FEI online General Assembly 2020 - smoothly and quickly run and strong Europeans amongst the appointed and elected candidates

23.11.2020 - EEF News

Like many other organizations before due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the FEI had to use technological services in order to fulfil its statuary duty of holding the General Assembly which was held online for 2020. The first part of the GA was dedicated to membership, approval of minutes, reports and the revised budget 2020 and the budget 2021.
When it came to membership the suspension of the UAE national federation from all FEI Disciplines until 31st of December 2020 was ratified by the General Assembly. Concerning the finances, the FEI has been hit hard by the Covid-19-implications. The foreseen loss of approximately eight millions Swiss franks in the revised budget 2020 should nevertheless be too alarming for the time being, considering the FEI´s reserves. The budget 2021 with a 40% reduction in operational revenues foresees a loss of approximately one million Swiss franks and assumes that the equestrian activities will pick up again in the spring of 2021 and still a very difficult indoor season for 2020/2021 in light of the restrictions imposed for mass gathering competitions. For the most part of revenues and expenses the FEI is directly depending on the international equestrian activities.

Whilst the spotlight of the FEI Rules and Regulations revisions had been on human and equine anti-doping regulations, the discipline rules modifications had been of minor dimension. The full revision of the FEI Jumping rules has been announced for 2021 and will be treated accordingly at the occasion of the FEI Sports Forum (19-20th April 2021).

Regarding appointments and elections, many European candidates were going strong and not too many of the vacant positions were contested.
Thus, none of the regional group chairs (term 2020-2024) were contested. Mark Samuel (CAN) for Group IV, Jack Huang (TPE) for Group VIII both non-contested and re-elected. Brigitte Mathias (NAM) has been elected Chair of Group IX, whilst the outgoing chair, Mary Binks (KEN) has been elected as her deputy Chair later on.
The newly elected Chairs of Vaulting, Para Equestrian and Medical Committee have become now - following the approval of the FEI GA 2019 - full members of the Board. These are for Vaulting: Pavla Krauspe (SVK) who replaced the outgoing John Eccles (GBR) (who stood for re-election),  Amanda Bond (HKG) non-contested and re-elected for the Para Equestrian Committee and Mark Hart (USA) non-contested and re-elected for the Medical Committee.

The new establishment of the Endurance committee and the election of its Chair provoked clearly the most candidatures. 4 candidates run for the chair position, 17 candidates for being members of the committee. As three of the chair position candidates were also amongst the candidates for the committee members, the GA had first to decide on the chair, so that the FEI board could appoint the members in their meeting following the GA 2020. Hence, the GA had to elect the chair out of three candidates (QAT, ESP and FRA), as the Belgium candidate had been withdrawn from the list being currently suspended,. With 59 out of 102 total possible votes, the French candidate Christian Lozano had been elected.
After Janice Shardlow (GBR) being elected Chair of Audit & Compliance Committee (term 2020-2024) replacing the Irish Brian Mangan having served from the maximum of three terms from 2009-2020, the Zambian Theola Barclay had been elected and not the Cypriote candidate Polyviou for 2020-2022.

Also for the term 2020-2024, Monique Archer (BAR) has been elected as Deputy Group Chair IV, Kimihiro Okubo (JPN) as Deputy Group Chair VIII.

On beforehand of the GA, at the occasion of their online meeting on Wednesday, 18th November, the FEI Board appointed in agreement with the recommendations of the Technical Committees and Nominations Committee as follows : 
FEI Jumping Committee member 2020-2024: Diane Baxter (RSA)
FEI Dressage Committee member 2020-2024: Monica Theodorescu (GER)
FEI Eventing Committee member 2020-2024: Pierre Le Groupil (FRA)
FEI Driving Committee member 2020-2024:Benjamin Aillaud (FRA)
FEI Vaulting Committee member 2020-2024:Dietmar Otto (GER)
FEI Para-Equestrian Committee member 2020-2024: Joyce Heuitink (NED)

The closing remarks of the FEI president, Ingmar de Vos, have underlined the grown importance of digital footprints for the Equestrian sports´ activities - also bitterly caused and strengthened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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