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Changes in the FEI Jumping Rules and Veterinary Regulations for 2018

Tuesday, 02 January 2018

A new year is coming up, and 2018 will bring with it some major changes in the FEI Jumping Rules and the Veterinary Regulations. Here are some of the most important ones:

FEI Veterinary Rules

The FEI Veterinary Department has completely rewritten the Veterinary Regulations during 2017, and the memo to highlight the biggest changes reads as follows: 

"The principle aims of the re-write are to remove unnecessary repetitions, contradictions and information from the current regulations. Information has been removed to ensure that the contents of the document focus strictly on regulatory matters.

The major changes to the Veterinary Regulations concern pony measuring, the treatment of horses with medication and supportive therapies and the introduction of Permitted Equine Therapists. 

Horses will no longer be treated by injection with any substance prior to competition on the day which they compete. An exception will be granted for classes starting at 18.00hrs or later. 

Veterinary Forms 2 and 4 will no longer be in use. Although it will still be possible to use substances previously recorded on these forms, their use will no longer have to be declared. Veterinary Forms 1 and 3 will remain in use and be renamed to Veterinary Forms A and B respectively. Copies of Veterinary Forms that have been signed by the Veterinary Delegate and Ground Jury will only be provided to the PTV administering the treatment. Medication logbooks must not be kept in the horse’s passport or handed to the Veterinary Delegate at events. 

In addition to changes in the treatment of horses at events, vaccines must not be given to horses at events and it will no longer be necessary to record the use of GnRH vaccines.

Clarification has been provided regarding the supportive therapies that can be used during FEI events and the personnel permitted to carry them out. Supportive therapies have been categorized into Non-Restricted and Restricted Therapies. Restricted Therapies will be carried out by trained personnel, known as ‘Permitted Equine Therapists’. Permitted Equine Therapists will be listed on the FEI database and issued with an FEI ID card. Separate guidelines will be produced and circulated to National Federations concerning the training requirements and enrolment of Permitted Equine Therapists.

Stewards will be able to carry out checks to inspect the Permitted Equine Therapist’s ID card, and verify the therapy they are carrying out. They may also ensure that only Permitted Equine Therapists are carrying out Restricted Therapies." 

FEI Jumping Rules

The Jumping Rules for 2018 also have some changes in them.

The "blood-rule"

The much-discussed "blood-rule" remains, only now under the article regulating eliminations and not disqualifications. What this means in practise, is, for example, that if a rider is eliminated after jumping two rounds and a jump-off, elimination after the jump-off only eliminates his/hers' result in the jump-off – not all rounds, which would be the case with a disqualification. All disciplines have been aligned with regards to blood on the horses’ flanks. Therefore, it is now elimination. Marks as a result of excessive use of the spur is considered abuse and therefore the penalty remains as disqualification.

Article 241 Eliminations 

"Unless otherwise specified in the Rules or in the conditions for the Competitions, Elimination means that the Athlete with the Horse in question may not continue in the Competition at issue. 

3.30.  blood on the Horse’s flank(s); 

3.31.  Horses bleeding in the mouth (in minor cases of blood in the mouth, such as where a Horse appears to have bitten its tongue or lip, Officials may authorize the rinsing or wiping of the mouth and allow the Athlete to continue; any further evidence of blood in the mouth will result in Elimination); "

 Article 242 Disqualifications 

 "Disqualification means that the Athlete, the Horse(s), and/or a combination of both is/are disqualified from the Competition at issue or from the entire Event. Disqualification may also be retroactive. 

3.1.  marks indicating excessive use of spurs or of the whip anywhere on the Horse; additional sanctions may also apply (see JRs Art. 243);"


Also wearing headphones in both ears while riding is now forbidden at FEI events. 

Article 256 Dress, headgear and salute

1.10. "Earphones and/or electronic communication devices may never be worn during FEI Jumping Competitions. For the avoidance of any doubt, Athletes, grooms or any other person may wear one earphone at any other time while mounted."

Online entry system

The new online entry system will be tested during two weeks in 2018. The dates of these two weeks still need to be fixed by the FEI.

After the test has been carried out, the online invitation system will be in force for all events for the remainder of the season from a date still to be fixed by the FEI.

For all events that are held outside the two-week test period and from the date the online invitation system is introduced for 2018, the 2016 invitation rules will apply.

Distribution of prize money at Continental and World Championships

For Continental and World Championships, some changes have been made regarding the distribution of prize money in the Individual Final which are as follows:

“Prize money must be awarded for the overall individual placing in the Championship, and must be distributed to all Athletes taking part in the Individual Final as follows:

- 25% of the prize money for the overall classification in the Championship will be distributed in accordance with the prize money distribution table published in the Schedule, to the Athletes placed 13th-25th in the overall individual placing in the Championship following Round A. If fewer than 25 Athletes take part in Round A, the prize money foreseen for Athletes placed 13th to 25th will be distributed among the Athletes placed 13th to last in the overall individual placing in the Championship following round A.

- 75% of the prize money for the overall classification in the Championship will be distributed to the Athletes placed 1st to 12th in the overall individual placing in the Championship following Round B. If fewer than 12 Athletes take part in Round B, the prize money foreseen for the first 12 placings will be redistributed among those who do take part.” 

Hind boots

The rule banning use of hind boots other than those used solely for protective purposes will come into effect during a three-year period, starting with pony riders, children, amateur owners and veterans on 1st of January 2019. 

Article 257 Saddlery

"2.5. For implementation as of 1 January 2019: Only boots used solely for protective purposes, as described in the FEI Jumping Stewards’ Manual, may be used in FEI Competitions for Pony Riders, Children, Amateur Owners and Veterans.

For implementation as of 1 January 2020: Only boots used solely for protective purposes, as described in the FEI Jumping Stewards’ Manual, may be used in FEI Competitions for Juniors, Young Riders and U-25.

For implementation as of 1 January 2021: Only boots used solely for protective purposes, as described in the FEI Jumping Stewards’ Manual, may be used in FEI Jumping Competitions."

Annex VI CSI/CSIO Requirements

What the OC’s are required to cover for riders, grooms and official teams can be found in the CSI/CSIO requirements.

There are no worldwide CSI requirements for the OC's to cover the meals and accommodation for athletes and grooms – however, in Europe all five-star events are required to do so.

Regardless of the star level, all CSIO events are required to provide meals for athletes and grooms of the official teams. Accommodations for athletes of the official teams is also at the cost of the OC, as well as accommodation for grooms of the official teams if requested with the entries.


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