Friday, November 16, 2007

FEI Bureau Meeting, Dubai (UAE), 15-16 November 2007

Communications & Commercial

The main item brought to the attention of the Bureau for information and approval following the meeting of the FEI Endurance Committee in Paris (FRA) on 2 April 2007 was the progress made by the Endurance Task Force established to carry out a full review of the discipline.

The Task Force's mandate is to proactively gather ideas/suggestions and propose changes indicative of the collective wish to continue to develop and raise the standards and perception of international Endurance around the world, keeping Horse Welfare issues as a primary concern.

Assigned areas of responsibility include:
1. Qualification - James Bryant (CAN): Criteria for Championships, Horse Log book/Results Record, Weights, Regional Championships, Handicap System, Leasing of Horses
2. Organization - Vijay Moorthy (IND): Public perception, Dress, Terminology, Abandonment of Events - Protocol, Approved technology, Handicap system.
3. Equine Protection - Fred Barrelet (SUI): Equitation training, Equine research, Minimum rest period between events, Local environment monitoring, Hold/Presentation/Criteria evaluation, Progression through ride distances.
4. Education - Maurizio Stecco (ITA): TD/Course designers, Availability of qualified officials, Maintenance of Official status, FEI database, Courses and development, Star rating of officials.
5. Legal Controls - Art Priesz (USA): Metabolic eliminations, Rider suspension, Enforced rest periods (horses).
6. Competition Structure - John Robertson (GBR): Low level distances (are they a danger?), star rating of distances, Number of vet gates - climate, TD responsibilities, Progressive closing of vet gates, Best Condition Rules.

The areas that have been looked at by the Task Force are:

  • Qualification criteria for horses and riders to compete in FEI events
  • Logbook
  • Event Development (Public perception)
  • Dress
  • Terminology
  • Abandonment of Events
  • Approved Technology
  • Handicap System
  • Roles of Official
  • Training of Officials
  • Categories and Rankings of Officials
  • Low Level Distances
  • Star Rating - distances
  • Technical Delegate Responsibilities
  • Best Condition Rules
  • Minimum weight

    The FEI Bureau held its statutory meeting on 15 and 16 November in Dubai (UAE). This report is an overview of the main items covered at the meeting.

    AN FEI OPERATIONS MANUAL, which is the natural process to follow the organisation’s Internal Regulations, is being prepared. More than another set of regulations, the Manual is intended to document FEI’s main processes as they are performed today; show their relationship to various bodies in and out the organisation; and define ownership for processes. This is the first step in institutionalising FEI’s operations and making them independent of individual’s expertise or experience. Approximately 160 processes have been documented to date. The Manual will provide a solid base for transparency; it will demystify complexity, increase service level to stakeholders and put an end to a culture of rumour. The Manual will be submitted to the Bureau’s approval at its spring meeting in April 2008.

    The former FEI Finance Committee has been replaced by an Audit and Compliance Committee (ACC). The internal regulations of the ACC specifying its purpose; reporting process; election and composition; functioning; responsibilities and objectives; and periodicity and method of audit were approved by the Bureau.

    The purpose of the ACC is to have a direct oversight responsibility for compliance with FEI Statutes, Internal Regulations, policies and procedures and Swiss law; internal control and risk evaluation; external auditors. Its main responsibility is to identify and control any risks as well as to ensure that those are adequately managed within the organisation.

    The detailed proposal submitted by the FEI Nominations Committee after its first meeting held in Lausanne in November was discussed at length. The comments made by the Bureau will be sent back to the Nominations Committee. The finalised version of the report will be sent to the NFs after which it will be made public.

    The Bureau allocated the following Championships:

    World Reining, Manerbio (ITA)
    World Para-Equestrian Driving, St. Martin Greven-Bockholt (GER), 27-29 June
    World Breeding Endurance, Compiegne (FRA), 22-24 Aug.
    European Children, Athens (GRE), 10-13 July
    South American Young, Riders/Juniors/Pre-Juniors & Children Jumping, Deodoro Military Club/ Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 2-5 Oct.
    Balkan Seniors/Young Riders/Juniors & Children Jumping, Plovdiv (BUL), 4-7 Sept.
    Balkan Senior Dressage, Istanbul (TUR), 20-22 June
    Balkan Senior Eventing, Eskisehir (TUR), 27-29 June
    Balkan Seniors Endurance, (ROU), 12-14 Sept.
    European Veterans Jumping, Barcelona (ESP), 9-12 Oct.

    World Driving Pairs, Kecskemet (HUN), 18-23 Aug.
    World Combined Ponies, St. Martin Greven (GER), 2-14 Aug.
    World Young Riders/Juniors Endurance, Balbona (HUN), Dates TBC
    European Para-Equestrian, Kristiansand (NOR), 20-24 Aug.
    European Young Riders & Juniors Jumping, Hoofdoorf (NED), 9-12 July
    European Young Riders & Juniors Dressage, Ermelo (NED), Dates TBC
    European Children, Moorsele (BEL), 30 July–2 Aug
    Pan American Endurance, Costa Azul (URU), 15-30 April

    World Driving Singles, Pratoni del Vivaro (ITA), June

    The 2009 Rolex FEI World Cup TM Finals Jumping and Dressage had been allocated to Las Vegas by the FEI Executive Board.

    The 2008 calendar of FEI International Events was approved.

    The current General Assembly format is being reviewed in order to take full advantage of the General Assembly week and keep it interesting and dynamic. A slightly modified version especially in regard to regional group meetings was approved for the FEI General Assembly which will take place in Buenos Aires (ARG) in November 2008.

    Commercial & Communications:
    An extensive report on the activities of the Commercial and Communications Departments was presented. Cooperation with FEI’s major sponsors is progressing well and thanks to the support of Rolex with the Rolex World Cup TM, Samsung with the Samsung Super League with FEI and Alltech with the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010, these events are evolving towards an unprecedented level of professionalism. Further efforts were still required in improving FEI top properties especially where competition format, standardisation and rights were concerned.

    The Television Magazine “FEI Equestrian World” now reaches billions of viewers. Its contents has so far included 28 personality and lifestyle interviews; 14 event reports; 22 behind the scenes reports; 6 development stories; 21 series and event previews; eight results reports and one archive piece.

    Another platform through which horsesport – and especially those disciplines who do not receive much traditional television coverage – can be promoted globally is Internet Protocol Television (IPTV).

    Apart from news, live results, interviewers of winners, winning rounds, previews and reviews, it can include on demand highlights programmes, archive footage and educational programmes. FEI Television has an impressive collection of footage going back many years and is now in the very favourable position to put it to good use.

    FEI Communications activities are expanding. The volume of news released since January 2007 has tripled as compared to previous years. As a result, the number of unique visitors to – soon to become – has increased from an average of 55’794 per month in 2006 to 71’376 in 2007.

    An important problem identified further to the Championships, which took place throughout the summer, was the standard of media facilities and television production at FEI events. Necessary standards were not always met which resulted in difficult working conditions, delays and general discontent. It was agreed that it was a problem with which the FEI had to deal diligently from the initial bidding process.

    FEI Licensing activities are also progressing at good pace. The videogame My Horse and Me, which will be launched in two weeks, has been well received by consumers. 450,000 pieces have been pre-ordered. The FEI is particularly satisfied with the fact 21 NFs have been involved in this project and its success is due to the level of cooperation reached.

    Figures for 2007
  • 33 cases (not including “Fast Track”) processed by the Tribunal (from 2007 and earlier years)
  • Only 4 cases, recently submitted to or hears by, are currently with Tribunal awaiting issuance of decisions
  • 11 hearings (5 – in person; 6 – by conference calls)
  • 4 appeals to CAS (2 withdrawn; one decided in favour of FEI; one pending)

    Cases from the 2007 Events
    38 cases opened (including “Fast Track”) to date (32 processed and 6 being processed by Legal Department)

    Out of the 32 processed:
    26 decisions issued
    3 decisions in draft to be issued shortly
    2 dropped by investigative body
    1 with Tribunal

    The total average time of process of cases, which involves the samples analysis, the evaluation of the case and gathering evidence as well as the decision making process is still too long and needs to be looked at in its entirety in order to ensure timely processing of cases.

    The following trends in relation to sanctions can be noted:
  • Gradual increase of average sanctions
  • New sanctions better aligned with WADA
  • Multiplicity of factors affecting sanctions including type of substances, explanations, legitimacy of original treatment, timing of treatment, degree of negligence, level of event, experience of rider, previous record, cooperation in investigation and many other factors
  • Consistency among Tribunal panels must be improved

    Were identified as goals for 2008:
  • Improving consistency among Panels
  • Consistent communication regarding cases
  • Education of the persons responsible
  • Possible short process for Olympic Games and FEI World Equestrian Games
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