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Paris 2024 Olympic qualification system to be key part of the discussion at the FEI Hybrid General Assembly 2022

Tuesday, 18 October 2022
FEI

 

Text © World of Showjumping

 


 

The FEI Hybrid General Assembly 2022 takes place in Cape Town, South Africa, from November 10 to 13, and the meeting documents are now available online.  

The General Assembly (GA) is the supreme authority of the FEI, where each of the 137 National Federations (NFs), covering six disciplines, has the right to participate and vote. This year, the Paris 2024 Olympic qualification system will yet again be a key part of the discussions.  

Paris 2024 Olympic qualification system

The proposed rule changes for Paris 2024 include the order of the competitions, the draw for the horse inspection and the starting order, the judgement of the competitions, horse and athlete minimum eligibility criteria (MER) as well as other adjustments. Significant changes are also suggested to the rules for the Olympic Ranking. 

The FEI proposes to return to the order of competitions prior to Tokyo, with the team events running before the individuals: “The Jumping Committee supports the proposal to hold the Team Competitions before the Individual Competitions. A second training session is added before the Individual Competitions as the Team and Individual Competitions are considered separate Competitions,” the proposal reads. 

When it comes to the MERs, the Jumping Committee proposes the following: “(…) the MERs must be obtained in Grand Prix, Nations Cup or World Cup competitions with a minimum height of 1m55. Special Qualifying Competitions will not be allowed. MERs for the Olympic Games can no longer be obtained in competitions with a height of 1m50.” 

The Jumping Committee also proposes to appoint an additional judge to meet the Jumping Rules requirements for Olympic Games, suggesting that jumping should have six Ground Jury members (President, four members and one limb sensitivity judge). 

Furthermore, significant changes have been proposed to the rules for the FEI Olympic Ranking. To be taken into account for the Olympic Ranking, the points obtained must be in competitions counting for the Longines Rankings “(…) provided that the height of the competition is at least 1.50m (…)” – which means the Jumping Committee suggests upping the level from the previous version of the rules. The point scale used is also suggested adjusted by the Jumping Committee, that propose a change in the scale of points for competitions with 10-14 and 5-9 number of riders ranked. “(…) Athletes participating at Events with very low levels of participation should earn significantly less ranking points,” the FEI Jumping Committee writes in a comment to the proposed rule changes. 

A summary of the proposed changes to the Paris 2024 Olympic Regulations –  together with the corresponding explanations, the comments received as well as the reasoning for accepting or not accepting each proposal – can be found here. A summary of the proposed changes to the FEI Olympic Ranking can be found here.

FEI Jumping Rules 

There is also a proposal to change the FEI Jumping Rules article 241 concerning eliminations, to the following wording:

“The President of the Ground Jury (or in the absence of the President of the Ground Jury from the Ground Jury box, the Ground Jury Member designated by the President of the Ground Jury to take over the running of the Competition in their absence) may, in their sole discretion, ring the bell (or instruct another Ground Jury member to ring the bell) to eliminate an Athlete/Horse combination while a round is ongoing if the President of the Ground Jury (or their designee) decides that it would be contrary to the principles of horse welfare to allow the combination to continue the round. The decision to eliminate is final and not subject to appeal or protest.”

In their feedback to the NFs comments on the modifications, the FEI writes that: “If this new rule appears to be problematic in its implementation during 2023, it could be reviewed for 2024.”

A proposal from the Equestrian Organisers to increase the entry fees regulated in Annex VI – CSI/CSIO Requirements 2. Additional CSI Requirements for Europe and North America is also discussed, with the FEI proposing to increase the maximum entry fee per horse. “In 2017 it was agreed with all relevant stakeholders that minimum prize money and the maximum entry would evolve according to the inflation rate. This has been applied for the prize money but it has been omitted for the maximum Entry Fees. In order to make the necessary corrections it was decided to increase the maximum entry fees, as stated in Annex VI. 2 for Europe in 10% of its amount,” the FEI writes in their proposal.

A summary of the proposed changes to the FEI Jumping Rules – together with the corresponding explanations, the comments received as well as the reasoning for accepting or not accepting each proposal – can be found here.

FEI General Regulations

In the proposal to rule modifications in the FEI General Regulations, the FEI suggest major changes to article 112 concerning the official calendar: “The FEI suggests to include a Rule giving the FEI Secretary General the power to decline to enter an event in the FEI Calendar (or to subsequently remove it) if the FEI Secretary General reasonably believes that the entity/person(s) involved in the management of the event have been involved with an event at that venue (or another venue) where the financial obligations of the OC to the Athletes, FEI Officials or the FEI were not met. The FEI could impose certain conditions (e.g. escrow account/deposit) in order to accept the event in the FEI Calendar.” 

The FEI also suggest changes to the calendar application procedure and consequences of cancellations of jumping events, with calendar application fees and calendar application deposits.

Comments regarding this proposal, received by 24 August 2022, include the European Equestrian Federation (EEF): “A significant number of EEF Member NFs are very concerned about the proposed deposits for Jumping OCs as it is felt that this would create a significant challenge for OCs that would have to pay the deposits in the beginning of the year before any cashflow is generated through the event itself later in the year. However, the EEF Board decided not to oppose the proposal because the Equestrian Organizers (EO), the stakeholder club speaking on behalf of all OCs, is supportive of the proposed deposit payments.”

While the German NF has supported the proposed changes, the Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, Italian, Belgian and Austrian NFs have given mostly opposing feedback, with the Dutch NF commenting: “Although we understand the need to get a grip on organizers who frequently cancel their high level events, we feel that this measure is out of proportion. It will cause an extra burden on NF’s in regards to the administrative work but foremost it will be a lot of extra work in chasing the organizers to make the deposit in time. Although we understand the consequence is for the organizer when the event will not get in the calendar due to a nonpayment, the route towards that point, will only rest on the NF. We feel it would be better to take actions towards organizers who are known to do this, which will be possible with the new possibility for the Secretary General to refuse any event in the calendar if it deems necessary.” 

In their feedback to the NFs, the FEI writes: “Given the various and mixed comments from the National Federations and Stakeholders where on one hand there is support on most of the proposed changes (including support from the Equestrian Organizers) but on the other hand some National Federations disagree on some of the proposals, the FEI proposes to discuss during the Rules Session at the FEI General Assembly. In the meantime, the FEI suggests to keep the wording as per the Memo on 6 July 2022, except for art. 112.3 where it is suggested to add that the Secretary General will consult with the NF (see the wording below) when deciding to remove a Competition from the FEI Calendar and/or not accept a Competition in the FEI Calendar.”

The FEI also suggests a more detailed wording to article 164.7 regarding suspension: “Currently the definition of Suspension only specifically mentions Athletes, Horses, and Officials. However, other persons, such as Trainers, Support Personnel can be suspended as well and therefore it is suggested to clarify the wording so that there is no doubt that the consequences of a suspension apply to all persons serving a Suspension.”

All the proposed changes to the FEI General Regulations 2023 that will be voted on at the FEI General Assembly 2022 as well as proposed changes that have been rejected or referred to a future rules revision can be found here.

Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes

In the proposed changes to the Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes, the FEI Board recommends the following: “(…) that the FEI joins the Court of Arbitration for Sport Anti-Doping Division (CAS ADD), meaning that any references to the FEI Tribunal shall be changed to CAS ADD. Thus, the CAS ADD shall be responsible to lift a Provisional Suspension, to impose an ineligibility period (if any) and to disqualify the results.” 

A summary of the proposed changes to the Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes – the corresponding explanations, the comments received as well as the reasoning for accepting or not accepting each proposal – can be found here

FEI Veterinary Regulations

Multiple changes to the Veterinary Regulations are also proposed. For article 1008, the FEI suggests enforcing a closure of the FEI stables area for six consecutive hours overnight. The explanation for this suggestion from the FEI reads: “An additional point has been added to paragraph 6 in order to ensure that there is a scientifically supported minimum period of quiet and low light in the stables enabling horses to sleep. In addition, the change should facilitate the working conditions for grooms by ensuring a minimum break for sleep during the night.” 

Changes have also been suggested to Annex VI concerning sanctions in case of FEI Veterinary Regulation violations: Persons and/or their pets urinating in stables/loose boxes can be fined with CHF100 per offence, while repeated offences may lead to exclusion from the venue. 

All the suggested changes to the FEI Veterinary Regulations can be found here.



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