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Wrap-up report from FEI Board meeting

Thursday, 30 September 2021

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping

The first in-person FEI Board meeting since November 2019 took place on 28 and 29 September 2021 at the FEI Headquarters. The main resolutions taken by the FEI Board during these two days are summarised in a document accessible via this link.

On the agenda was an EHV-1 update from FEI Veterinary Director Göran Åkerström, who also provided information on the Federation of European Equine Veterinary Associations' open letter to the European Parliament regarding the subject of antimicrobial resistance. Furthermore, topics included rules revision for 2021 with relevant deadlines, international movement of horses, an Olympic and Paralympic debrief, as well as the Olympics in Paris 2024 and the qualification system for jumping alongside the other relevant disciplines. A selection of the resolutions can be found below. 


EHV-1 update

From the summary:

"FEI Veterinary Director Göran Åkerström reported that there are currently no outbreaks related to FEI events and that the relevant EHV Bylaws which are in force on mainland Europe have been well received and complied with by the community. It was noted that 90% of the athletes and grooms competing in mainland Europe have been using the system as intended for four months. And although athletes have had to adhere to stringent bio security procedures it is important that these protocols continue to be followed to prevent future mass outbreaks.

The bylaws are currently being evaluated to determine which sections should be included in the FEI Veterinary Regulations and be applied worldwide.

As the scientific evidence of the EHV-1 vaccines is currently being evaluated, a proposal for mass vaccination has not been included in the proposed changes to the FEI Veterinary Regulations. While there has been a significant increase in the number of athletes vaccinating their horses against EHV-1, as well as a rise in EHV vaccine sales, a worldwide vaccination campaign would require greater involvement from NFs. Given the current rate of vaccinations this can only be achieved by 2025 given the large numbers of vaccines which still need to be distributed.

As announced on 16 September, sanctions for non-compliance with biosecurity measures for Events taking place on mainland Europe would be introduced as of 1 October 2021. However, the Board agreed that October would be a transition month to reinforce the required procedures within the community with sanctions to be implemented officially as of 1 November."

Rules revision 2021

The Board reviewed the proposed changes to FEI rules and regulations which will be put forward to the vote of the FEI Hybrid General Assembly 2021 in November. The Board tasked the Technical Chairs to discuss/review the blood rules within the discipline-specific rules and Veterinary Regulations in consultation with the Legal Department.

Longines Ranking rules

The Board approved the Longines Rankings Rules effective 1 January 2022. The updates were made in consultation with the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC).

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

From the summary:

"The FEI Veterinary Director provided an explanation of the open letter sent by the Federation of European Equine Veterinary Associations (FEEVA) to the Members of the European Parliament on the subject of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR, which is the gradual resistance of microbes due to the incorrect use of antibiotics, is a major threat to humanity.

An initial motion submitted to the European Parliament called for the designation of antimicrobials solely for humans, but FEEVA argued this would put the health and welfare of all animals at risk and would delay recently approved measures to combat AMR (antimicrobial resistance).

The FEI has lobbied to secure the necessary antimicrobials for the treatment of severe conditions in horses in the future. FEI-approved laboratories have conducted a survey of the use of antimicrobials in FEI EADMCP samples and have found no abuse of these substances at FEI events.

The FEI Veterinary Director informed the Board that the initial motion had subsequently been rejected by the European Parliament."

European Animal Health Law

From the summary:

"The FEI Veterinary Director informed the Board that the implementation of the European Animal Health Law is ongoing. The new Health Certificates for horse movement within the European Union must be used from 17 October 2021 and for arrival of horses into the European Union from 20 October 2021.

Horses competing under the jurisdiction of European Union NFs or the FEI may have a derogation from the standard requirements and be issued a 30-day Health Certificate if they are vaccinated against Equine Influenza in accordance with FEI rules and examined twice annually by a licenced veterinarian. These derogations will be allowed only if vaccinations and examinations information is uploaded into the FEI HorseApp. These module of the FEI HorseApp is currently being tested."

European Animal Transportation

From the summary:

"The EU transport legislation is currently under review and is likely to impact the transportation of competition horses across Europe. The Veterinary Director is in direct contact with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) expert assigned to drafting advice on horse transportation for the European Commission."

Olympic and Paralympic debrief

From the summary:

"Detailed reports reviewing key organisational areas of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games were submitted to the Board. The debriefs contained information on the following topics:

  • Pre-Games / competition preparation;
  • Competitions;
  • Competition officials; 
  • Medical services;
  • Veterinary services;
  • Logistics / Operations / Infrastructure;
  • Media Operations & communications;
  • Social & Digital Communications;
  • Broadcasting - OBS, production / graphics / Observation;
  • Legacy."

Paris 2024

From the summary:

"The Director of Games Operations Tim Hadaway provided an update on planning for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This included a briefing on the new model of delivery whereby Paris 2024 will appoint third party event delivery entities. The tender process to award the contract/s to deliver the equestrian venue at Versailles as well as venue and sport operations is underway and due to be concluded early in 2022. Equestrian will share the venue with Modern Pentathlon and all parties (Paris 2024, FEI and Modern Pentathlon International Federation UIPM) are engaged in ensuring planning for both sports is well integrated."

Olympic qualification system

From the summary:

"The Board had approved the proposed Paris 2024 Equestrian Qualification System for the three Olympic disciplines of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing as well as for Para Dressage in June.

The Board discussed the allocation of qualifying events in the FEI Olympic Groups and invited the relevant Groups to come up with alternatives proposals, if deemed adequate.

The qualification period for Paris 2024 will start in the summer of 2022 with the World Championships in the respective disciplines.

NFs and stakeholders will be asked to submit their feedback on the Qualification system by 15 October 2021 to allow Technical Committees to review the comments before finalising the document in time for the FEI Hybrid General Assembly 2021.

The Board also took note of the suggestion put forward by the Chair of Regional Group VII to only take into consideration the competitions for the Olympic Rankings that are relevant to the Olympic Games."


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