The FEI is meeting today (Monday 27 April 2015) and tomorrow to discuss its proposed changes to our sport. From the fairly frivolous (the name change – are we going to compete at an Equestrathlon in future?!?!) to the mildly alarming (first XC stop 10 pens, 5 pens for a flag?!?!?!) to the ‘OMG what are they trying to DO to our sport?!?!?!’ (amalgamating CIC and CCI, introduction of CIC****, the idea that the last rider out on a team can wipe off some of their team mates’ penalties if they go clear and fast enough… just THINK of the possible ramifications of that) these Proposals are far-reaching and have the scope to totally change the face of our sport.
There are points such as a separate 3* and 4* competition at the Olympics (for Team and Individual respectively) which should ring HUGE alarm bells – Eventing is the most expensive discipline to stage, and this would hugely increase costs, which is the absolute last thing we need if Eventing is to be kept in the Olympics.
Also, it would either devalue the Team or the Individual competition… whatever way you look at it, the part of the competition which does not feature riders of the calibre of Michael Jung, Mark Todd, William Fox-Pitt, Tim and Jonelle Price, Ingrid Klimke, Zara Phillips, Philip Dutton, and so on is going to be totally devalued.
Should those riders opt for the Team or the Individual competition, since they couldn’t do both, under the new format?
The most dominant nations would of course be better off too: Germany, Great Britain, France, USA, Australia and New Zealand would have no problem putting forward a team as well as individuals of that calibre, whereas other nations might well struggle to field more than 3 or 4 combinations of that quality.
I could take the whole Proposal document apart bit by bit, but someone has already done that, luckily!
NZ 4* rider Bruce Haskell is out in Lausanne today, to speak on behalf of the International Eventing Riders Association, ERA_Intl. He has been consulting riders and governing bodies all over the world and will be speaking up for us all.
HERE is his response to the FEI’s document on proposed changes. Please, grab a coffee and take the time to read it.
Paul Tapner is also heavily involved in the new Eventing Riders Association, his introduction to the ‘Response Table’ is HERE. Eight 4*/Olympic riders got together for a meeting about this, riders of the calibre and experience of Mark Todd, Jonty Evans, Rebecca Howard, and others, and there was input from PRO (the US version of ERAofGB) and various other interested parties.
The point-by-point Response Table they have produced is pretty heavy going, but we all need to know about this stuff. We can’t just let it happen and then moan in the future when our sport becomes unrecognisable!
And finally the far more palatable Interpretation of the main FEI document is HERE.
If you really can’t face all that dense reading, Lesley Grant-Law’s take on it all is HERE. It doesn’t cover every single point, but it’s funny, and sobering, and is pretty much guaranteed to make you think “WTF” about the FEI proposals, if you haven’t already.
What ERA-Intl needs YOU to do.
Follow them on Twitter (ERA_Intl) and Facebook (Eventing Riders Association). It only takes a second to click Like or Follow, but it makes a difference. They need to be able to show that they have thousands of riders and eventing supporters behind them. Please, show your support on Social Media.
FEI riders, go on to the FEI Website, register for the Forum and make your voice heard, the link is from THIS page.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your Comments and Questions about the Proposals.
HERE is the full FEI page of documents about this matter.
It’s no good doing nothing and then moaning about the way the sport goes. Please, whatever your interest in Eventing, get behind ERA_Intl and ERAofGB, and make your voice heard.
(P.S. If they really have to change something major in the next two days, I vote for “Equiathlon” for the overall name, and for CIC to be 1DE and CCI to be 3DE. That would be a start!)