New FEI rules are coming: Have your say!
This year, the FEI is reviewing the Dressage, Para Dressage, Eventing and Veterinary Regulations. National Federations, athletes, vets and other stakeholders can actively participate in the consultation on rule changes. This article explains the key dates and how you can get involved.
|6 July 2022:||The FEI will publish the first drafts of the proposed rule changes. The drafts will be available on the FEI website. National Federations (“NFs”) and Stakeholders with whom the FEI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) have seven weeks to provide comments and propose amendments to the first drafts.
|24 August 2022:||Deadline for comments from NFs and Stakeholders.
|14 October 2022:||The FEI will publish the final drafts of the proposed rule changes, following the comments and proposals from NFs and Stakeholders.
|12 November 2022:||The Rules Session will take place during the FEI General Assembly in Cape Town, South Africa. The Rules Session is an opportunity for NFs to discuss their final comments on the proposed rule changes before they are voted on.
|13 November 2022:||The rules will be voted on at the General Assembly. All NFs get one vote each and a simple majority (i.e. more than 50% of the votes) is required to pass each proposed new rule.
|1 January 2023:||The approved rule changes will come into effect, unless otherwise agreed.
How can I have my say?
Only NFs and Stakeholders with whom the FEI has signed a MOU can provide comments directly to the FEI. Comments are usually submitted online, via the FEI’s dedicated rules revision platform, or by email (using templates which can be found here).
If you are an individual such as an athlete, groom, owner, vet or other official, you will have to provide your comments via your NF or via a stakeholder organization of which you are a member. If that organisation agrees with your comments, it may incorporate them into its feedback for the FEI.
A full list of stakeholders that have an MOU with the FEI can be found here and include the International Dressage Riders Club, International Dressage Officials Club, International Eventing Officials Club , and the most recent addition, the International Grooms Association.
Before approaching your NF or organisation, you may want to group together with peers who share your views, to give more weight to your views and make it more likely that the organisation will incorporate your comments into its official feedback.
What are the potential rule changes?
This year, the four rules that are being fully reviewed are Veterinary, Eventing, Para Dressage and Dressage.
NFs and Stakeholders were able to submit suggestions for changes by 1 March 2022 and at the FEI Sports Forum, held in April 2022, NFs and Stakeholders had the opportunity to discuss the proposals in person. Based on those discussions, we set out below a couple of big changes that may be included in the first drafts of the new rules.
The discussion at the FEI Sports Forum was centred around rules relating to event standards and biosecurity measures, including:
- Stricter rules on access to restricted areas, including modernising the accreditation system;
- Stricter requirements for stable facilities at all events, similar to the rules for Olympic Games;
- Introducing recommendations for minimum groom facilities (such as hot showers, designated rest area and refreshments);
- Changing the interval between equine influenza vaccinations to bring it in line with other equestrian sports;
- Introducing mandatory EHV-1 vaccinations; and
- Establishing a list of prohibited tack and equipment (similar to the Equine Prohibited Substances List).
Many of the potential rule changes discussed are designed to improve safety in Eventing:
- Eliminating riders who score 20 or more penalties in jumping so that they cannot compete in the cross country;
- Changing the Minimum Eligibility Requirement (MER) at high level shows, to ensure combinations have competed at lower level in the previous 13 months;
- Permitting Course Designers to issue penalties for dangerous driving during the cross-country test;
- Limiting the number of years that a Course Designer can work at one venue to six years;
- Modernising the dress code in Dressage and Jumping to bring it in line with Dressage and Jumping rules; and
- Introducing remuneration for Officials at all events.
The proposed changes discussed at the FEI Sports Forum aim to further develop the sport:
- Renaming the tests to avoid the confusion caused by using “team” and “individual” – including introducing “Para Grand Prix” and “Para Grand Prix Special”;
- Improved structure of event levels so that athletes can progress through the different levels; and
- New qualification process to encourage the development of athletes and incentivise organising committees to hold lower-level events.
The proposed changes discussed at the FEI Sports Forum focus on increasing participation at all levels:
- Improved structure of event levels so that athletes can progress through the different levels;
- Review of the definition of, and requirements for, amateur athletes;
- Reintroducing a second collective mark for scoring;
- Introducing a protocol to ensure consistency in the procedure for main arena familiarisation; and
- Introducing random checks at events for false tails.
The first drafts of the new rules will be published on 6 July 2022. If you have strong views about any part of the new rules, make sure you provide your comments via an NF or stakeholder organisation before the deadline on 24 August 2022. Remember that the FEI cannot introduce the new rules without more than 50% of the NFs voting in favour at the General Assembly in November.
Therefore, your views can make a huge difference, but only if you make them heard by your NF or stakeholder organisation!
Equestrian Services Team
Equestrian Services Team