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No coverage of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™️ Final 2024 on WoSJ

Wednesday, 17 April 2024

This week, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™️ Final 2024 gets underway in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™️ Final is one of FEI’s annual flagship events, and Saudi Arabia was chosen as host through an allocation by the FEI Board in 2019

On World of Showjumping, we have covered the FEI Jumping World Cup™️ Final annually since we first launched the website at the beginning of 2011. However, after internal discussions, we have decided to not cover this year’s final – and also not publish the FEI’s own press releases from the event.

The fact that men and women compete as equals is one of the unique aspects of equestrian sports, such as in jumping and dressage – the two disciplines of the finals in Riyadh. In its statues, and on its website, the FEI promotes gender equality and inclusion as some of the core values of equestrian sports – and voice their support for the LGBTQ+ community. It's also highlighted that FEI President Ingmar De Vos is a UN Gender Champion.

However, in 2019 the FEI Board chose to allocate the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™️ Final 2024 to Saudi Arabia – a country where women are subject to many discriminatory restrictions across different spheres of life as documented by several human rights bodies and organisations. 

Furthermore, Saudi Arabia is on Amnesty International's list of '7 Discriminatory (or Deadly) Countries for LGBT People'.

A recent article in The Guardian, written by Lina al-Hathloul – head of monitoring and advocacy at ALQST for Human Rights – is an enlightening read on the reality for female activists in Saudi Arabia. "The international community must hold Saudi Arabia to account for its egregious human rights violations – and not let sportswashing and celebrity partnerships distract from what life is truly like for the kingdom’s citizens," writes the author. 

As an all-female team of writers and photographers, World of Showjumping finds it ethically challenging to promote this year’s Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™️ Final due to the FEI’s choice of host. Those who wish to follow coverage from the final can visit the FEI’s own website.


Editor’s note, added 19 April 2024:

The FEI is the international governing body of equestrian sports, and the FEI Jumping World Cup™️ Final is an FEI-named event (FEI General Regulations art. 105) which in accordance with the FEI Jumping World Cup™️ Rules art. 6 is allocated by the FEI Board upon recommendation from the FEI Jumping Committee. The FEI has overall authority for the final, which is one of its annual flagship events – alongside for example the FEI Championships and the FEI Longines League of Nations™️ Final. 

This separates the FEI Jumping World Cup Final™️ from other CSI events and series which are not FEI-named but FEI approved and sanctioned – such as for example the Global Champions Tour, which is a series approved by the FEI. In the case of non FEI-named events, no allocation is made by the FEI – each individual organiser applies for calendar dates and venues according to the FEI General Regulations

The FEI Statues art. 2.2 (Principles) reads: "The FEI shall encourage and support the promotion of diversity, inclusion and gender equality in sport at all levels and in all structures with a view to implementing the principle of equality."


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