The Endurance Temporary Committee, set up by the FEI Board in October 2018 to review the discipline with the remit of bringing the sport back to its original roots of Endurance riding rather than Endurance racing, has met with a total of 26 stakeholders representing each of the FEI Regional Groups, World Horse Welfare and the Alliance of Endurance Organisers.
The purpose of the meetings was to allow stakeholders to provide the Temporary Committee with feedback on a series of topics, including the qualification system, mandatory rest periods, track design covering natural features, number of loops, access to water and proximity of cars, elimination codes, heart rates and presentation times, weight of athletes, officials, increased sanctions for anti-doping violations, limits on number of starters and continuous crewing.
The European Equestrian Federation (former FEI Groups I and II), together with FEI Group III, was represented in the first of five sessions which took place today.
“It was a very positive meeting and it was very important for those who participated, that they were being asked for their contributions”, said Quentin Simonet (FRA), Chair of the EEF Endurance Working Group. “Our position is that we have to tackle the real problems which concern a fairly limited number of people. There are plenty of places where the sport of endurance is going very well.”
Also at FEI HQ today for meetings with the Temporary Committee were representatives from Groups IV, V, VI, VII, VIII and IX.
World Horse Welfare also met the Committee, together with representatives of the Alliance of Endurance Organisers, an affiliate of the International Equestrian Organisers Alliance.
“We are heartened that the FEI is taking the strong initiative to “take back”, in the FEI President’s words, the sport of endurance, placing far greater emphasis on equine welfare in what has been a rapidly growing, but all too often, controversial discipline”, said Roly Owers, Chief Executive Officer of World Horse Welfare. “We hope the committee will come up with substantive, and in places radical, changes to better protect equine welfare and so secure the future of endurance.”
The Endurance Temporary Committee will hold its third in-person meeting at FEI HQ tomorrow to further discuss the input from today’s stakeholder group meetings and prepare for the FEI Sports Forum 2019 (April 15-16) as the second day will be dedicated to Endurance.