The composition and remit of the FEI Endurance Task Force, announced by the FEI Executive Board on April 8, have been finalized.
The mission of the Task Force is to develop practical solutions to ensure horse welfare and a level playing field at endurance events globally, and to look at deploying modern technology to achieve the goals of equality and integrity in all endurance competitions.
As part of its remit, the Task Force will review a number of initiatives that can offer a workable solution for varying terrains and climatic conditions to ensure they can be implemented globally.
The Task Force will be chaired by FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos, and its members are Brian Sheahan, FEI Endurance Committee chair; Jim Ellis, Equestrian Sports New Zealand Chief Executive; Mohammed Essa Al Adhab, Deputy General Manager Dubai Equestrian Club; Andrew Holmes, legal advisor; and Alain Storme, racing and equestrian sports expert.
Experts from IMG will also be included among the core members of the Task Force. IMG is a global leader in sports management with extensive experience in reviewing and modernizing competition structures in other sports.
The Task Force has a wide range of experience in endurance and racing, as well as operations roll out and technology. In addition, FEI 1st Vice President John McEwen and members of the FEI Veterinary Committee will be on hand in an advisory capacity, and the Task Force also has the mandate to call in, on an ad hoc basis, any other experts that may be required to facilitate its work.
“The Endurance Task Force will be looking at systems that will ensure horse welfare and a level playing field, and the use of modern technology is a key component of that,” said De Vos.
“While it is of course important that we consider the financial systems of our national federations, we cannot compromise on quality,” he continued. “We have to find the formula to ensure that this technology is financially available to all our NFs, including the developing nations, but it is vital that we have the best technological solutions available to ensure enforcement of and compliance with our rules.”
Some of the solutions offered by the Task Force will be ready for implementation in time for the endurance competition at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. The FEI will work closely with the organizing committee in Normandy, and any new systems used at the Games will have been fully tested prior to the event.
The Endurance Task Force will hold its first meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on April 27, the day before the start of the two-day FEI Sports Forum.