovation in promotion, and what the sport could look like in the future, with presentations from across the spectrum of the sport: athlete Valerie Kanavy, Organiser Nick Brooks-Ward from Hpower Group, athlete and trainer Stephane Chazel and Spanish Chef D’Equipe Ignasi Casas.

Athlete education was again central to the debate as discussion turned to how speed relates to the future of the sport. Delegates noted that ultimately this is a sport against the clock, but this cannot be to the detriment of the horse; however, as the sport progresses then speeds will get higher with better training, breeding, feeding, riding etc. However, all acknowledged that speed contributes to injury, which is not acceptable for horse welfare and has a negative effect on the perception of the sport. Minimum weights and course design were discussed as examples of how to regulate speed but ultimately conversation came back to athlete responsibility and training, a key theme throughout the Forum.

FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez closed the forum with a commitment to continue organising these types of discussion forums for Endurance on a regular basis, commending the “productive and exciting meeting of such a wide group of people, with very diverse views yet working together and allowing each other to speak, with a real community feel for open dialogue.”

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
+41 787 506 142

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 145