27. Nov 2023 / Category: News

Last week the FEI General Assembly took place in Mexico City. The day preceding the GA saw the annual EEF Regional Group Meeting in which rules, regulations and other key matters were discussed.

In Jumping, it was noted that there is still a discussion regarding the maximum height in the Regional Qualifiers of the Longines EEF Series which will be followed up and re-examined in view of season 2025. There was also a discussion about CSIO 5* invitations or wildcards for EEF NFs who have qualified for Paris 2024 but are not within the LLN series. The latter matter was discussed and raised with the FEI Jumping Director and will continue to be followed closely by the EEF in the next months. François Mathy presented on behalf of the IJRC on the topic of rising costs within the sport, with prize money and entry fees being the key areas of concern.

There was also discussion on the EU Championship bids and the need to review the current bidding process and requirements to make this more attractive for OCs. 

The topic of the noseband regulations was also well discussed, and feedback was received from the FEI on the current status which noted stakeholder involvement would be crucial and necessary to achieve a regulation that is fit for all disciplines.

The EEF members were given an inspirational update from the Czech Equestrian Federation who have developed a strong para vaulting programme. There was a lot of interest in this from the members, and the potential for wider societal benefits from similar activities, and the EEF will follow up with a dedicated group to share learnings and ideas within this area.

The importance of how to ensure and strengthen the social acceptance of the horse in sport by the society was a key topic throughout discussions. The final report of the Equine Ethics and Wellbeing Commission was presented in Mexico, and Nat Waran and Camie Heleski, members of the commission, attended the meeting to stress to the NF members that the responsibility must now fall onto them to action these recommendations and influence the wider equestrian landscape from national to international levels.

Some organisation matters related to the EEF were also bought forward, such as the Athlete Representative board member position which will become vacant in 2024 as Eleonora Ottaviani has completed her maximum term. It was agreed the EEF would review the process and work with the rider club associations to seek nominations.

Finally, there was a clear and open discussion with the FEI President and Secretary General regarding the recent update on Russian and Belarusian riders and officials. This allowed for a transparent exchange and some of the NFs emphasised their reaction and the consequences such a decision has for them. The full minutes of the regional board meeting will be uploaded shortly to our website.

All documents and details on the full FEI General Assembly are available here.

In the FEI Board meeting and FEI General Assembly, there were several key appointments and noteworthy news for our European members:

  • Aachen (GER) was awarded the 2026 FEI World Championships for Jumping, Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Vaulting and Para Dressage
  • The 2025 FEI European Championships were awarded to:
    • Dressage: Samorin (SVK)
    • Driving: Lähden (GER)
    • Endurance: Castiglione del Lago (ITA)
    • Vaulting: Stadl Paura (AUT)
  • Joaquín Medina (ESP) was elected as Chair of the FEI Driving Committee, and subsequently takes a place in the FEI Board
  • Dorottya Strobl (HUN) and Andrea White (ITA) were elected as FEI Nominations Committee members
  • Michel Sorg (SUI) was appointed to the FEI Jumping Committee
  • Thomas Eyckmans (BEL) was appointed to the FEI Dressage Committee
  • Anne-Mette Binder (DEN) was appointed to the FEI Eventing Committee
  • Jan Devaere (BEL) was appointed to the FEI Driving Committee
  • Karoly Fugli (HUN) was appointed an Honorary FEI Board Member

Finally the event closed with the annual FEI Awards. Many congratulations to Jessica von Bredow-Werndl (GER) who claimed the Peden Bloodstock FEI Best Athlete Award and Emma Uusi-Simola (FIN) who won the Cavalor FEI Best Groom Award as groom of Steve Guerdat (SUI).