Tag Archives: FEI

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

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

FEI President Welcomes Speedy Decision on Rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Dates

The FEI President has welcomed the announcement of the new dates for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which will run from 23 July to 8 August, and for the Paralympic Games from 24 August until 5 September 2021.

“While it was of course demoralising for everyone that the Games had to be postponed from their original dates in 2020, the decision was absolutely right in the current terrible global pandemic, but it is really good to have the new dates agreed so soon,” Ingmar De Vos said.

“The decision was taken in full consultation with all the International Federations, including the FEI, and we all had the opportunity to voice our opinions. Now, once the Covid-19 crisis is over, our athletes across both Games can get their training back on track with confidence, knowing exactly when they and their horses need to be at their peaks.

“We are conscious of the fact that this has been a very complex decision for the IOC to make, with multiple factors to be taken into consideration. The athletes’ health and well-being across both Games not just for equestrian sport has to be the top priority, and we have all the protocols in place to protect our athletes – both human and equine – and help them to optimise their performance in the challenging climate we can expect in Tokyo.

“Of course, there will be an impact on the international Calendar across all sports, and from an FEI perspective this includes four major European Championships, but we are already looking at ways we can minimise that impact. The remit for our discipline-specific task forces that are evaluating the impact of Covid-19 on the 2020 Calendar has now been expanded to cover 2021 and now we have confirmed dates for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We need to explore possible alternatives for a number of major FEI Events, notably the European Championships in Jumping, Dressage, and Para Dressage in Budapest and the European Eventing Championships in Haras du Pin, France. This process will be started immediately.”

The five-discipline European Championships in Budapest (HUN), which also include Driving and Vaulting, are currently due to run from 23-30 August 2021 and the Eventing Championships in Haras du Pin (FRA) from 11-15 August.

“We need to also look at deadlines for obtaining minimum eligibility requirements and extending the deadline for registration of ownership for Olympic horses and will announce those as soon as possible, but we have had confirmation from both the IOC and IPC that National Olympic and Paralympic Committees which have been allocated Olympic or Paralympic quota places will retain them despite the postponement of the Games to next year.”

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

FEI to Create Task Forces to Deal with Impact of Covid-19

Lausanne (SUI), 25 March 2020 – The FEI is to create a series of discipline-specific task forces to evaluate the impact on the FEI Calendar of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has resulted in multiple Event cancellations and the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games until 2021.

The FEI Board approved the creation of the task forces during its monthly teleconference 24 March. The task forces, each of which will focus on a single discipline, will remain in place until any further decision by the Board.

The FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez, who has overall responsibility for the FEI Calendar, will chair each task force. The FEI Vice Presidents Mark Samuel (CAN) and Jack Huang (TPE) will be members of each task force together with the European Equestrian Federation President Theo Ploegmakers (NED) and the President of the International Equestrian Organisers Association Peter Bollen (BEL). The FEI Calendar Administrator and a representative from both the FEI IT and FEI Legal departments will sit on each of the task forces.

The individual task forces, which will also include the Chair of the relevant Technical Committee, a representative of the Athletes, and the FEI Sports Director of the specific discipline, will review all FEI Calendar related issues caused by the Covid-19 virus and make recommendations to the FEI on ways to address them.

The FEI President will be kept fully updated by each of the task forces, and will attend meetings when necessary in order to assist in finalising proposals for solutions to be put forward to the FEI Board for approval.

Following the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the FEI has already received assurances from the IOC that it will work in tandem with all the International Federations to find the best solutions for all issues that arise, including the dates for rescheduling and the impact that will have on the international calendar for all sports.

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

FEI World Cup Finals 2020 in Las Vegas Cancelled Due to Coronavirus

Lausanne (SUI), 13 March 2020 – The International Equestrian Federation (FEI), United States Equestrian (USEF), and Las Vegas Events have announced the force majeure cancellation of the FEI World Cup™ Finals 2020 in Las Vegas. The annual equestrian competition, featuring the Olympic disciplines of Jumping and Dressage, was scheduled for 15-19 April at the Thomas & Mack Center.

“It is very regrettable that next month’s FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas have had to be cancelled, but the decision was out of our hands,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said.

“Since the FEI World Cup series began in 1978 for Jumping and in 1985 for Dressage, the Finals have never had to be cancelled before, but the global concerns about the spread of the virus and the travel restrictions imposed by the US Government have meant that the Finals are one of many major sporting events impacted by this outbreak.

“Like everyone in our community, we are disappointed, not only for the athletes who have qualified for the Finals, but also for Las Vegas Events and US Equestrian, and of course our top partner Longines, but the health, well-being, and safety of our athletes, officials, and our fans has to be our top priority. We hope we can alleviate that disappointment by returning to Las Vegas for a wonderful FEI World Cup Finals in the future.”

All ticket buyers and exhibitors will be issued full refunds. The Las Vegas Events ticket office will contact all ticket holders on the process starting the week of 16 March.

Further information on the FEI World Cup™ Finals 2020 in Las Vegas can be found at www.WorldCupLasVegas.com.

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

Coyle Bookends 2019/2020 North American League with Wins in Ocala

Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Farrel. (FEI/Shannon Brinkman)

Daniel Coyle (IRL) finished the 2019/2020 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League the same way he started it — with a victory.

After beginning the season with a win in Vancouver (CAN), Coyle rode Farrel to the top of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Ocala (USA), besting an eight-horse jump-off. The duo crossed the timers of Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s (GER) shortened course in 37.05 seconds. Margie Engle (USA) and Dicas finished second with a 37.37-second time, while Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) and Cristalline finished third in 37.96 seconds.

“I think everything was going really well until the last turn. I had a little slip there, and I thought everything was going great until that point. I thought, ‘Have I lost it?’” Coyle detailed. “When I went through the finish and [saw] that I was able to catch the [leaders] — both of them have fantastic horses and are fantastic riders as well — I was delighted to beat them!”

Last to go and Engle to beat, Coyle executed a very different plan than the then-leader. Engle used Dicas’ massive stride to her advantage, while Coyle relied on Farrel’s swift turning, along with a sheer will to win.

“[Farrel] is a very small horse. He doesn’t have as big a jump as most horses, but he just believes he’s one of the best. Belief always overdoes talent, and he obviously has loads of that as well, but it’s his way, and he can do things that other horses can’t do.” — Daniel Coyle (IRL)

The victory secured Coyle a place in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final, which will take place in Las Vegas (USA), 15-19 April 2020. The appearance would mark Coyle’s first in a championship.

“In the middle of last year, [my team] decided to try and aim for the [Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final]. Until today, it seemed we didn’t have enough points. It’ll be my first World Cup Final, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Sternlicht finishes the season atop the east coast standings with 61 points, one more than Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden (USA) with 60 points. Brian Moggre (USA) is third in the standings with 56 points.

Karl Cook (USA) sits atop the west coast standings with 59 points. Jenni McAllister (USA), who finished seventh in Ocala, moved into second with 40 points, one ahead of Alex Granato (USA), who has 39 points.

FULL RESULTS

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

FEI Sports Forum Moves Online Due to Coronavirus Covid-19

Lausanne (SUI), 6 March 2020 – The FEI has conducted a full risk assessment of the rapidly evolving Coronavirus Covid-19 situation in line with the recommendations of the relevant health authorities in order to evaluate whether the health and safety of delegates at next month’s FEI Sports Forum can be assured.

The FEI Sports Forum involves a gathering of multiple persons travelling from all over the globe and, while delegates may be healthy on departure from their country of origin, they are at risk of in-transmit contamination. Additionally, if there were to be a confirmed case of the virus during the Sports Forum, there is insufficient infrastructure and resources to quarantine all participants.

As a result of this assessment, it is absolutely clear that there are too many risks associated with hosting the Sports Forum this year and, regrettably, the FEI has had to make the decision to cancel the in-person event and host the time-sensitive sessions online.

Maintaining the full consultation process is important to us, so we will organise an online FEI Anti-Doping Rules session, including an update on the new WADA Code and on the proposed changes to the Equine Anti-Doping Rules.

The full session on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic & Paralympic Games will also be hosted online, with detailed updates on final venue preparations and logistics, horse transportation, and optimising performance in challenging climatic conditions for both horses and humans.

Other important topics that were initially included in the Sports Forum, events requirements and standards, status of grooms, and coaching, will be addressed at a later stage.

FEI media contacts:

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

Vanessa Martin Randin
Senior Manager, Media Relations & Communications
Vanessa.Randin@fei.org
+ 41 78 750 61 73

Kiwis Make It an Historic Double in Abu Dhabi

Tom Tarver-Priebe, Bruce Goodin, Daniel Meech, and Richard Gardner of New Zealand. (©FEI/Helen Cruden)

UAE and Syria Qualify for Final

New Zealand claimed the honours in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United Arab Emirates at Abu Dhabi (UAE) for the second time in two years when pinning Egypt into runner-up spot and the host-nation into third.

It was another piece of Kiwi equestrian history in the making as anchorman, Daniel Meech, explained: “This is only the second time a New Zealand team has ever won a Nations Cup – our first was here in Abu Dhabi in 2018, so this is a really special place for us!” said the 46-year-old rider who was also a member of that first-time winning side and who helped clinch today’s victory with the only double-clear of the competition.

This second round of the 11-leg Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2020 series was the single qualifying competition for teams in the Middle East region. And after a spirited battle filled with plenty of drama, the UAE and Syria have made the cut to the Final in Barcelona (ESP) next October. Only three countries fought that particular battle, and it was the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who lost out when finishing last of the six competing nations.

At the halfway stage New Zealand and the UAE shared the lead on a zero score despite elimination for second-line Kiwi rider Richard Gardner who took a fall at the first fence with his 12-year-old gelding Calisto. The United Arab Emirates team looked very comfortable indeed, not requiring the services of their anchor partnership of Mohammed Al Kumeiti and Dalida van de Zuuthoeve when Abdullah Mohd Al Marri (James VD Oude Heihoef), Hamad Ali Al Kirbi (Quel Cadans Z), and Mohammed Ahmed Al Owais (Uto Kerved) all jumped clear.

But Spanish course designer Santiago Varela, the man who will build the tracks at the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, upped the pressure second time out by replacing deeper cups with flat ones and raising a few poles. There were eight clears in the first round, including a particularly gutsy one from Saudi Arabia’s Dalma Rushdi Malhas and Impero Delle Schiave, but Meech produced the only clear of the second round to leave his team on the winning score of just eight faults.

The Egyptians were lying third, carrying just five faults as the second round began despite elimination for their pathfinders Mouda Zeyada and Morocco who won Friday’s President of the UAE Grand Prix in which Egyptian riders filled three of the top ten placings. The innocuous-looking oxer at fence one put paid to Zeyada’s first-round effort when his 12-year-old stallion slammed on the anchors there, and when the pair collected eight faults second time out that was the team discount score as Mohd Osama El Borai (Quintero), Mohamed Talaat (Darshan), and Abdel Said (Arpege du Ru) each had a fence down to bring their final total to 17.

However, they found themselves neck-and-neck with the UAE at the end of the day when a single mistake from Al Marri, double-errors from Al Kirbi and Al Owais, and five for Al Kumeiti second time out saw UAE also complete on a score of 17 faults. And when the combined times of the best three riders from each team were taken into account, an agonising 2.12 seconds separated the two sides with the hosts dropping to third while Egypt clinched runner-up position.

The three-man German team lined up in fourth with 37 faults while Syria finished fifth with 44. The Syrians collected just 11 faults first time out but their second-line rider, 19-year-old Osama Al Zabibi, was eliminated for a fall in round two while the rest of the team added 33 more. However, they are on their way to the 2020 Barcelona Final.

In the end the Kiwi victory was clean and clear even though they were reduced to a team of three when Gardener didn’t return to the ring. Four-time Olympian Bruce Goodin and Backatrops Danny V lowered only the first element of the penultimate double second time out while Tom Tarver-Priebe, in only his second-ever Nations Cup outing, hit the same fence with Popeye. So when double-Olympian Meech made no mistake it was all done and dusted, and it was another great moment for New Zealand sport.

Talking about the ups and downs of the day, Meech said afterwards, “It was disappointing for Richard (Gardner) because he aimed his horse for this class, but you get used to performing in adversity in this game and we put our heads down and ground out the win!”

His lovely 11-year-old grey mare, Cinca, a daughter of Casall, was very impressive and with Tokyo 2020 selection very much in his mind, Meech was happy with her performance.

“She’s really nice. I felt she jumped even better in the second round when a few of the fences went up. She’s quite green at this level and it was amazing how she just walked in and did it so easy. She’s really grown into herself this year,” he added.

The Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ 2020 series next moves to Coapexpan in Mexico for the second leg of the North/Central America and Caribbean League in early May.

FULL RESULTS

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Gulliksen Posts Career-Defining Victory in Gothenburg

Geir Gulliksen riding VDL Groep Quatro. (FEI/Satu Pirinen)

Norway’s Geir Gulliksen posted the first World Cup victory of his long and successful career in the thrilling 14th and last qualifier of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League (WEL) in Gothenburg, Sweden where he pinned young Swiss star Bryan Balsiger into second place and French Olympic gold medallist, Kevin Staut, into third.

But, not satisfied with having stolen the show with the ride of his life on his brave little gelding VDL Groep Quatro, Gulliksen added even more drama when taking a tumble from the horse during the prizegiving.

“I feel fine actually – except for my arse! I wouldn’t change anything that happened today. This crowd – of all the shows in the whole world there is no crowd like this. Even to fall off it doesn’t matter; I couldn’t be happier. This is definitely the highlight of my career!” said the 60-year-old rider afterwards.

The result saw him rocket up to 10th place in the WEL rankings so he’s now well-qualified for the much-anticipated Longines 2020 Final in Las Vegas, USA next April where current league leader, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, will defend his title for the fourth time. A total of 18 riders from the Western European League, apart from the defending champion, have now booked their tickets to the showdown in the Nevada desert, and Balsiger claimed his spot by moving into 15th place while Staut was already guaranteed a place, finishing fourth on the final leaderboard after a great run over the winter months.

The contours of the Scandinavium Arena always ensure a strong challenge, and only five of the 32 starters found the key to Peter Lundstrom’s tough 14-fence first-round track. The spectators groaned loudest when their own Henrik von Eckermann (Peter Pan) and Peder Fredricson (H&M Christian K) made it all the way to the very last fence only to pick up a fault there, but their long-time hero Rolf-Goran Bengtsson saved the day when making the cut with the big grey, Cassilano Jmen.

He was first to go against the clock with this relatively new ride and left the door open with two fences on the floor in 48.52 seconds. Gulliksen was next into the ring, and his little 14-year-old gelding gave him everything he had to come home clear in 45.75 seconds to put it up to the remaining three.

Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts looked set to knock the Norwegian off his pedestal until H&M Legend of Love hit the first element of the double halfway around the new track, and Staut looked really threatening with the super-fast For Joy van’t Zorgvliet HDC who raced home in the quickest time of 44.51 seconds, but lowered the vertical third fence along the way.

Now only Balsiger could stop Gulliksen from taking the win, and this talented 22-year-old who won the opening leg of the series in Oslo last October made no mistake, bringing the 13-year-old mare Twenytwo Des Biches home in 46.45 seconds which slotted him into second place. It would a glorious day for Gulliksen, and despite his sore bottom he was in flying form during the post-competition press conference.

“I’ve been coming to this show for 27 or 28 years and I always hoped for a day like this!” he said. And he talked about the courageous little VDL Groep Quatro who carried him to glory.

“I bought him from (Dutch rider) Mikael van de Vleuten and I think no one thought he would jump like he jumped today.

“He doesn’t have all the scope, but he is so athletic and he believes he’s just as good as any other horse! There was no place on the course today where I thought he would struggle – he just makes it happen. He’s a bit like a pony, and he never stops – he amazes me more and more!” — Geir Gulliksen (NOR)

FULL RESULTS

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46