EEF Board video conference on 17.01.2023

Theo Ploegmakers President & Chair
George Dimaras 1st Vice-President
Quentin Simonet 2nd Vice President 
Eleonora Ottaviani Board Member & Athletes Representative 
Nayla Stössel Board Member

Elisabeth Max-Theurer

Board Member
Soenke Lauterbach Board Member
Simone Perillo Board Member 

Alan Andabaka

Board Member
Carina Mayer Secretary General
Hanfried Haring EEF Honorary President
Teodor Sheytanov Sport Development Manager
Alice Ward Communications Manager (excused)
Ulf Bromster Sustainability Chair

For Discussion:

1.1 European Championships (EEF Strategic Planning)

The Board unanimously decides that Will Connell shall be contracted as an independent consultant to conduct the feasibility study for a potential takeover of European Championships from the FEI for future management by the EEF. A first report shall be provided by Will Connell to the Board by the end of March 2023.

1.2 Sustainability

Ulf Brömster presents the status quo of the EEF’s initiatives in matters of sustainability. All activities are focused on three dimensions: the horse, the human and the environment. The EEF Green Policy Statement has already been approved by the Board whereas the EEF Green Code of Conduct is subject to approval by the EEF Board after a final review. The cooperation with Wageningen University in the Netherlands is ongoing with the handover of the carbon footprint analysis being planned for mid-February. Sustainability has also been included in the host agreements for the 2023 Longines EEF Series (Annex 9) with a self-assessment template currently being developed. Sustainability will also be an essential educational element in the EYLE Project (Equestrian Young Leaders Europe), the EU-funded project managed by the EEF. The sustainability elements for the EYLE e-learning platform shall be ready in early March 2023. It is also planned to host a series of webinars on the subject of sustainability with the first webinar being planned for the end of February 2023. EO states that the IJRC would also welcome receiving input from the EEF regarding sustainability matters which could then be shared by the IJRC with all its members.

1.3 Marco Fuste

The Board expresses its deepest sadness and shock about the sudden passing of Marco Fuste who was a very active member of the European Jumping Community and an essential supporter in the creation of the Longines EEF Series. An “in memoriam” article has already been published and a further recognition of Marco might be feasible at an upcoming event in 2023.

For Decision:

2.1 Appointment of Members of 2023 EEF Working Groups in Eventing, Endurance, Driving, Vaulting
The Board unanimously approves the members of the EEF Working Groups in Eventing, Endurance and Driving as presented. Also, for Vaulting all members are approved as proposed but the one candidate that was proposed by Italy shall be added as an additional member to the group.

For Information:

3.1  Update 2023 Longines EEF Series

GD provides an update regarding the 2023 Longines EEF Series (LES) where Region WEST will only have 1 (instead of 2) regional qualifiers this year. All contracts have been sent to the OCs and host NFs for their signature and are expected back in due course. The EEF has secured the internationally renowned helmet company “KEP Italia” as a safety partner for the 2023 Longines EEF Series and is very much looking forward to this new and meaningful partnership. The road management for the 2023 Longines EEF Series will continue to be provided by ALCOR and the contract is to be signed in the coming days.

3.2  Update Dressage Working Group

SMT provides an update of the activities of the EEF Dressage Working Group regarding the EEF Evolution Team Competitions, per diems for Dressage officials, new TDs for Dressage and the wish to establish a closer cooperation between the EEF Dressage Working Group and the EEF Para-Equestrian Working Group. CM is tasked to inform Anne D’Ieteren, Chair of the EEF Para-Equestrian Working Group, about this wish and the proposal to appoint Carlos Lopes as a connecting element between both working groups as he is a formal member of the EEF Dressage Working Group but also an FEI Para-Equestrian Dressage judge.

SMT, Chair of the EEF Dressage Working Group, is informed that the EEF Working Groups are not entitled to officially express their opinions on behalf of the EEF towards outside stakeholders or the media because the EEF Working Groups have the sole purpose of an advisory role for the EEF Board where official EEF positions are then determined.

With regards to the 2023 EEF Evolution Team Competitions the EEF Board approves that the two organizers that already organized these events in 2022 will be allowed to do so again in 2023 if they are able to self-fund the competitions. The EEF will only contribute the prize-giving material and possibly organize courses at those two events under the guidance of the EEF Development Manager. TS is tasked to be in contact with the FEI regarding the approval of rules for these events.

SMT also reports about an issue at the recent CDI-W in Basel (SUI) where a Danish rider was allowed to compete without the required qualification score of 65% that should previously have been achieved by the respective rider/horse combination. The 65% qualification requirement had been approved by the FEI GA in Cape Town. The AUT NF has filed a complaint with the FEI and will keep the EEF informed about the outcome.

3.3 Update EU Project (EYLE)

CM informs the Board that the EYLE EU-project is well underway and that the EYLE Steering Group has formally approved the prosed action plan for 2023. Monthly Zoom meetings are held with all project partners who are already working on their national plans, the translation of the educational material and establishing contact with suitable riding clubs in their respective countries. The EEF is currently working on the e-learning system with the objective to have all educational content ready by March 2023 (including sustainability elements).


4.1  Nordic Baltic Championships

A letter has been received from the Nordic-Baltic NFs with the proposal to host Nordic Baltic regional championships under the patronage of the EEF. CM is tasked to respond to the letter on behalf of the Board with an agreement in principle and that the EEF will come back regarding a framework of requirements that would be attached to such EEF patronage. TS is tasked to create a template of such requirements that can be handed over to OCs of regional championships with a clear outline of EEF expectations. There is general agreement of the Board that both the quality of the event but also the participation of a sufficient number of athletes is essential.

4.2  Jumping U25 European Championships

Several NFs have submitted a request to the EEF Board to endorse a proposal for the creation of U25 European Championships in Jumping. GD will bring it to the WG Jumping to reconfirm its support. CM is tasked to conduct a survey among all EEF member NFs to determine the overall level of support from Europe for such a proposal. Depending on the WG’s recommendation and the outcome of this survey the EEF would then get in contact with the FEI to enquire about the correct process in putting this proposal forward (deadline of 1 March 2023 for FEI Rule Changes, bidding procedure for OCs, etc). The Board agrees that such U25 Championship in Jumping should only be considered on a continental European level and not on a regional level. Ideally the U25 category should then be linked with the Senior Championships and not with the Youth Championships.

4.3  Art project “Horses of War”

TP received a proposal from an organization in the Ukraine regarding an art project illustrating horses of war. The Board mandates TP to get more information on this before making a final decision of potential support by the EEF.

4.4  FEI consultation process regarding FEI Nations Cup Division 1

QS provides a short update on the status quo of the FEI consultation process regarding the future of the FEI Nations Cup Division 1. All NFs that were part of the consultation process were invited to submit their feedback to the FEI proposals back to the FEI by 16 January 2023 and a meeting has been set for 25 January 2023. The EEF Group Chairs will attend this meeting and submit comments, if any, during the meeting.

It seems that there is reluctance of the NFs involved to allow the FEI to appoint a second event with “O”-status as CSIO Series Event (vs CSIO Standalone Event remaining NFs own responsibility) - in a country with only a consultation process without necessarily the agreement of the NFs. At the moment there is also not enough known so many NFs have questions.