Dear friends, members, and the greater equestrian community,
First and foremost, I hope you are all well and that you and your loved ones are safe.
We are facing an extraordinary situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have all had to adapt both our personal and our working lives in order to play our role in protecting the health and welfare of our nations. This is our collective responsibility and it must be a priority, but it does come at a cost.
Like all industries, the equestrian sporting world has effectively shut down and many of our members are feeling the impact and the related financial strain as a consequence of the restrictions imposed at national level in countries impacted by the virus. All of this is extremely challenging and I want to reiterate our commitment and our determination to help in any way we can to minimize the effects on each and every individual and organization in our community.
For athletes, your support teams and the nations aiming for Tokyo 2020, this is also extremely challenging as your meticulously planned preparation and training will have to be adapted and modified. I fully appreciate that the uncertainty about the Olympic and Paralympic Games is frustrating, but the FEI is proactively looking at all the measures that will need to be taken in order to guarantee you are given fair and equal opportunities to reach your goals, whilst ensuring that your health and well-being always comes first.
We are fortunate that we have completed our Olympic and Paralympic qualifiers, which is sadly not the case for many other sports, but we must continue our preparations and be flexible where we need to be, such as rescheduling cancelled events and potentially extending the timeline around the Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MER), without modifying the requirements themselves.
The disruption to the FEI Calendar as a result of COVID-19 is not just affecting athletes aiming to achieve their MERs, but also has a major impact on the rankings across all our disciplines. We are monitoring every aspect of the sport and we are taking action wherever needed in order to provide support to our National Federations, our organizers, our athletes, our officials, and the entire equestrian industry.
There will be have to be compromise and it probably won’t be perfect, but we are absolutely committed to finding the very best solution for our community and for our sport, and I sincerely believe that we will.
Resilience, determination, and dedication are synonymous with the equestrian community, and they are the values we will need to embrace now more than ever before in order to overcome the widespread consequences of this global pandemic.
Let me be very clear - the FEI is always here for you. The FEI Headquarters remains fully operational and even though we are working from our homes we will continue to provide all our stakeholders with a professional and proactive service, including regular updates and comprehensive information around COVID-19 and our sport, such as the newly-published FAQ.
How we tackle every day, and how we find solutions together will counterbalance the cost for our community. This sense of solidarity and this dedication is not only our remit and our mission, it is what defines our sport and the FEI Family.
Thank you for your time and please be safe.
Ingmar De Vos
In 2021, Strides for Equality Equestrian (SEE) and the United States Eventing Association (USEA) established the Ever So Sweet Scholarship which provides a fully-funded opportunity for riders from diverse backgrounds to train with five-star eventing Sara Kozumplik Murphy for one season (winter or summer). The scholarship funds cover full board and training costs for one horse, several lessons per week, housing, a stipend for living expenses, competition fees, and coaching at competitions. During the duration of their working student opportunity, participants learn to manage, care for, and compete horses in an immersive program and will have the opportunity to work as part of the team in all aspects of running a large, competitive barn, in addition to making critical professional connections that would otherwise be unattainable.
Reddick, FL - The organizing committee of the Majestic Oaks Ocala H.T. is sad to report that No Limits, Oops a 16-year-old gelding ridden by Aline Briot in the Training Rider division experienced a fall at fence 17 on the cross-country course. The horse received immediate veterinary attention at the fence and was euthanized onsite. Aline Briot was uninjured in the fall.
After two days of competition at the Tryon Spring International Three-Day Event, all short-format divisions (CCI4*-S, CCI3*-S, and CCI1*-S) have concluded the dressage and show jumping phases of competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC). Long format divisions, including the CCI3*-L and CCI4*-L, the first of two CCI4*-L dates hosted in the United States this year – both at TIEC – wrapped up the dressage phase on Friday evening ahead of cross-country competition for all divisions on Saturday, May 14.