The Endurance Strategic Planning Group, which was set up following a round table session at the FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI) on July 24th, held its first meeting via teleconference on Tuesday, September 10th. The Group, chaired by Andrew Finding (GBR), consists of Dr Brian Sheahan (AUS), Chairman of the FEI Endurance Committee; Jean-Louis Leclerc (FRA); Saeed Al Tayer (UAE); Joe Mattingly (USA); and the FEI’s Ian Williams (Director of Endurance) and Graeme Cooke (Director of Veterinary).
“Together we reviewed the FEI Bureau’s direction to us and considered the mission statement we have been given,” Group Chair Andrew Finding said. “We have all agreed that we are comfortable with accepting that mission statement and working to achieve the objective which is to create an environment within which athletes compete in the spirit of fair play while horses compete in partnership with human athletes where at all times their welfare is of paramount concern. The mission statement says: ‘The strategic plan for Endurance over the decade 2013-2023 will define a global rate of growth for the sport; growth that is manageable and effectively supervised by the FEI and NFs. Increased levels of participation, more events and improved standards are to be encouraged where all NFs, athletes, trainers, officials and organisers adhere to and promote the highest Clean Sport standards and meet the FEI Code of Conduct for the Welfare of the Horse.’
“This was a really good and positive meeting in which all members of the group provided valuable input with a determined commitment. Every member has undertaken to add detail in their area of special insight and knowledge over the next two weeks. We will review this work when we meet for our first face-to-face session in the first few days of October. Progressively through September and October we will develop the draft strategic “Plan in Outline” which we will reveal at the Endurance Session which will take place on November 6th in Montreux (SUI) in the framework of the FEI General Assembly. As we move through our work, Dr Brian Sheahan and Ian Williams will be consulting the FEI Endurance Committee.
“Our aim is to keep the “Plan in Outline” brief, simple and strategic in concept. There will be more work to be done to develop the strategy and then to develop an operational plan; we expect this to be completed after the FEI Endurance Session in November and after we have consulted all National Federations on the strategic approach.”
Dr Brian Sheahan added: “I am very happy. We have already made a big step forward.”