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Athletes “disappointed and saddened” by decision on Olympic format with teams of three

Friday, 26 November 2021

One week after the FEI Hybrid General Assembly in Antwerp, Belgium, where national federations voted in favour of the Olympic format with three horse-and-rider combinations per team, the International Jumping Riders Club has published a statement from FEI Jumping Committee member and FEI Athlete Representative Pedro Veniss who says athletes are “disappointed and saddened” by the proposal that was presented by the FEI.*

Prior to the FEI Hybrid General Assembly, the FEI Jumping Committee released a report in which it agreed to respect the Olympic formula with three horse-and-rider combinations per team. However, the FEI Jumping Committee was not unanimous, as Veniss now states that he is against the three-per-team format. 

The statement from Veniss published on the IJRC website reads: 

"FEI Jumping Committee (JC) member Pedro Veniss would like to underline that he is against the decision of 3 riders per team competing in the Paris 2024 Olympics, although the IOC letter has been accepted by the FEI JC. This is in spite of the fact that it is not task of the IOC to define qualification and format of the different Sport disciplines.

Veniss regrets  about the position assumed by JC  President Stephan Ellenbruch, at the FEI General Assembly in Antwerp, in support of the qualifications system for the Paris 2024 Olympics based on teams of 3 riders. Pedro Veniss (BRA) (Worldwide Athletes' Representative) supports and shares the athletes' position and wishes to disassociate himself from support of both the qualification system and of teams composed of only 3 riders with no drop score.

Athletes from the IJRC, NARG and other continents declare themselves disappointed and saddened by the proposal presented by the FEI. Athletes’ considerations on FEI GA  (Antwerp November 2021) will follow shortly after the International Jumping Riders Club General Assembly in Geneva on 10 December 2021."


*Editor's note: The original version of this article reported that Veniss and one more member of the FEI Jumping Committee, Daniela Garcia, had disagreed with the format of three per team. Today, on November 27,  the IJRC issued a revised statement removing Garcia's name – with no further explanation. 

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