FEI General Assembly: extracts from the wrap-up

The FEI General Assembly took place online this year due to pandemic from 13 to 23 November. A lot of modifications have been voted during the different meetings. Here is a glimpse of what could have an impact on your horses and riders.

Jumping Regulations

Art. 211 – Water Jump, Water Jump with Vertical and Liverpool
“(…) For all Liverpool obstacles, the front edge of the water tray must be placed either in alignment with the same vertical plane as the front poles, or in front of the vertical plane of the front poles.”

>> It should not be allowed to place the front edge of the water tray behind the vertical plane of the front poles of the obstacle as this creates a false ground line, which is a horse welfare issue.

“(…) The FEI has the right to nominate one of the foreign teams to be invited by the OC as a wild card except for FEI Nations Cup™ Europe Division 1 qualifying Events, the EEF Nations Cup Semi-Finals and the EEF Nations Cup Final. (…)”

>> The wild card cannot concern anymore the FEI Nations Cup qualifiers, North American and Middle-East FEI Nations Cup qualifiers.

“(…) CSI or CSIO Events that are not combined with a CSIYH may include Competitions for Young Horses open only to the Athletes entered in the CSI or CSIO; for these Competition Athletes may enter two Horses in addition to the three Horses allowed for the CSI or CSIO. Participation of these additional Horses is limited to the Young Horse Competitions only. (…)”

>> Organizers don’t have to add a CSIYH to their schedule to allow riders to enter young horses in specific classes. But they’re limited to 2 horses. In the case the organizers add a CSIYH to its schedule, the riders can bring 3 horses for each category.

“(…) At all international Jumping Events and at all FEI Jumping World Challenge Events, only hind boots meeting the following description may be used (…) The use of Vet Wrap or similar bandaging material under hind boots is not permitted. (…)”

>> From now on, the types of hind boots imposed so far in U-25, Young Rides, Juniors, Pony Riders, Children, Amateur Owners and Veterans events are for all FEI events. The use of vet wrap is clearly forbidden.

“Minimum Front of Water: 4.00 m if the spread is 3.00 m or less. If the spread is more than 3.00 m the front must be 30% more than the spread. Example: if the spread is 4.00 m, the minimum front of the water is 5.20 m.”

>> The water jump cannot be wider than 4 m.

Human anti-doping: Extracts

Article 7.4.3 Opportunity for Hearing or Appeal (addition)

Subject to Article 7.4.1 above, the Provisional Suspension shall be imposed (or shall not be lifted) unless the Athlete or other Person establishes that:
(a) the assertion of an anti-doping rule violation has no reasonable prospect of being upheld, e.g., because of a patent flaw in the case against the Athlete or other Person; or
(b) the Athlete or other Person has a strong arguable case that he or she bears No Fault or Negligence for the anti-doping rule violation(s) asserted, so that any period of Ineligibility that might otherwise be imposed for such a violation is likely to be completely eliminated by application of Article 10.5 or that Article 10.6 applies and the Athlete can demonstrate that the evidence will show that he or she bears No Significant Fault or Negligence and that he or she has already been Provisionally Suspended for a period of time that warrants the lifting of the Provisional Suspension pending a final decision of the FEI Tribunal; or
(c) some other facts exist that make it clearly unfair, in all of the circumstances, to impose a Provisional Suspension prior to a final hearing in accordance with Article 8. This ground is to be construed narrowly, and applied only in truly exceptional circumstances. For example, the fact that the Provisional Suspension would prevent the Athlete or other Person participating in a particular Competition or Event shall not qualify as exceptional circumstances for these purposes.


10.12 Financial Consequences

10.12.1 Where an Athlete or other Person commits an anti-doping rule violation, the FEI Tribunal may, in its discretion and subject to the principle of proportionality, elect to (a) have the FEI recover from the Athlete or other Person costs associated with the anti-doping rule violation and/or (b) fine the Athlete or other Person in an amount up to 15’000 Swiss Francsand in accordance with the FEI Guidelines for Fines and Contributions towards Legal Costs


11.2 Consequences for Teams

11.2.1 The FEI Regulations for Equestrian Events at the Olympic Games shall apply at the Olympic Games and the FEI Regulations for the Equestrian Events at the Paralympic Games shall apply at the Paralympic Games.

11.2.2 . At all Events at which these Anti-Doping Rules apply, other than those listed in 11.2.1:
If a member of a team is found to have committed a violation of these Anti-Doping Rules in connection with an In-Competition test during an Event where a team ranking/qualification is based on the addition of individual result(s), the result(s)/qualification(s) of the Athlete committing the violation will be subtracted from all the team’s results/qualifications and replaced with the result(s)/qualification(s) of the next applicable team member.
If by removing the Athlete’s result(s)/qualification(s) from the Team’s result(s)/qualification(s), the number of Athletes’ results/qualifications counting for the team is less than the required number, the Team shall be eliminated.


22..1 To be knowledgeable of and comply with these anti-doping rules.
22.2 To foster a clean spirit of sport at their Events.
22.3 When notified by the FEI that Testing is planned at their Event, to provide adequate facilities for Testing as instructed by the FEI; and, where possible and if requested, staff or volunteers to assist with Athlete notification.
22.4 Confidentiality
The OC shall maintain strict confidentiality on all aspects of any Testing session planned at its Events. It shall not disclose the Testing plan beyond a strict need-to-know, and shall not publish any details on such Testing plan.
22.5 Educational initiatives
OCs shall also cooperate with the FEI’s clean sport educational initiatives at their Events.
22.6 To cooperate with the Testing plans of other Anti-Doping Organisations with Testing jurisdiction.

Equine anti-doping

Four modifications have been brought to the list of the FEI Equine prohibited substances. They concern ciclesonide, estranediol, prednisolone and testosterone. The details can be viewed HERE.

A lot of modifications have been brought to ARTICLE 7 now titled “RESULTS MANAGEMENT, RESPONSIBILITY, INITIAL REVIEW, NOTICE AND PROVISIONAL SUSPENSIONS” including article 7.4.8 about “Voluntary Acceptance of Provisional Suspension” and article 7.5 about “Charge”. Another important change concerns the replacement of “Principles for a Fair Hearing” by article 8.2 Fair Hearings.

Article (respectively numbered 10.4 and 10.8) about “Aggravating Circumstances which may Increase the Period of Ineligibility” and “Results Management Agreements” (reductions based on early admission and acceptance of sanction and agreement) have been added.

All these rules will enter into force on 1 January 2021.

Luigi Baleri is the 2019 Longines Owner of the Year

Switzerland’s Luigi Baleri, owner of the top ranked horses Clooney 51, The Sinner and Chaplin, has been awarded the Longines Owner of the Year trophy for 2019 for the second time in a row. The award ceremony took place during the Longines CSI5* Basel (SUI), in the presence of Christophe Jeanneret, Brand Manager Longines Switzerland, and Dominique Mégret, Chairman of the Jumping Owners Club. This award, created in 2004 and approved by the FEI, illustrates the importance of recognizing the involvement of the owners in building an international career in show jumping. It is proudly supported by the Swiss watch brand Longines, which has recently become the Official Partner of the Jumping Owners Club.

Ridden by Swiss Individual European Champion, Olympic Silver medallist and current leader of the Longines Jumping Rankings Martin Fuchs, Clooney 51, who largely contributed to this first place, enjoyed once again a string of successes throughout 2019, including an amazing and emotional individual gold medal at the Longines FEI Jumping European Championships in Rotterdam (NED), and wins in the 5* Grand Prix of Lyon (FRA), Wellington (USA), and Basel (SUI), and in Geneva (SUI). The grey gelding also recorded a fantastic 2nd place in the Longines FEI Jumping World CupTM Final in Gothenburg (SWE) still under Martin Fuchs’ saddle.

Dominique Mégret, Chairman of the Jumping Owners Club, was very pleased of the new success of Luigi Baleri for the season 2019. “Being awarded the Longines Owner of the Year one time in one’s life is already a fantastic achievement. To receive this trophy two times in a row is just amazing!” Dominique Mégret said. “As the Chairman of the JOC, I am obviously proud that one of our member sees his efforts rewarded. But above all, this performance shows how important are loyalty, faith and respect. The strong, positive and long term relationship established between Luigi and his rider and his whole team is certainly responsible for a major part of this incredible result. Building a successful long term partnership is what every rider should aim at.

Matthieu Baumgartner, Longines Vice President Marketing, commented: “As the Official Partner of the Jumping Owners Club, it is a great pleasure to start our collaboration with the 2019 Longines Owner of the Year Award presentation to Luigi Baleri. His successes in many major events from 2019, notably in the Longines FEI World CupTM legs and Final, as well as in the Longines FEI Jumping European Championships, speak for themselves. On behalf of Longines, we would like to express our sincere congratulations to him and his team and wish him every success for the years to come.

Ingmar de Vos, FEI President, said: “The equestrian community and industry is a bustling network where each contributor plays a vital role in the overall success of the sport. This is our strength and one of our unique qualities as a sport, and through the Longines Owner of the Year award, we celebrate that network and that sense of teamwork and community. I send my very best regards to Luigi Baleri and all those that have contributed to his continued success in the arena, and present my sincere gratitude and best wishes to all Owners in this Olympic year!

The Award, an original bronze sculpture representing a jumping horse, has been awarded to Luigi Baleri by Christophe Jeanneret, Brand Manager Longines Switzerland, and Dominique Mégret, JOC Chairman, on the main arena of the Longines CSI5* Basel. Luigi Baleri also received a Longines watch.

The next two owners in the ranking are at the 2nd place, Stuteri Arch – Charlottte Söderström (owner of H&M All In, H&M Christian K and H&M Indiana ridden by Peder Fredricson and Malin Baryard-Johnsson for Sweden) who had been awarded the Owner of the Year trophy for 2017, and at the 3rd place, Ann C. Thompson (owner of Balou du Reventon, Important de Muze and Romeo 88, ridden by Darragh Kenny for Ireland).

Photo (l-r): Dominique Mégret, Ursula Baleri, Luigi Baleri, Martin Fuchs, Christophe Jeanneret (Longines) & Andy Kistler. Credit: Fotografie Stuppia.