The Endurance Temporary Committee, which has continued to receive a vast amount of feedback from the Endurance community, held its second in-person meeting at FEI Headquarters today to continue working on its remit of carrying out an in-depth review of the discipline rules.
The Committee, which was established by the FEI Board in October last year, has been tasked with bringing the sport back to its original roots of Endurance riding rather than Endurance racing.
FEI President Ingmar De Vos opened today’s meeting, and commended the Committee members on their dedication, both to the discipline and to the task in hand.
Topics discussed included mandatory rest periods, number of entries and staggered starts, crewing outside water points, the appointment and rotation of FEI Officials and rules enforcement.
“I am really encouraged by today’s meeting,” committee chair Dr Sarah Coombs said. “It was extremely productive and, with the combination of the hugely experienced individuals on the committee and the input from the community, I feel we have already made and will continue to make strides towards our goal of improving horse welfare in Endurance.”
The Committee had its first meeting in mid-December last year and has already received Board approval for a change to the Endurance rules to introduce the concept of Severe Injury, with the same sanctions as for a Catastrophic Injury which requires euthanasia. This has been extremely well received throughout the Endurance community and will be implemented from February 1, 2019.
A proposal to test a reduction in maximum heart rates and presentation times at Endurance events held between 1 February and 1 April 2019 has met with mixed reactions from Organising Committees and National Federations hosting events during the two-month test period. Participating organisers would be asked to implement heart rates of 64 bpm for the first vet gate and 60 bpm thereafter, including the final inspection, within 20 minutes.
The Temporary Committee members are Dr Sarah Coombs (GBR), Tarek Taher (KSA), Pieter Wiersinga (NED), Dr Tim Parkin (GBR) and Valerie Kanavy (USA). FEI Vice President Mark Samuel (CAN) also attends the Temporary Committee meetings to facilitate communications between the committee and the FEI Board.
The Temporary Committee will hold its next in-person meeting on February 22, 2019, following a full day of previously scheduled stakeholder consultations. There will be a dedicated Endurance session at the FEI Sports Forum 2019 (April 15-16) at which delegates will be provided with an update by the Temporary Committee as part of the full consultation process prior to voting on proposed Rules amendments at the FEI General Assembly in November.
Separately, the FEI has this week sent out a reminder to Endurance Trainers that significant changes to the FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Rules (EADCMRs) came into force on January 1, 2019. Under the new Rules, automatic provisional suspension will be imposed on the registered Trainer of any horse that tests positive to a Banned Substance or two or more Controlled Medication substances. During the provisional suspension, Trainers would not be able to train or enter horses under their direct or indirect care for either national or international Endurance events.
Information on the Endurance Temporary Committee first in-person meeting is available here.