FEI Presidential nominee highlights unrest over performance of FEI and signals the need for a fresh approach. The FEI is not meeting the needs of National Federations and there is unrest over the way in which a range of issues are currently handled.

These are among the key findings from a 100-day Listening Programme, conducted by Henk Rottinghuis and published today in the Presidential nominee’s Analysis, called ‘A Fresh Approach to Create a Space for the Sport’. See the full copy here.

Other conclusions contained in the Analysis include:

• Overall – The FEI has lost its image and authority due to self-inflicted incidents.

• Appeal of the Sport – The FEI is not meeting the professional standards organisers and riders require from it.

• Appeal of the Sport – Some non-Olympic disciplines question the support of the FEI in developing their discipline.

• Development – A proper structure including the assistance of established federations is lacking.

• Development – The FEI lacks the urge to globalise the sport quickly.

• Horse welfare – The discussion on horse welfare is confined to clean sport issues. The FEI does not gather enough scientific and conclusive evidence before announcing key decisions.

• Volunteers – Due to the spectacular growth of international events over the past 10 years (4x), there is more and more need for volunteers. The FEI needs to re-evaluate its relationship with volunteers in order to gain maximum benefit from their enthusiasm and contribution.

• Organisation – The FEI lacks transparency and is not held fully accountable for the decisions it makes. The organisation needs a new board structure that effectively represents and is answerable to all its members.

• Organisation – There are too many rules and too many new initiatives being introduced into the sport, without having had a chance to implement the existing ones.

Mr Rottinghuis conducted a formal survey asking for views and feedback on the FEI from National Federations and Associate Members.  He has also sought the views of a wide range of people within the sport, through face-to-face meetings, emails and phone calls, all with the aim of making his 100-day Listening Programme as comprehensive as possible.

The survey, independently conducted by professional research company Tree London, was sent independent of Mr. Rottinghuis to the FEI, National Federations and Associate Members.

The full Analysis has been posted on Mr. Rottinghuis’ website: http://www.henkforfei.org/, where his is inviting feedback on an anonymous basis.

Commenting on his report, Mr. Rottinghuis said: “There is a huge passion and enthusiasm for our sport that transcends disciplines, regions and countries. My Analysis is in no way intended to be a direct criticism of those who have worked so hard to make our sport a growing success. They should be proud of their contribution.  But any Analysis of this kind has to be critical if it is going to produce improvements in the way things are done.

“I believe we have to listen to what is being said and then actually act on that feedback, so we create the momentum that our fast pace sport demands. 

“That’s why I hope people will feel free to comment on the findings of my Analysis – whether they agree with them or not. These views will help shape my Agenda which I will publish in late September and on which I will stand for the Presidency. This  Agenda will set out the actions and approach I will take if elected President of the FEI.”