Tag Archives: COVID-19

Major Revision to Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup 2020 Rules

Photo: FEI/Lukasz Kowalski.

With the global sporting calendar decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the FEI has made drastic changes to the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2020 rules in a bid to maintain the series Final at Barcelona in October this year.

Under changes proposed by the FEI Jumping Committee and approved by the FEI Board during its teleconference this week, a total of 22 nations will be invited to compete at the Longines Final, staged at the prestigious Barcelona Polo Club. The 22 teams would be 10 from Europe, three from North America, two from South America, two from the Middle East, two from Asia/Australasia, one apiece from Africa and Eurasia, plus the host nation Spain.

The event held in February this year in Wellington (USA) will no longer be considered as a qualifier, and while events in North America and Europe that are still scheduled to take place over the next few months can be hosted as a Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™, no qualifying points will be awarded for the Final.

The three teams from North America and the 10 teams from Europe Division 1 will qualify directly for the Final, while the UAE and Syria, who claimed the two top spots at the Middle East qualifier in Abu Dhabi earlier this year, will retain their places for the Final.

The qualification system for the other divisions will be based on the Longines Rankings, using the combined points of each National Federations’ four best Athletes on the Longines Ranking published one month prior to the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final:

  • South America: 2 teams via Longines Ranking
  • Asia/Australasia: 2 teams via Longines Ranking
  • Africa: 1 team via Longines Ranking
  • Eurasia: 1 team via Longines Ranking

With Spain as the host nation of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final, this brings the maximum number of teams competing to 22.

As the EEF has announced the postponement of the Longines EEF Series launch until 2021, there will be no promotion and relegation this year, so Division 1 will start with the same 10 teams for the 2021 season.

“The global pandemic has meant that sadly we have had a number of cancellations in the series, and even though we still don’t know what events will take place later in the season, we needed to provide clarity to all our stakeholders as soon as possible, so out of respect to all our Organisers, to our National Federations and their athletes, and of course to our Top Partner Longines, making this decision now was the only way forward,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“There is no certainty that teams would be able to travel to any of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup events that are able to go ahead, and without a fair qualification system and the impossibility of being able to offer a level playing field where all teams have the same possibility to train and participate at events, this was a decision that had to be made.

“Of course all this is dependent on what happens with the pandemic, and we truly hope that there will soon be respite from all the terrible suffering around the globe, but we need to be optimistic and having the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final in Barcelona in October with up to 22 countries competing for our sport’s most prestigious team title is a goal we are hoping can be realised.”

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 4

Cancellation of Saumur Complet

Faced with the spread of the COVID-19 virus in France and abroad, the team of the Comité Equestre de Saumur worked for weeks in collaboration with the French Equestrian Federation (FFE), the FEI, and the competent health authorities to consider solutions to keep Saumur Complet from 21 to 24 May 2020.

However, the extension of the lockdown announced by the President of the French Republic in his speech of last April 13 makes it impossible to maintain «Saumur complet» on its initial date.

Very conscious of the sporting and economic consequences of the cancellation of such an important event, the Comité Equestre de Saumur’s actually studying the possibility of organizing the event during the second semester of 2020 following the calendar of international competitions.

Furthermore, in view of the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games, we are already working with the FFE and the FEI to organize the schedule for 2021 in order to support the athletes and allow them to have the required qualifications to participate in the next Olympic Games in 2021.

The Comité Équestre de Saumur would like to thank very sincerely in advance the many people involved in this event for their understanding, and is convinced in advance of everyone’s good will to create a beautiful sports and cultural event next autumn.

Marie-Claude Varin-Missire
President of the Comité Équestre de Saumur

Press Contact – Blizko Communication
Juliette Feytout – E-mail: juliette@blizko-communication.com

Brooke USA Launches Fundraising Effort to Fight Coronavirus Pandemic

Lexington, KY (April 10, 2020) – Brooke USA has launched a crisis fundraising campaign for friends and supporters to provide humanitarian aid during the growing global fight against the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

The Board of Directors of Broke USA will manage the COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund which is designed to address the need for humanitarian aid across the globe. In response to the spread of the coronavirus, Brooke USA is committed to meeting the needs of equine-dependent communities impacted by the pandemic both in the United States and in the developing world.

Countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, and the Caribbean are going to need increased assistance. Brooke USA recognizes that in the developing world there is a lack of health care facilities, medical supplies are not readily available, and living in highly crowded communal situations exacerbates the risk of spread. Moreover, the international community which normally offers aid is hard pressed to help because every nation is dealing with their own problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund positions Brooke USA to immediately help where the need is greatest. The current crisis has also impacted the US, leaving horses, donkeys, and mules abandoned and local equine organizations in desperate need of financial support.

Brooke USA Chairman of Board of Directors John Nicholson announced that “the organization has established a $125,000 goal with the understanding that this may change as communities are further impacted and the crisis continues.” He added that Brooke USA anticipates a surge in funding requests from its sister organization Brooke, the leading international charity focused on alleviating the suffering of working equines and the people they serve in the developing world, as well as from other organizations with similar missions. He noted that “we simply want to be ready to help immediately when asked or when we see the need.”

“We hope that equine-friendly businesses, individuals, and philanthropists will join us in this fight against this virus which certainly is global in scale,” said Emily Dulin, Executive Director of Brooke USA.

The funds raised will be used to support response and recovery efforts which will vary from nation to nation and community to community. Brooke USA understands that needs in each area will be individual. In some communities, this may mean providing care for working animals whose owners have been impacted by the pandemic. In others, it may involve helping get food to a family who can no longer work due to illness or economic distress.

To donate to Brooke USA’s COVID-19 Crisis Response & Recovery Fund, visit www.BrookeUSA.org/COVID-19Fund, or contact Emily Dulin at Emily.Dulin@BrookeUSA.org, or send a check or money order to Brooke USA, 2333 Alexandria Drive, Lexington, KY 40504.

Learn more about our response to COVID-19.

FEI Board Approves Jumping Calendar Task Force Resolutions

The FEI Board has approved a number of resolutions proposed by the Jumping Calendar Task Force aimed at minimising the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the FEI Calendar and the equestrian community.

In a specially expedited approvals process, the FEI Board agreed the resolutions in an extraordinary FEI Board teleconference convened specifically for the purpose. These new provisions will remain in place for the rest of 2020, with the possibility of being revisited for next year if required.

The FEI Board confirmed the following existing Rules for CSI 5*, CSI 4*, and CSIOs, and temporary amendments to the Rules for CSI 3*, CSIP, and CSI 2*:

CSI 5*/CSI 4*/CSIO – the current Rules apply, applications for date changes must reach the FEI 12 weeks prior to the Event, invitation rules remain in place, etc.

CSI 3* – exempted from the Date Clash Rules, and date applications or modifications will only be considered by the FEI if provided to the FEI by National Federations at least eight (8) weeks prior to the Event (instead of 12 weeks). All other Rules, including the CSI Invitation Rules, remain in place.

CSIP – exempted from the Date Clash Rules, and date applications or modifications will only be considered by the FEI if provided to the FEI by National Federations at least four (4) weeks prior to the Event (instead of 12 weeks). Invitation Rules are not applicable. All other Rules remain in place.

For CSI 2*, the CSI Invitation Rules are temporarily suspended. All other Rules remain in place.

The Board also agreed to a number of other resolutions that will now require further discussion by the Jumping Calendar Task Force.

CSIOs – the Board agreed to prioritise all CSIOs when date clashes are being considered, regardless of whether they are standalone Events or part of a Series, to allow for team preparation in the build-up to the Olympic Games next year. The Board has asked the Jumping Calendar Task Force to review date clashes on a case-by-case basis once applications and/or modifications are received from National Federations.

Switching dates from one Event to another by the same Organiser – as this has been allowed previously, the Board has asked the Jumping Calendar Task Force to review and allow, on a case-by-case basis, for a change of venues by the same Organiser.

The Board has also tasked the Jumping Calendar Task Force to look into the impact of the requested date changes on the existing Events in the Calendar and to provide proposed solutions to the FEI Secretary General and the Board.

In addition to the above, the Board discussed FEI Championships in 2020 and 2021, potential initiatives to minimise the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Event Organisers, and FEI Series, notably the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2020 and Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final 2021. These points will be further discussed by the Jumping Committee during its teleconference this week and the Committee will then make its recommendations to the FEI Board.

The FEI Board additionally requested that the Executive Board looks into the financial consequences of Covid-19 and the economic impact of potentially granting some waivers on fees for Event Organisers.

The key principles approved by the FEI Board will now be shared with the other seven Task Forces put in place to evaluate the impact of the virus on the FEI Calendar for Dressage, Para Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting, and Reining. Each of these Task Forces, whose meetings will be scheduled in the coming days, consists of the core group plus the Chair of the relevant Technical Committee, a representative of the Athletes, and the FEI Sports Director of the specific discipline.

The FEI President is to be kept fully updated on the work of each of the Task Forces and, where required, will assist in finalising proposals for solutions to be put forward to the FEI Board for approval.

FEI media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
olga.nikolaou@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 56

Emergency Giving Guide to Highlight Non-Profits on the Frontlines of COVID-19

Wellington, FL – April 6, 2020 – To join the fight against Coronavirus, COVID-19, and support the local community, the Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® (GCC), a Wellington-based show jumping competition that blends equestrian sports and philanthropy, has created a Palm Beach County Emergency Giving Guide featuring 83 local organizations that are currently assisting the most vulnerable populations.

The evolution of the Coronavirus, COVID-19, globally, nationally, and locally has affected each of us in ways we couldn’t have previously imagined.

As mentioned by West Palm Beach Mayor Keith A. James: “The economic effects of COVID-19 are catastrophic. Therefore, we must do what we can to support our citizens, including our most vulnerable.”

Recognizing that these unprecedented times call for an unprecedented approach to community support, the GCC realized it is crucial to connect donors and supporters with non-profit organizations who are providing critical support during the COVID-19 epidemic.

From child welfare, emergency educational support, homelessness support, medical support and more, donors and supporters can easily view what organizations are doing, the challenges they are facing and see what their immediate needs are.

“Our hope is for individuals to utilize this tool to better understand emerging need and see how they can create the biggest impact in their communities,” commented event Co-founder Paige Bellissimo. “Many of us want to help and are overwhelmed as to where to start; this guide is a local roadmap.”

Having worked with over 255 Palm Beach County non-profit organizations, distributing $14.8 million locally over the last 11 years, the GCC has seen how charities create lasting change and impact.

“We were in a unique position,” adds Executive Director Anne Caroline Valtin. “In partnership with Bank of America, we perform rigorous due diligence on organizations that apply to participate in our annual event. Through this process, we strive to identify organizations that will create the most influential impact locally.”

In order to get this Emergency Giving Guide out in a timely fashion, all but a few entries who are marked with an asterisk as well as an accompanying note have been reviewed through the GCC’s earlier efforts, in association with the event’s 2020 edition, held on Saturday, February 1, 2020, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. This is done to promote transparency, but in no way should it be a seen as a red flag; due diligence is encouraged on behalf of potential donors.

In an effort to make this Emergency Giving Guide as user friendly and functional as possible, donors and supporters have two distinct ways to search for non-profits organizations:

Option 1: The Alphabetical Index by Organizations. If you are looking for a particular organization, this is a great avenue to quickly locate them in this Guide.

Option 2: The Alphabetical Index by Categories. Non-profits are proving to be nimble and are quickly reacting to the needs they are seeing in our community.

These categories therefore directly reflect the work that they are currently doing (rather than what they were doing up until the COVID-19 crisis).

We felt it was important to reflect their current efforts as they are “boots on the ground,” faced with the most pressing needs and have a greater understanding of the vulnerabilities of the people they serve.

You are invited to access the report by clicking here.

For additional information about the GCC, please visit www.greatcharitychallenge.com.

FEI Sports Forum Online Session Content to Be Published by Mid/Late April

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the FEI has completely stripped back the FEI Sports Forum 2020 in order to address the time sensitive topics and delay the themes which can and should be discussed at a later stage.

The two sessions concerning FEI Anti-Doping Rules for human athletes and equine athletes will therefore be the only sessions to be covered (not as webinars) as part of the FEI Sports Forum 2020. The FEI will be publishing all the supporting documents and relevant deadlines for feedback by the mid/late April. Note that we have had to reconsider timelines for the FEI Anti-Doping Rules sessions in view of the cancelled WADA symposium which should have taken place mid-March and the subsequent delivery of WADA support materials and implementation tools. Nonetheless, all the relevant materials for the FEI Anti-Doping Rules sessions will be published here, and the community’s feedback alongside the full consultation process will be maintained.

Among the sessions on hold, Tokyo 2020 was a key theme covering practical and informative topics such as transportation, logistics, climate mitigation, and administrative matters. However, given the full 12-month delay of the Games, the FEI will be holding this session at the Sports Forum 2021 in order to ensure the timely delivery of the relevant and most up to date information around the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo (JPN). In the meantime, for all information relating to Tokyo 2020 logistics and planning, please don’t hesitate to visit our dedicated hub for all news and FAQs around the Covid-19 pandemic.

FEI media contact:

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
olga.nikolaou@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 56

FEI Jumping Calendar Task Force Agrees on Resolutions at First Virtual Meeting

The Jumping Calendar Task Force, one of eight discipline-specific task forces created by the FEI to evaluate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the FEI Calendar and propose ways of mitigating its effects, held its first meeting via teleconference on 2 April 2020.

The meeting was chaired by FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez, who has overall responsibility for the FEI Calendar and who will chair each of the discipline Task Forces.

The members who joined the teleconference call were the FEI Vice Presidents Mark Samuel (CAN) and Jack Huang (TPE), Chair of the FEI Jumping Committee Stephan Ellenbruch (GER), European Equestrian Federation President Theo Ploegmakers (NED), Jumping Athletes’ Representative Pedro Veniss (BRA), and President of the International Equestrian Organisers Association Peter Bollen (BEL). The FEI Deputy Jumping Director, FEI Calendar Administrator, and the Directors of the FEI IT, Legal, and Governance departments were also on the call.

Key topics discussed by the group during the almost three-hour meeting:

  • The deadline for National Federations to come back to the FEI with proposed alternative dates for Events looking to reschedule in 2020
  • The rules relating to date clashes and late-date/date change applications
  • Possible initiatives to help Organisers
  • The impact of the new Olympic Games dates on the FEI Calendar 2021

The conclusions and resolutions from the Jumping Calendar Task Force will now go to the FEI Board for consideration at a specially convened Board teleconference next week.

Following this, the principles agreed by the Board will be shared with the other seven Task Forces that will evaluate the impact of the virus on the FEI Calendar for Dressage, Para Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting, and Reining. Each of these Task Forces, which will hold their meetings in the coming days, consists of the core group plus the Chair of the relevant Technical Committee, a representative of the Athletes, and the FEI Sports Director of the specific discipline.

The FEI President is to be kept fully updated on the work of each of the Task Forces and, where required, will assist in finalising proposals for solutions to be put forward to the FEI Board for approval.

FEI media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
olga.nikolaou@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 56

Virtual Windsor 2020 Set to Recreate Royal Windsor Horse Show Magic Online

The Organisers of Royal Windsor Horse Show have launched VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020, a new online hub, which is free to the equestrian community. This enterprising initiative aims to help fill the gap left by the cancellation of Royal Windsor Horse Show 2020 due to Covid-19.

VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 will host exciting features, the Show’s 200 shops, virtual Showing competitions, training videos, social media feeds, and the best of online content from previous Royal Windsor Horse Shows and from the equestrian world at the moment.

The shops that would normally have a physical presence at the Show will be displayed on the hub, giving users the opportunity to access some of equestrian’s best brands, including the latest technical equipment, country and lifestyle collections, and clothing. One of the key drivers of the “Virtual RWHS Shopping Experience” are the deals some of which will be available exclusively on the platform.

Those visiting VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 can also enter online equestrian competitions, including a variety of Showing classes adhering closely to the original Royal Windsor Horse Show schedule. Those wishing to compete will upload their entry in the form of a photo to put them in the running, with applicants able to enter via email or social media. A Royal Windsor Horse Show judge will then select 10 finalists, before announcing the winner. The winners of each class will then progress to the Championships being judged on Sunday 17 May 2020.

To further help fill the void, VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 will give users access to features from the official Royal Windsor Horse Show programme, content from the archives, guest bloggers, live Q&A sessions, and insights into Royal Windsor Horse Show 2021, which is already well into its planning stage. Giving equestrian fans a central hub to find training videos, light-hearted posts, the latest updates from top competitors, and tips from other riders, VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 will support trainers, coaches, physios, and riders who may be struggling during this time.

Show Director Simon Brooks-Ward said: “This online platform is a way for the equestrian community to come together; it aims to support and entertain, keeping the spirit of Royal Windsor Horse Show alive during this difficult time. The platform involves everyone, from fans to riders, shops, competitors, and officials.  We wanted to find a way that we could support the shops at the show and engage with our competitors and customers and I’m genuinely excited to see what we can accomplish. Our hope is that it will go part of the way towards recreating the magic in Windsor Castle’s iconic private grounds that we all expected to see in May.”

Ben Buxton, Events Manager of Fairfax and Favor, said: “Virtual Windsor is an exciting real and online opportunity for Fairfax and Favor to have a presence at one of the leading horse shows of the year. Whilst we may not see customers (both new and existing) in person, we relish the opportunity to connect with anyone who would have seen us, and let them see our range, including the launch of our Spring Summer 2020 collection.”

VIRTUAL WINDSOR 2020 can be found at https://virtual.rwhs.co.uk/.  The site will be constantly updated and will remain in place throughout the year.

The Royal Windsor Horse Show will return next year from 12-16 May 2021.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

USEF Provides COVID-19 Facts and Resources as Pandemic Changes Equestrian Life

The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting equestrians’ routines around the country as barns employ social distancing techniques and increased human biosecurity practices, and, in at least some areas to date, even close to all but essential staff by choice or by local restrictions.

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Congress, President Deliver $2 Trillion Relief Package, Address Many Horse Industry Concerns

Following a week of intense negotiations, on Friday, March 27 House lawmakers finally passed – and the President signed into law – the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, teeing up approximately $2 trillion in emergency aid to American taxpayers, small business, independent contractors, and non-profits and charities. Because most equine enterprises characterize themselves as small businesses and include many non-profits such as state associations and equine rescue operations, the package addresses many challenges facing the horse industry.

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Equine Non-Profits Granted More Than $100,000 by USA Equestrian Trust – Deadline for 2020 Submissions Is April 22

USA Equestrian Trust® has awarded more than $100,000 in grants to help fund equine-focused projects by more than a dozen non-profits. The organizations receiving funding all submitted applications as part of the Trust’s 2019 application period. Since the inception of its grants program, the Trust has awarded more than $2.2 million in grants.

The Trust is also pleased to announce it is now accepting proposals from IRS-registered equine non-profit organizations for its 2020 grants program. To submit an application, visit trusthorses.org and complete the online form. Any organization applying must submit copies of its IRS non-profit determination letter and most recent Form 990, as well as a proposed budget for its project. The deadline to submit applications for the foundation’s 2020 grants program is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, April 22.

LEARN MORE

FEI Creates New Policy for Calculating World Rankings during Covid-19 Outbreak

As part of its measures aimed at minimising the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the FEI Calendar, the FEI has put in place a new policy for calculating the world rankings from 1 April until the Calendar returns to normal. The new policy was initially discussed with the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) specifically for the Longines Jumping Rankings, but will now be used for each of the disciplines where a rolling 12-month period is used for the calculations.

Starting from 1 April 2020, the period during which ranking points remain valid in Jumping (Longines Rankings), Eventing, Dressage, and Para Dressage will be prolonged by one month and will continue to be prolonged for an additional month with each new ranking until the competition calendar returns to normal.

Points earned in ranking competitions at events that take place during the current Covid-19 affected period will continue to count, and the maximum number of results that count for each athlete will remain, i.e. for the Longines Jumping Rankings best 30; Dressage best eight; Eventing and Para Dressage best six.

Rankings for the other FEI disciplines – Driving, Endurance, Vaulting, and Reining – are calculated on a fixed period (calendar year or other fixed period) so they will remain untouched. The change to the Driving Rules that means the discipline rankings will be based on a rolling 12 months does not come into effect until 1 January 2021.

For Jumping, Eventing, Dressage, and Para Dressage, the following system will apply:

– The rankings established after 29 February 2020 remain unchanged (points valid for 12 months: best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 29 February 2020)

– The rankings established after 31 March 2020 have been calculated based on the best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 31 March 2020 (points valid for 13 months)

– The rankings established after 30 April 2020 will be calculated based on the best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 30 April 2020 (points valid for 14 months)

– The rankings established after 31 May 2020 will be calculated based on the best results at events taking place between 1 March 2019 and 31 May 2020 (points valid for 15 months)

– and so on until the competition calendar returns to normal.

A working group will recommend to the FEI Board at what point the competition calendar is deemed to have returned to normal worldwide. As of that date, the rankings will continue to be calculated over the extended timeframes above, guaranteeing there will always be at least 12 months of normal competitions included in the calculation of the rankings.

The new system provides a level playing field for all our athletes as ranking points can still be earned in countries where the sport is able to continue, regardless of the length of time the current situation lasts, but athletes in countries where the sport is on hold will not lose points. An athlete’s ranking points can only improve, not decrease during this period, as the relevant number of best results in each discipline still applies.

Twelve months after the competition calendar is deemed to have returned to normal globally, the timeframe during which ranking points remain valid will be decreased by one month with each new ranking until the standard 12-month rolling timeframe has been reached.

FEI media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
olga.nikolaou@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 56