The FEI General Assembly has today voted overwhelmingly in favour of the proposed format changes for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020, which will now go to the IOC Executive Board for final approval in 2017.
Under the new proposals, the number of athletes in national teams will be reduced to three, and the drop score, which previously allowed for a team’s worst score to be discarded, will be removed. The use of a reserve combination for teams will remain in place, but will be even more important and will be a key element in ensuring horse welfare.
A total of 11 of National Federations, out of 107 represented, voted against the proposal – Albania, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Latvia, Luxembourg, Monaco, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Romania and Switzerland.
Voting on the proposed sport-specific changes to the three individual Olympic disciplines – Jumping, Dressage and Eventing – was unanimously in favour.
The vote on the Paralympic formats saw one National Federation - Great Britain – against the proposed changes.
“This was a really important vote for the future of our sport if we are to increase universality in accordance with the recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020”, FEI President Ingmar De Vos said after the vote.
“We need to increase the number of participating nations at the Olympic Games but within our existing quota of 200. Reducing team members to three per nation was probably the only way to boost the number of flags. Of course this now has to be approved by the IOC, but it opens the door to countries that previously could only see the Olympics as a distant dream.
“There were some National Federations that didn’t agree with the proposal, but that’s all part of the democratic process. Now we need to work together to make this a success.”
Timeline for finalisation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic formats:
February 2017 – FEI proposals go to the IOC Executive Board
May 2017 – IOC Programme Commission make recommendations to the IOC Executive Board
July 2017 – IOC Executive Board decides on events and quotas
November 2017 – FEI General Assembly in Montevideo (URU) finalises the proposal for qualification procedures (quota distribution and eligibility)