The full FEI Eventing Committee report which was released following the FEI General Assembly is available here.
Given the current Covid-19 pandemic situation the Eventing Committee met for monthly videoconference calls between March November 2020, led by the Chair David O’Connor and attended by all the Eventing Committee Members and FEI Eventing Department. The Eventing Committee videoconference calls included many discussions to finding solutions to the ramifications of the Covid-19 virus in order to encourage the organization of eventing competitions, Nations Cup, and Championships.
The different National Governments’ decrees in most countries on Covid-19 countermeasures in regard to mass gatherings and travel restrictions had led to most of eventing competitions being canceled worldwide from March until July 2020. Return-to-play had started to resume from July with most regular events in the calendar taking being organized without spectators and with Government and FEI Return-to-Play policies in place.
The main points discussed during the 2020 Eventing Committee videoconference calls were:
In addition to COVD-related matters, the Eventing Committee discussed:
2020 RULES REVISION
All suggestions for modifications received from National Federations and Stakeholders by March 1, 2020, and falling in one of the revision criteria had been taken into account. New suggestions received after that deadline or not falling in one of the revision criteria would be included as part of the next rules revision process. The 2020 FEI Eventing rules had been reviewed by the Eventing Committee according to the new FEI rules revisions policy.
The Eventing Committee provided the initial proposal for NFs review, and then considered the feedback for recommendations and clarifications for the 2021 Eventing Rules proposal which could not wait for the full revision. The rationale for each proposal was added as per the format agreed by the FEI Board.
It included updates due to last year's rules revision processes, especially in regards to the new education system and the modification of the sanctions system.
The proposals also included: number of individuals at World Individual and Team Championships, ages of ponies, prizemoney distribution, requirements for promotion and maintenance of status, TD General Duties, CD responsibilities, the strengthening of the qualification requirements for less experienced Athletes participating at Higher level Events, official clothing, mandatory protective headgear, permitted and forbidden saddlery, permitted mouthpieces, cheek pieces, and nosebands, water crossings, ground lines on cross-country obstacles, obstacles with alternatives, Annex D Medical Services and qualification requirements for Pony Events. In regards to risk management, it has been decided to maintain the proposal to have mandatory frangible technologies at all levels as of January 1, 2021.
All eventing rule changes which were voted on can be viewed here.
FEI EVENTING RISK MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
The FEI Eventing Risk Management Program including data collection has been ongoing since 2000 and now includes 20 years. The data collected by the Eventing Department includes fence description forms, fall reports, and fence analysis. The amount of data now allows for a significant base for information queries in regard to risk management and all other questions related to qualification and technical issues in the discipline. The effort is substantial however the results are invaluable.
For 2020, the number of competitions had decreased by 51.5%, from 742 in 2019 to 360 (figures at end October 2020) due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation. The number of announced competitions in the calendar in January 2020 was 763 (which would have been an increase of 2.83% compared to 2019). However, more than 50% of the competitions have been canceled.
EVENTING RISK MANAGEMENT POLICY AND ACTION PLAN
1. The ongoing primary commitment of the FEI Eventing Committee is to ensure that the FEI Risk Management Policy and Action plan is endorsed and implemented by all involved in the Sport with the support and dynamic involvement of National Federations, National Safety Officers, Athletes, Officials, Organizers, Owners, and Sponsors.
2. The FEI Eventing Risk Management (NSO) Seminar was organized together with a “Future of the Sport” Forum in Aintree (GBR) in January 2020. A total of 145 participants from 29 countries attended. All sessions of the Forum were live-streamed and are available to watch on replay on the FEI website, which was very appreciated by the eventing community.
The main points of discussion included the future of eventing, the internal structure of the sport, risk management, data and the use of statistics, the safety program, rule changes, dressage tests, the importance of athlete education, cross-country specific items such as course design, the role of officials on cross-country day, Cross-Country Performance Indicator.
The Forum was followed by an NSO Seminar where 67 National Safety Officers and NF representatives from 25 countries participated. The agenda focused on the Risk Management Program update, including discussions on body protectors, rider representative role, frangible devices, horse injuries, etc. In addition, each nation had the opportunity to give a presentation on the Risk Management program in their country.
The FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group met further to the Eventing Risk Management (NSO) Seminar and recommendations were put forward to the Eventing Committee.
3. The 2021 FEI Eventing Risk Management (NSO) Seminar will be organized online due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation. It will be held in January 2021 over two to three days and available to all Eventing Officials and NSOs. The subjects could include: Officials roles during cross-country, education of athletes and coaches, Covid-19 related to risk management, return to play of horses, horse injuries, EquiRatings Horse Form Index, and new technologies
4. Continued work in partnership with EquiRatings® to implement a reviewed and improved Cross-Country Horse performance index (HFI) available in the FEI Database available for Athletes and their NFs. EquiRatings mandate with the FEI also includes specific data analysis for decision making support to the Eventing Committee and Eventing Risk Management Steering Group.
EVENTING RISK MANAGEMENT STATISTICS
EVENTING RISK MANAGEMENT STEERING GROUP (RMSG)
The Risk Management Steering Group Meeting as a subgroup for the Eventing Committee met in January 2020 following the Risk Management Forum and the Eventing Risk Management (NSO) Seminar. An additional member, Dr. Dave Vos (USA) had been nominated, his knowledge and work on the Update of the Frangible Device Standard as well as the video projects were very valuable. Members include: Geoff Sinclair (AUS) (Chair), Mike Etherington-Smith (GBR), Jonathan Holling (USA), Rob Stevenson (CAN), Gert Naber (NED), Staffan Lidbeck (SWE), Laurent Bousquet (FRA), and Dave Vos (USA)
In addition, conference calls took place in August and September to discuss the following points: · Qualification Criteria / Higher Level Events: Increased MERs for CCI5*-L competitions to be adapted depending on the athlete category
EVENTING SERIES AND CHAMPIONSHIPS:
FEI Eventing Nation’s Cup Series: In 2020, the Eventing Nations Cup season was challenged by travel and border restrictions due to Covid-19. Six (6) out of the eight (8) originally allocated legs were cancelled. Montelibretti (ITA) offered to run the last leg, after ITA had to cancel Pratoni, ultimately comprising a three-legged Series: Strzegom (POL), Le Pin au Haras (FRA) and Montelibretti (ITA). To date, 10 nations had competed in two events and the final classification would be decided at the last event in Montelibretti (ITA).
Following the Eventing Committee recommendation to adapt the overall 2020 Nations Cup Classification, agreed by the FEI Board as follows: If three or above Nations Cup Events take place: a classification would be made end 2020 of the best team based on the two best event results.
In 2021, further to the reallocation of the 2020 Events to 2021 and possibility additional applications to be reviewed by the FEI Board taking in account the financial situation, the 2021 FEI Eventing Nations Cup Series would include the same number of events as planned in 2020 taking place on a monthly basis from April to October 2021.
EDUCATION OF OFFICIALS
The regular Education Programs for Officials in Eventing were highly impacted by Covid-19 travel restrictions:
a) The Official Exchange Program - Eventing had 12 Officials enrolled, but only one had been able to travel in 2020 and officiate within the program.
b) The Course Calendar 2020 and the regular training courses for all four categories of Eventing Officials were affected: two in-person courses for J/TD/CD could take place, one in POR and one in POL, whilst the Stewards could join only one in-person course, in POL.
The Overall Course Directors Conformity seminar took place in Lausanne in February 2020, and the following topics were discussed:
- The in-person courses themes highlighted for 2020 – in addition to the actual Syllabus:
- Review of the 2020 Rules changes, with emphasis on:
- Frangibles/MIM (understanding of correct fitting)
- Serious incident management
- The reinforcement of the role of President of the Ground Jury, the review of GJ Members roles, the TD’s cross-country involvement and expertise, and the Course Designers increased responsibility during cross-country.
The 2021 course calendar looked promising, with eight in-persons courses planned for J/TD/CD in AUS, BLR, BRA, FRA, GER, ITA, and USA and seven for Stewards, in AUS, BRA, COL, FRA, HUN, SWE, and USA. Three additional requests to host in-person courses of national level were also received from AUS, BRA, and RUS.
Based on the RMSG recommendations, the Eventing Department worked with several officials on the production of video clips/webinars on various topics such horse welfare, dangerous riding, fence judge function, coach and athlete education, etc. to be posted on FEI Campus. The idea was to have short, comprehensive, and educative clips on important topics available for the eventing community, and made by experienced eventing officials.
One of my passions is continuing to be a good student, because I think no matter how old I get, there are multiple reasons learning new things inspires me. First and foremost, it helps me be a better rider and trainer, so my horses benefit. Second, it helps me be a better teacher by exposing me to different ways to have a relationship with a horse or a student.
This month we’re going to begin a three-part series on how to create positive riding experiences by making sure the words you say to yourself and the thoughts you think to yourself are positive. Referred to as self-talk, internal dialogue, or brain babble; the words you say to yourself can have a huge impact on your performance. In fact, your thoughts and voice are actually considered behaviors, and just like how positive physical behaviors (i.e. a balanced transition) can create success, your verbal behaviors can also accomplish the very same thing. So let's spend the next few months talking about how to talk to yourself!
Being spontaneous has paid off for Kevin Keane and Sportsfield Candy. “I bought him on a Wednesday and showed him on a Thursday,” Keane recalls about his first event with his Irish Sport Horse gelding, then 9 years old, at Plantation Field Horse Trials (Unionville, Pennsylvania) in September 2016. “I owned him for part of a day, and the next morning I showed up at a CCI and jogged him up for a two-star, and we went clean and clean and clean.”
THANK YOU to everyone who has already entered the USEF/USEA Recognized CDCTA Spring Horse Trials scheduled for Sunday, April 9 in Berryville, VA. We will continue to take late entries through Friday, March 24 using USEA’s Xentry system. If you still want to come compete, please enter! The late fee has been waived through Friday, March 24.