During its monthly teleconference meeting today, April 15, the Fédération Equestre Internationale Bureau decided to review the composition of the Endurance Task Force following comments received from a number of national federations.
The two UAE representatives, Mohammed Essa Al Adhab and Andrew Holmes, will be removed from the task force. They will be replaced by Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, chair of FEI Regional Group VII, who has a full understanding of the situation in the Middle East, and Frank Kemperman, a hugely experienced event organizer, including endurance, who will be able to assist in the understanding of how new technology and procedures can be deployed in the field of play.
The revised composition of the Endurance Task Force is as follows: FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos will chair, and its members are Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa; Brian Sheahan, FEI Endurance Committee chair; Frank Kemperman; Jim Ellis, Equestrian Sports New Zealand chief executive; and Alain Storme, racing and equestrian sports expert.
Experts from IMG will also be included amongst 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. Additionally, the task force will work closely with FEI 1st Vice President John McEwen and members of the FEI Veterinary Committee in an advisory capacity, and the Endurance Task Force will also have the option of calling in, on an ad hoc basis, any other experts that may be required to facilitate its work.
“Throughout the process of seeking a solution to the issues we are facing in endurance we have worked very closely with our national federations, and when any of them have flagged up something we have taken that on board,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said. “We have received comments from some NFs that they do not agree with the composition of the task force and the Bureau has today agreed to review that following this feedback. Self-policing is a sign of good governance and feedback from our national federations is important to us.”
During today’s teleconference meeting the Bureau also expressed its thanks to Meydan for its offer to fund the work of the Endurance Task Force, but stated that it was preferable that Meydan was not involved in this process.
The Bureau understood and respected the decision by Meydan to withdraw its sponsorship of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games due to its position as a regulator in Dubai for equestrian sports, and welcomed the news that a replacement sponsor had been found. Sponsorship by the SOBHA Group, a multinational, multiproduct group headquartered in Bangalore, India, will be considered for formal approval by the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Board on April 17.