A delegation of the Swiss Equestrian Federation SEF has liaised with the director of the FEI endurance in order to discuss the suggested measures to ensure the development of the discipline and improvement of the respect for horses. The SEF has stressed the need to improve the qualifying system for the elite races and for finding a competition format for the WEG consistent with the current competition schemes.
During a workshop at the headquarters of the FEI in Lausanne, a delegation of the SEF comprising of president Charles Trolliet, Dominik Burger and Claude Nordmann, expressed the reflections and position of Switzerland concerning the current issues of the discipline to the director of Endurance of the FEI, Manuel Bandeira de Mello. Discussions included qualification criteria for major events, the new competition format during the World Equestrian Games and finally the monitoring of the situation in the Middle-Eastern countries (group VII of the FEI).
The SEF has suggested to include a provision in the regulations stipulating that it is the horse/rider pair who needs to qualify in two races in order to participate at the next level. Endurance being the demonstration of the rapport and understanding between horse and rider i.e. horsemanship, this provision would certainly ensure an improvement of horse welfare and contribute to reducing excessive speeds and other occurring issues. This request remains valid and the Swiss delegation insists that it be incorporated during the next thorough revision of endurance regulations. The discipline’s credibility is at stake. The SEF has made itself available to carry out statistics concerning this subject.
The SEF is also ready to bring forward proposals in order to develop with the FEI an attractive competition format for the World Equestrian Games. This will allow for only the best pairs to reach the World Championship by qualifying for various geographically distributed races during the two years preceding the final. The SEF has reiterated its firm opposition to any format planning races over two days as this format, only practiced at the WEG, would only encourage excessive speed and pose more risks for the horses.
Finally, after analysing the situation in group VII’s various countries especially in the UAE, the SEF has reminded that it would remain vigilant and await the end of the racing season in the Middle East to decide on the possible Swiss participation in the World Championships which are scheduled for December 2016 in Dubai.
Manuel Banderia de Mello has noted with interest the Swiss proposals and has been thankful for the frank discussion. He expressed readiness to continue a regular dialogue with the Swiss Federation.
Dr. Claude Nordmann, International Relations, Swiss Federation for Equestrian Sports
Tel. +41 79 353 75 54 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org