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April 8, 2014

FEI Endorses ESPG Recommendations

The Fédération Equestre Internationale Bureau is taking the conclusions and recommendations of the Endurance Strategic Planning Group extremely seriously and has assumed full responsibility for the delivery of clear measures that will bring about a long-term solution to issues within the FEI’s fastest growing discipline.

Following receipt of the ESPG’s final report and recommendations at FEI Headquarters, FEI President HRH Princess Haya has expressed her thanks to the ESPG members and particularly the group’s chairman Andrew Finding for his outstanding work and leadership throughout the process.

The ESPG conclusions and the outcome of discussions during the General Assembly in Montreux, Switzerland, and the Endurance Conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, clearly demonstrate the need for further improvement of the rules but also that enforcement of the rules at events is critical. Officials play a crucial role in rules enforcement, and the FEI is aware of the need to support officials in fulfilling their duties but also to guarantee their integrity to ensure a level playing field.

The Endurance Committee is currently working on the rules revision that will be presented at the FEI Sports Forum at the end of April.

However, the FEI Executive Board is keen to explore other possible initiatives to ensure that the ESPG recommendations offer a workable solution for all terrains and all climatic conditions. In light of this, the two FEI Vice Presidents John McEwen and Pablo Mayorga, and FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos met with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed on March 30 to discuss the issues.

HH Sheikh Mohammed, the current world endurance champion, expressed his appreciation of the work done by the ESPG and offered his full support for all further initiatives that will guarantee a level playing field for the sport. During the meeting it was agreed that the use of modern technology and an overhaul of operations at endurance events are key to solving the issues that have affected the sport.

Following the meeting, the FEI Executive Board, with the full support of HH Sheikh Mohammed, has agreed to create a task force that will work on developing practical solutions to ensure a level playing field at endurance events globally.

The task force will be composed of representatives from the FEI Endurance Committee, the FEI Executive Board and from FEI Headquarters, as well as external experts such as IMG, global leader in sports management with extensive experience in reviewing and modernizing competition structures in other sports. The task force will soon start work, and its remit will include examining the use of modern technology and enhancing operational solutions.

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