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Federation Equestre Internationale News

FEI General Assembly

Paris, 16-22 April 2004

A record number of National Federations took part in the 2004 FEI General Assembly hosted by the French Equestrian Federation. The six days of meetings (16 through 21 April) were held in a cooperative and friendly atmosphere.

In connection with the General Assembly, both the Bureau and the Executive Board met twice. A total of 26 different meetings took place throughout the week, which represents the highest number of meetings ever organised in the framework of an FEI General Assembly.


In her welcome address, the FEI President emphasised the efforts in the field of development. Furthermore, she expressed her satisfaction at the improved dialogue between the NFs delegates, the Bureau and the FEI secretariat.

More than 200 delegates representing 95 NFs (86 present, 9 by proxy) attended the General Assembly.


Three new National Federations were warmly welcomed to the FEI - the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (MKD) - Group I, the Cayman Islands (CAY) - Group IV, and Sri Lanka (SRI) - Group VIII, thus bringing the number of FEI member federations to 133.


A number of modifications to the Statutes were approved in order to modernise the FEI as an International Sports Federation. Among these were the following:

- A new procedure to prepare the technical rules and regulations and the Veterinary regulations, involving the National Federations at a much earlier stage and giving them a greater influence in the working phase. - Certain strengthening of the FEI Secretariat's role in running the sport
- New legal procedure to deal with positive medication cases (see also Judicial)


- The introduction of much simpler and effective rules to manage the FEI International calendar of events.
- The introduction of the World Anti Doping Code

Paralympic Equestrian

The General Assembly accepted Paralympic Equestrian as an FEI special discipline. The rules and regulations will be discussed during 2004 to be implemented in 2005. The Equestrian element of the 2004 Paralympic Games will be organised as in the past by the International Paralympic Committee and the International Paralympic Equestrian Committee.


The Treasurer reported on the 2003 results, which were much better than anticipated. The surplus of CHF 1.28 million was allocated to Operating Funds.
The operating budgets for 2004 and 2005 were approved.

The proposed progressive increase in financial charges (unchanged since 2003), the passport fees and minimum organising dues, which had been agreed to by the International Equestrian Organisers Alliance (IEOA), was accepted.

The Medication Control minimum fee in Group I and II will be increased in 2005 in order to expand the programme and ensure a clean sport.


The Treasurer Guilherme Sarmento (BRA) was re-elected for a second term of four years

Dr Alexandr Machkevitch (KAZ) was elected Chairman of Group III succeeding outgoing Bureau Member Elena Petushkova (RUS) for a three-year term of office*

Chairman of Group VII Shael Bin Khalifa Al Kuwari (QAT) was re-elected for a second term (2004-2007)*

Kate Jackson (USA) was elected Chairman of Group IV, succeeding outgoing Bureau Member Jane Forbes Clark (USA)

Dr Douk-Kee Ahn (KOR) was re-elected as Chairman of Group VIII

Ernst Holtz (RSA) was re-elected as Chairman of Group IX

Richard C.V. Nicoll (USA) was elected Chairman of the Driving Committee succeeding outgoing Bureau Member Jack Pemberton (CAN) for a three-year term
of office*

Hallvard Sommerseth (NOR) was re-elected Chairman of the Endurance Committee for a second term of three years *

Ken Lalo (ISR) was re-elected Chairman of the Judicial Committee for a second term of three years *

Yolanda Matallana (COL) was elected Chairman of the Children's Committee, replacing outgoing Chairman Noel Vanososte (VEN) for a three-year term of office*

The following Committee members were elected:
- Finance: Jonas Carl-Gustav Borup* (FIN) and Marc Damiens (FRA)
- Judicial Committee: Eric Elstad (NOR), Philip O'Connor (IRL) and Jean Zlatiev (FRA) were re-elected

*Note: Further to the cancellation of 2003 General Assembly, the terms of several Bureau Members and members of the Finance and Judicial Committee was
extended by one year. Consequently, the incoming members will serve a shortened term of three years.


In the Bureau Meeting following the General Assemby, the Chairman of Group II, Frank Schreve, was appointed to the Executive Board, replacing outgoing Chairman of Group IV Jane Forbes Clark (USA).


Ms Minako Furuoka (JPN) replaced Mr Ernst Holtz (RSA) as member of the Dressage Committee;

Lt-Col Gerry Mullins (IRL) was re-elected as member of the Jumping Committee;

Mr Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) replaced Mr Emile Hendrix (NED) as the riders' representative on the Jumping Committee;

Mr David O'Connor (USA) replaced Dr Giuseppe Della Chiesa (ITA) as member of the Eventing Committee. Dr Della Chiesa was confirmed as a co-opted member
for 2004-2003 in order to continue his consultancy work for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, the Eventing Safety Programme and the Eventing World Cup;

Mr Carl Bouckaert (BEL) will replace Mr Eddy Stibbe (AHO) as the riders' representative on the Eventing Committee;

Baron Wolf von Buchholtz (ARG) will replace Mr Richard Nicoll (USA) on the Driving Committee;

Messrs Allan Renner (AUS) and Pierre Cazes (FRA) joined the Endurance Committee in replacement of outgoing members Horst Mueller (GER) and Faisal Seddiq M. Samea Al Mutawa (UAE) respectively;

Ms Emma Drinker (USA) replaced outgoing member Ms Ana Maria Fernanda Shaw (ARG) on the Vaulting Committee.


The following Championships were allocated:
- 2005 European Young Rider and Junior Jumping Championship to Schaffhausen (SUI) - change of location
- 2005 Pan American Endurance Championship to Argentina, at a place and date to be confirmed


Konstantinos Meimaridis, Equestrian Venue Manager, and Nikolas Karidis, Equestrian Competition Manager, presented the last report by the Athens Organising Committee (ATHOC) before the opening of the Games in August 2004.


The Organising Committee of the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen (GER) reported for the first time before the FEI General Assembly.


The 1st Vice President Freddy Serpieri presented the Development Activity report for 2002 and 2003. Both years were very satisfactory given that the FEI World Challenge Series improved noticeably. In 2003, 655 riders took part in Dressage and 891 in Jumping.

The Development working group created in 2003 and led by Lt-Col Gerry Mullins presented the pillars of the new FEI strategy in the field of Development during a very well attended workshop:
- Creation of a basic structure for developing NFs;
- Creation of a universal structure for coaching by using competition oriented interactive adult education communications techniques.

Yassine Yousfi from Olympic Solidarity made an extensive presentation of the organisation's activities during the development workshop that took place prior to the Assembly.


The proposed outline of the FEI Strategic Plan 2010 was described.

All the parties involved in the sport will be consulted in the preparation of the Final draft to be presented to the 2005 General Assembly.


The recently appointed FEI Commercial Director Christophe Troendle (SUI) presented his first report to the General Assembly. The first priorities of the Commercial Division are the following:
- Development of a clear brand strategy
- Activation of existing network
- Centralisation of marketing and TV rights

The project of a monthly TV magazine "FEI Equestrian World" was also presented.


The General Assembly approved the Invitation system for CSI events, which was developed by the Jumping Committee in cooperation with the Strategic Planning Committee, in consultation with the International Equestrian Organisers Alliance (IEOA). It will affect 3-4 stars events and come into effect on 1 January 2005.

The proposal by the Jumping Committee for a new format for the Jumping Competition at Olympic Games was endorsed by the Assembly. The aim of the format is to make the Jumping Olympic competition more attractive for both the public and TV viewers.

Pamela Carruthers, the famous course designer, received an FEI Special Recognition for Outstanding Services at the FEI Prize Giving Ceremony.

The General Assembly also approved the rules relating to the registration of sponsored teams.


The objectives for the discipline, as defined by the Dressage Committee are:
Transparency, Globalisation and Fairness. In this frame, the following actions are being undertaken:
- New judge education programme
- Study new ways of judging based on other Olympic disciplines
- Redistribution of wild cards for the World Cup Final to ensure universality
- A Judges handbook is being developed
- Fashion designers were contacted in view of initiating a reflection on the Dressage uniform
- A Forum on Freestyle will be organised at the end of the year

Joep Bartels, who is retiring this year, received an FEI recognition for his untiring efforts as World Cup Director. The FEI World Cup Dressage will now be managed from the Dressage Department of the FEI Secretariat.


It was confirmed that Eventing would consist of two categories of competitions: the Three Day Events (CCIs) and One Day Events (CICs) as per current rules.
1. Three Day Events (CCIs) can be run with or without steeplechase. 2. One day Events (CIC) are preparatory events for the CCIs.
3. World Cup events will continue to run under special regulations.

Safety programme:
The collection of statistics which was started 2 years ago is providing very useful information for the future development of safety measures for the sport

The proposal to encourage a new under 25 category of events to cover the gap of progression of the Young riders from the 2 to 3 star level was supported.

Slight modifications in qualifications procedures were approved, the general principles being maintained.

The Chairman of the Eventing Committee expressed his satisfaction at the successful launch of the FEI Eventing World Cup in 2003.


The 9th edition of the Driving Rules, including a new Dressage test and to be enforced on 1 January 2005 was approved.


The 6th edition of the Endurance Rules to be enforced on 1 January 2005 was approved.

An Advisory Veterinary Sub Committee for Endurance was created. The new rules further develop the standards recently introduced to continue the raising of the levels of welfare.


A part of the Forum held before the General Assembly was devoted to the Vaulting discipline. Two main aspects were put forward: first, the part the sport plays in familiarising young children with horses; and second, the high level competition, emphasising the essential role of the impulsion given by the horse to the vaulters' movements.

The 6th edition of the Vaulting Rules to be enforced on 1 January 2005 was approved.


The modifications to the Rules for Pony Eventing, approved by the Bureau in December 2003, were endorsed.


The first rule book for Children was created 20 years ago.
A total of 540 riders took part in the 2003 FEI Children's International Jumping Competition, which proves the healthy level the series has reached.


The 2003 Medication Control Annual Report was reported to the Assembly. A total of 2162 horses worldwide was tested in 2003 (an increase of 11%) with a rate of positives of 2.5%.

The Chairman of the Veterinary Committee also reported on the progress being made in Endurance research.

The General Assembly approved the following recommendations of the Veterinary Committee:
- The use of Regumate for mares will be permitted in FEI competitions under certain conditions. Regumate is a method to regulate abnormal oestrus behaviour.
- The threshold for salicylates in urine and blood is to be reduced following an extensive study conducted of 650 medication control samples - Some minor modifications to the Horse Inspection protocol (article 1011 of the Veterinary Regulations; see FEI website)
- Twice yearly booster vaccinations against equine influenza will be required from 1 January 2005


ILPH complimented the work of the FEI to enhance the welfare of the horse. A presentation illustrating the vision of the ILPH "A World where horses are used but never abused" was made before the Assembly.


The procedure for dealing with positive Medication cases was explained.
The principle for a new FEI legal procedure including a "fast track" to handle the minor cases and the involvement of experts for more complicated cases was approved.

A procedure for an early publication of positive cases in order to provide clarity about the testing and legal processes will be established.


Further to a request from several countries, the General Assembly endorsed the decision of the Executive Board to approve Horseball as a recognised regional discipline. This very collective sport is played in a number of countries of Europe.


In his presentation, the President of the World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses, Jan Pedersen, emphasised the need for cooperation with National Federations to ensure the publication of breeding information on starting list and results.


The 9 FEI Geographical Groups met on the morning of 19 April. Groups I and II held a joint session in the afternoon, as well as the members of the Pan American Equestrian Confederation and the Asian Equestrian Federation.

The day prior the Assembly, a very successful Forum was organised with two main themes: the revision of the FEI Statutes and General Regulations as well as the Vaulting discipline.

Two Workshops were also organised:
. Development Workshop dedicated to Olympic Solidarity, FEI coaching system and FEI World Challenge.
. Veterinary Workshop: dedicated to health regulations and quarantine issues.


A number of organisations the FEI closely cooperates with sent their representatives to Paris: the World Breeding Federation of Sport Horses (WBFSH), Olympic Solidarity, the Association of the Summer Olympic Sports Federations (ASOIF), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA); the International Paralympic Equestrian Committee (IPEC);

The International Equestrian Organisers Alliance (IAEO) sent several representatives to Paris. The representatives of the International Jumping and Dressage Riders Clubs were also in attendance and announced the constitution of the new United Equestrian Athletes Association comprising the riders of all three Olympic disciplines.


The Bureau accepted the invitation of the British Federation to host the 2005 General Assembly in London (GBR) at a date to be confirmed.

The FEI would like to thank the French Equestrian Federation and its President, Mrs Jacqueline Reverdy for the excellent preparation of all the meetings and their generous hospitality.


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