20 February 2019
EEF Working Group has been established to define principles, proposals and a vision for the future
The first meeting of the EEF (European Equestrian Federation) Endurance Working Group provided plenty of positive momentum when representatives from a wide range of active stakeholders in the continental Endurance landscape gathered in Paris, France on 19 December 2018.
They have come together in a “think tank” that reported to the EEF Board, EEF member NFs and FEI stakeholders. As newly-appointed EEF President Theo Ploegmakers explained in his opening address that their brief is to provide guiding principles with rational solutions that will strengthen the sport across Europe and ensure its credibility worldwide.
The EEF Endurance Working Group, chaired by Quentin Simonet, International Relations Coordinator for the French NF, believes that Endurance has a positive future, provided the unacceptable behaviours of a few in the community are addressed and rectified. It is true sport when practiced in a fair way, giving access to all, from beginners to the most experienced and talented athletes, and with the emphasis on the partnership between an educated rider and a well-trained horse.
On almost all of the most important topics the participants shared the same vision to counter current drifts (doping, corruption and any other kind of cheating) and provide a sustainable future for this discipline.
The core statement was to underline that when the current regulations are applied, as it is the case in most of the European events, there is nearly no room for drifts.
By consequence they first agree on the strict application of these regulations and on the reinforcement of the points which will help to do so: consistent application of sanctions, reinforcement of anti-doping program, limitation of crew members, imposition of strict weight control, certification of timing and heart-rate providers, upgrade of a strong FEI officials monitoring program.
Working Group members also addressed veterinarian suggestions, such as: the decrease of intermediate presentation times to 15 minutes, conservation of current heart rate principles and the extension of the rules to avoid horses being transported immediately after competition from 2 Star events. Moreover they agreed upon being against the eventual reintroduction of the 2 hours invasive treatment rule.
This is a progress report and the EEF Endurance Working Group will come up with more details and new recommendations in due time. The Group is looking forward to cooperating with many other stakeholders who have a similar vision.
The participants list and minutes of the first meeting of the EEF Endurance Working Group are available on: http://www.euroequestrian.eu/documents/wg-endurance
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