Friday, July 10, 2020

Updated FEI Endurance Calendar for Regional and World Championships - Full Article
9th July 2020

The recent cancelations on the endurance calendar due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, made us all wondering how the new calendar would look like.

Below an overview of the FEI Endurance Championships for the coming years. Lausanne, Switzerland. Tuesday 23 June 2020.

On Tuesday 23 June 2020, the FEI announced that the Longines FEI Endurance World Championships 2020 would be postponed till May 2021, taking place at the same venue San Rossore, Pisa, Italy. Final approval of the postponement was given by the FEI Board at an extraordinary board meeting held by videoconference on 19 June. The decision came following an agreement between the FEI, the Italian National Federation and the Organisers in Pisa. With the pandemic and its restrictions on both traveling and training it was clear and simply not possible to maintain the original date...

Read more here:

Monday, July 06, 2020

Carmen Römer-Theunissen interview, training and racing during Covid-19 pandemic - Full Article
4th July 2020


I was born in Heerlen in the Netherlands as an only child. Apparently I was a member of the riding and hunting association before I was born and therefor was picked up as newborn from the hospital with 21 horses. When I was 18 I joined the Royal Dutch Navy and completed my Master in finance at the University in Amsterdam in 2009. After 7 years I left the Navy to work in the financial auditing business. I finished Post graduate accountancy at the University of Maastricht in 2015 and was licenced as an official auditor by 2016.
I married my husband Kay Theunissen in 2009 and our son Aiden was born in 2016. We are expecting a daughter in September 2020.

Notable achievements / palmares.

Eight times Champion of the Netherlands
Individual European Champion, 2006 with Fadilah R in Zabreh na Moraven (CHE)
Individual World Championship Kentucky, 19th place with Tuff Enuff
Individual European Championship Florac, 19th place with Gitana 220
Team Bronze Netherlands, European Championship 2015 Samorin (SVK) with Siglavy Bagdady Zeusz (individual 16th)
Team Bronze Netherlands, World Championship 2016 Samorin (SVK) with Priam des Roches (individual not placed)
Individual 8th place European Championship 2017 Brussels with Priam des Roches
34 completions in 160 km
Over 20,000 km successful completions.

When did you start riding?

I guess before I could walk...


Wednesday, July 01, 2020

CAS rules on appeal against horse abuse sanctions

Jul 01, 2020 Author: FEI

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has handed down its decision on a horse abuse case. FEI Tribunal Decisions on a human anti-doping case and one equine anti-doping case were also published this week.

The abuse case involved the horse Sarab (FEI ID 105DP50/UAE), ridden by Abdul Rahman Saeed Saleh Al Ghailani (FEI ID 10114704/UAE) at the CEI3* President Cup in Al Wathba (UAE) on 9 February 2019. The case was opened by the FEI following a protest filed by Clean Endurance on 15 February 2019. In its Final Decision of 26 June 2019, the FEI Tribunal Decision ruled that the athlete had committed horse abuse and suspended him for 12 months from the date of the Decision. The FEI Tribunal stated that aggravating circumstances existed and that the athlete also had to take some responsibility for the actions of his Support Personnel. The athlete was fined CHF 4,000 and ordered to pay CHF 1,000 towards the costs of the judicial procedure. All results achieved by the athlete and the horse at the event were disqualified.

The athlete appealed the FEI Tribunal Decision to CAS and a hearing was held at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne on 20 January 2019. The CAS upheld the FEI Tribunal decision, but reduced the athlete’s suspension to eight months as the Tribunal’s conclusion of aggravating circumstances was not substantiated. The CAS ordered the athlete to pay the fine and legal costs imposed by the FEI Tribunal. Additionally, he was ordered to pay CHF 3,000 towards the FEI’s legal fees.

The CAS Decision can be found here.

More cases here:

Monday, June 29, 2020

Endurance GB poised to resume sport


June 29 2020

Endurance GB is poised to resume the sport in England following steps towards further lifting of COVID 19 restrictions by the Government.

The endurance season will reopen for entries on 29 June 2020 with a series of small-scale pleasure rides aimed both at enabling riders to get back to their sport while ensuring organisers are able to put key social distancing and hygiene measures in place.

The first ride in the calendar is at Park Farm, Stanford on Avon on 12 July with rides in Cheshire, Derbyshire, Cornwall and Hexham the following weekend. Endurance GB are confident that competitive rides will also be back on the calendar very shortly.

However, plans to resume the sport in Wales are on hold until further announcements by the Welsh Government.

Entry numbers at the first scheduled pleasure rides will initially be capped to around 40, depending on the event, to ensure that social distancing can be maintained both at the venue and sufficient space can be kept between riders on the trail. Start times will be staggered to ensure that no more than six people meet at the ride.

Esther Young, Operations Director said: “We are entering uncharted water in resuming the sport and while everyone is excited at the prospect of being back out there, there will be new systems and measures in place to ensure everyone’s safety."

To ensure safe management of events, entries will be processed online through Endurance GB’s new website for all levels of event, and attendees will need to complete a health screening form.

A thorough risk assessment will be conducted before each event and additional cleaning and hygiene measures will be in place. Camping and corralling to be allowed in line with government guidelines, but no socialising will be possible in groups of more than six.

Phil Nunnerley, Chair of Endurance GB said: “There is no doubt that this is the moment we have all been waiting for and there will be both cheers and sighs of relief when the first riders head off at the first pleasure ride. However, the health of members, officials and supports is our priority and a significant amount of work is going into making sure that none of our venues unwittingly becomes a vector for disease transmission. We are very hopeful that as the season progresses, we will see a resumption of bigger rides and longer distances with the caveat that we remain flexible and able to react quickly to any new Government advice.

“Once again, I would like to thank all those on the board as well as our ride organisers and officials who have done so much to safeguard the future of the sport through this crisis and for the membership for their patience and support. Our endurance community has shown its true strength during this crisis with an impressive support network being there for everyone from members who are key workers to those who are shielding - staging a safe return to the sport will be our chance to thank them for their efforts.”

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Clean Endurance welcomes Court of Arbitration for Sport decision on appeal by Mr al Ghailani (UAE) in horse abuse case

26 June 2020

Clean Endurance is reassured that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has decided that Mr al Ghailani did indeed engage in horse abuse and that it upheld the main part of the sanctions pronounced by the FEI Tribunal in June 2019.

This is the first time CAS has issued a decision on an appeal in an Endurance horse abuse case, and another landmark in the battle to improve horse welfare in the Gulf countries.

Mr al Ghailani appealed the decision by the FEI Tribunal by which he was sanctioned for horse abuse with a 12 month suspension and a fine after his exhausted horse Sarab (Radja d’Altus) was kicked and harassed by the rider and his grooms at a 160 km Endurance competition in Abu Dhabi last year.

At the time Clean Endurance lodged the abuse protest, Mr al Ghailani who rides for al Wathba Stables was the number 1 ranking endurance rider in the UAE and Clean Endurance believes he should have set a particularly good example of horsemanship to those who aspire to emulate his results as well as to the general public.

Instead, Mr Al Ghailani repeatedly and violently kicked his exhausted horse to the finish line and used the reins to harass and strike it, while crew members chased the horse to make it go faster.

Mr Al Ghailani responded that such actions are commonplace and accepted practices in Endurance racing. The Court however, strongly disagreed and found that Mr al Ghailani’s behaviour constituted horse abuse, causing pain and/or unnecessary discomfort to the horse both physically and mentally. The Court also concluded without doubt that the horse was clearly exhausted.

Mr al Ghailani denied kicking the horse, pushing it beyond its limits, or pulling the reins with high hands. He also pointed out that none of the Officials (including 15 Ground Jury members and 30 veterinarians) raised any concerns about his riding style or him abusing the horse which was therefore not sufficiently obvious to be noticed by the Officials at the event. The President of the Ground Jury submitted a statement in which he explained that after watching the video of the event he did not see any cruelty or abuse of the horse and that the horse was not exhausted.

The Court noted that the FEI did not initiate any disciplinary proceedings against members of the Ground Jury for not observing and sanctioning Mr Al Ghailani’s horse abuse during the event. The FEI Tribunal had encouraged the FEI to investigate and sanction the Officials present at the event if appropriate.

The FEI Tribunal had initially punished Mr al Ghailani with a 12-month suspension which was twice the length recommended by the FEI. The Court decided to reduce this suspension to 8 months and added that Mr al Ghailani must pay an additional 3000 CHF to the FEI as a contribution to expenses.

The initial FEI Tribunal decision can be found here:

The CAS decision can be found here:

The video evidence used for both the FEI Tribunal and CAS can be found here:

FEI Board allocates Championships and key events for 2021 and 2022

Jun 26, 2020 Author: FEI

The FEI Board allocated FEI Championships and key events for 2021 and 2022 during its three-day videoconference meeting this week.

In addition to the normal allocation process for the 2021 and 2022 Championships, following the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic to many Championships on the 2020 Calendar, the Board considered a number of requests made by the affected 2020 Organisers and National Federations.

“The pandemic has created an extra layer of complexity for us,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “The FEI General Regulations set out a timetable for when FEI Championships are held to avoid clashes between Continental and World Championships in the same categories in a given year so that National Federations do not have the cost of sending teams to major Championships in the same year, however, in these unprecedented circumstances, the FEI Board has agreed to deviate from this for specific events.”

“In some cases it has been possible to reach agreement with Championship Organisers to reschedule. Regrettably, in some events the FEI Board had to agree to cancellations in 2020 particularly with the Youth Championships, following a clear recommendation from the relevant Technical Committee, as a lack of recent competition mileage poses an unacceptable risk to athletes and horses. In each case we took the decision only after every avenue for a resolution was explored and exhausted.”

The Board agreed that any further Championships that need to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic before the end of December 2020 will not be held later in 2020 or rescheduled to 2021 to avoid further logistical difficulties with rearranging Championships in an Olympic and Paralympic year following the postponement of Tokyo 2020.

“The Covid-19 situation is still very fluid and no one can be certain of where it will lead us in the weeks and months to come,” the FEI President said.

“There may be other cancellations before the end of the year, but in order give our community clarity, the FEI will not reopen discussions on any other 2020 Championships. Any further cancellations will not be considered for reallocation or postponement.”

The Board made a unanimous decision not to reallocate the 2020 FEI Vaulting World Championships for Seniors, originally scheduled to be held in Flyinge (SWE). The Board expressed its gratitude to Saumur (FRA) for offering to host this Event later in the year, but travel restrictions, a lack of opportunities to compete and the impossibility social distancing for pas-de-deux and squad competitions were instrumental in the FEI Board decision.

The Board also decided to confirm the cancellation of the 2020 FEI Eventing European Championships for Ponies originally allocated to Strzegom (POL) as the alternate dates offered by the Organisers in Poland were not in line with a Board resolution passed in April that Youth and Pony Championships should not take place outside the school holidays. As there was no possibility of holding FEI Eventing European Championships for Juniors and Young Riders during school holidays, for athlete and horse welfare reasons, the cancellation of these Championships at Hartpury (GBR) was also confirmed.

The Board followed the unanimous recommendation of the FEI Jumping Committee to confirm the cancellation and not reschedule the 2020 FEI Jumping European Championship for Young Riders, Juniors & Children (originally allocated to Vilamoura) and the FEI Jumping European Ponies Championships (originally allocated to Strzegom) due to concerns that athletes and horses will not have had the opportunity to prepare fully for these important Championships and to avoid any risk to athletes and horses. Vilamoura will now host the Championships in 2021, which had originally been allocated to the Spanish venue at Oliva, but following a proposal put forward by the two organisers and approved by the Board, Oliva will now host the Championships in 2022. Both editions will be held within the school holiday period.

The Board unanimously agreed that the FEI Jumping World Challenge Final 2020 would not be allocated.

The Board approved the postponement of the FEI Driving European Championship for Young Drivers, Juniors & Children 2020 in Lamotte-Beuvron (FRA) to 2021. The Board confirmed that the age limits applicable in 2021 will apply to these Championships in 2021.

The Board also approved the postponement of the FEI Para Driving World Championship for Singles 2020 in Schildau (GER) to next year.

The Board decided that Organisers, such as Hartpury (GB), whose Championships had been cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic were eligible to enter bid processes for future unallocated editions of the Championships even though the deadline for submission of bids had passed.

The FEI Board decided to defer any decisions regarding all Reining Championships scheduled for allocation to a later date until a decision on next steps for FEI Reining had been confirmed.

Discussions are ongoing with the Spanish Equestrian Federation and Vic, the Organiser of the FEI Endurance World Championship for Young Horses 2020 and the FEI Endurance European Championship for Young Riders & Juniors 2020. More information will be provided regarding these Championships shortly.

The Board also decided to postpone allocation of the FEI Endurance World Championships 2022 to its meeting in November to allow for a further review of the bids received from Dubai (UAE), Padise (EST), Riyadh (KSA) and Verona, Isola della Scala (ITA) and for further follow-up with the bidders.

The final allocations are as follows:

FEI Championships 2020 (postponed to 2021)

*FEI Driving European Championship for Young Drivers, Juniors & Children – Lamotte-Beuvron (FRA), dates TBC
*FEI Para Driving World Championship for Singles – Schildau (GER), dates TBC

*The above postponements were both approved as Emergency Board Resolutions under Article 20.3 of the FEI Statutes.

FEI Championships & Finals 2021
- South American Jumping Championships for Young Riders, Juniors, Pre-Juniors and Children – Carrasco, Montevideo (URU), 7-13 September 2021
- FEI Jumping European Championships for Young Riders, Juniors & Children – Vilamoura, dates TBC
- FEI Driving World Championship for Young Horses – Mezohegyes (HUN), dates TBC

FEI Championships & Finals 2022
- FEI Jumping European Championships for Young Riders, Juniors & Children – Oliva (ESP), dates TBC
- FEI Dressage European Championship for Juniors & Young Riders – Hartpury (GBR), dates TBC
- FEI Eventing European Championship for Juniors & Young Riders – Hartpury (GBR), dates TBC
- FEI Driving European Championship for Young Drivers, Juniors & Children – Ászár-Kisbér (HUN), dates TBC
- FEI Driving World Championship for Singles, Haras du Pin (FRA), dates TBC
- FEI Vaulting European Championship for Juniors, Kaposvár (HUN), 27-31 July

FEI Driving World Cup™ Series Season 2020/2021
The legs of the FEI Driving World Cup™ series for the 2020-2021 season were allocated as follows:

Lyon (FRA) 31 October-1 November 2020
Maastricht (NED) 6-7 November 2020
Stuttgart (GER) 11-15 November 2020
Budapest (HUN) 28-29 November 2020
Geneva (SUI) 12-13 December 2020
London (GBR) 18-19 December 2020
Mechelen (BEL) 26-30 December 2020
Leipzig (GER) 14-17 January 2021

The Final of the FEI Driving World Cup™ 2021 has already been allocated to Bordeaux (FRA) on 4-7 February 2021.

FEI Dressage World Cup™ Series Season 2020 / 2021
The Board approved a change in venue for the Danish leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Series 2020/21 from Herning to the National Equestrian Centre in Vilhelmsborg.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Longines FEI Endurance World Championships 2020 postponed to 2021

un 23, 2020 Author: FEI

The Longines FEI Endurance World Championships 2020 have been postponed until May 2021 due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on equestrian sport. The decision to postpone comes following agreement between the FEI, the Italian National Federation and the Organisers in Pisa.

The Championships were due to be held at San Rossore, Pisa in September this year, but the pandemic and the restrictions on both travel and training of horses has meant that is was simply not possible to maintain the original date.

The FEI Executive Board and the Endurance Temporary Committee were in favour of postponement and, following consultation with the Endurance Calendar Task Force and meetings with the Italian National Federation and the Pisa Organisers, the move to May 2021 was agreed. Final approval of the postponement was given by the FEI Board at an extraordinary Board meeting held by videoconference on 19 June.

Qualification for the Championships will be under Article 836 of the FEI Endurance Rules (11th Edition), which come into effect on 1 July 2020.

The FEI Board also agreed to prolong the qualification period for these Championships in order to allow more time for horses and athletes to qualify following the disruption to this year’s FEI Calendar caused by the pandemic. Details will be defined by the Endurance Temporary Committee and FEI Headquarters and communicated later.

Two Continental Championships are already scheduled to run next year – the FEI Endurance Pan American Championships for Seniors & Young Riders in Campinas (BRA) from 28-29 July and the FEI Endurance European Championships in Ermelo (NED) from 6-ll September. The FEI last week proactively reached out to all 51 National Federations that compete in Endurance in order to understand their views on the proposed postponement of the World Championships and its potential impact on next year’s Calendar.

National Federations were asked whether they were in favour of postponing the Longines FEI Endurance World Championships to May 2021 and if they would also participate in their region’s Continental Championships if the Worlds were moved to next year.

A total of 34 National Federations responded to the questionnaire, of which 33 were positive, both to the postponement and their participation, where relevant, in one of the Continental Championships next year.

“Our Endurance community made it very clear to the FEI that they want a World Championships, particularly after losing the last edition at Tryon in 2018, but horse welfare and a level playing field could not have been guaranteed if the Championships had run in September, so it was the best solution to move the Championships to May of next year”, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said.

“Having consulted with the National Federations that compete in Endurance, we now feel that we have reached a compromise that works for everyone, but especially for our horses, as there will now be time for them to do the necessary preparation work and achieve their qualification for this major event.”

The Secretary General is in charge of the FEI Calendar and, throughout the Covid-19 crisis, has chaired the eight discipline-specific Calendar Task Forces that have been working to minimise the impact of the pandemic on the sport and the fixture list. More than 800 events have already been cancelled and numerous events have been rescheduled.

The FEI Endurance World Championships for Young Horses and the FEI Endurance European Championships for Young Riders & Juniors, which are due to be held in Vic (ESP) from 25-27 September 2020, will be discussed by the FEI Board during this week’s three-day meeting via videoconference (23-25 June).

Updated FEI Endurance Calendar for Regional and World Championships - Full Article 9th July 2020 The recent cancelations on the endurance calendar due to COV...