FEI Unveils Proposed Eventing Rule Changes for 2018

Photo by Eric Swinebroad

The FEI Eventing Committee has unveiled the latest list of proposed changes and clarifications to the FEI Eventing Rulebook, which would be implemented on Jan. 1, 2018. From restructuring the current FEI levels to removing the dressage coefficient, the changes carry major implications for the sport.

Read on for a comprehensive overview. Click here to view the document in full on the FEI website.

New Competition Levels

The FEI Eventing Committee is proposing that the structure of competitions be reviewed “to adapt to the current global level of the sport and better support the implementation of the Olympic strategy.”

The committee explained “this is part of the continued effort to address risk management and the cost effectiveness of the discipline together with encouraging the development of the number of nations participating in eventing.”

With that philosophy in mind, the committee is proposing the current FEI levels be restructured as follows:

Under the committee’s proposal, the current CCI4* level would be transferred to a separate special event category with maximum technical difficulty that would “not be compulsory for the general progression of the Olympics and WEG.”

The proposed new CIC5* level would be used in the Nations Cup format, combining the current level of CIC3* cross country with the current level of CCI4* dressage and show jumping.

As has been discussed over the past year, the committee is proposing the introduction of a 1.05-meter level that would become the new one-star level. “This new category would allow a transition between national and international competitions in developing countries,” the committee explains.

“The level can be used for the Pony championship as well as the basis for developing a Children level/category in eventing. This level would be optional for (National Federations) and not included as a compulsory level of events to obtain qualifications.”

Positive Scoring & Removing the Coefficient

FEI dressage scores in eventing are currently calculated by taking the percentage score, subtracting from 100 and multiplying by a coefficient of 1.5, with the resulting figure rounded to one decimal digit. The result is the score in penalty points for the test.

The FEI Eventing Committee is proposing that the dressage coefficient be removed “to promote the importance of the cross country test, the essence of the sport.”

Removing the coefficient also aligns with the committee’s vision to transition to positive scoring in eventing. Two positive scoring proposals will be reviewed in 2018 for implementation at a later date.

“The positive scoring proposal including the removal of coefficient for dressage was well supported by the participants at the 2016 FEI Sports Forum. The suggestion of the Eventing Committee is based on the aim to make the sport more self-explanatory to a wider audience in line with the IOC Agenda 2020.”

Blood On Horses

The FEI Eventing Committee is proposing that additional language be included in Article 526.4, Blood on Horses. The proposed additional language is bolded below:

Blood on Horses may be an indication of abuse of the Horse and must be reviewed case by case by the Ground Jury. During the Cross Country Test, not all cases of blood will lead to elimination.

“In minor cases of blood in the mouth, such as where a Horse appears to have bitten its tongue or lip, or minor bleeding on limbs, after investigation the Ground Jury may authorise the Athlete to continue.

The most serious cases indicating Abuse of Horse will be dealt according to the provision of Art. 526.2 (Abuse of Horse – Warnings and Penalties).

Refer to page 45 in the current FEI Eventing Rulebook to read Article 562.2, Abuse of Horse.

Missing a Flag

The committee also offered further clarification on Article 549.2, which allows riders to re-present after missing a flag and automatically accept 20 penalties, or continue on and incur 50 penalties but not be eliminated.

The following clarification will be added: “If the athlete represents and was clear in his first attempt, the athlete will not be penalized with 20 penalties and no time will be deducted.”

Your Turn

National Federations received the draft of these proposed changes last week and now have the opportunity to provide feedback to the FEI Eventing Committee through Sept. 17, 2017. The committee will then review all feedback.

A final draft of the proposed rule changes will be published on the FEI website on Oct. 24, 2017, with all changes expected to be presented at the FEI General Assembly in Montevideo, Uruguay, Nov. 18-21, 2017.

Click here to review the document in full. What do you think of these proposed changes, EN? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments below.

[2018 FEI EVENTING RULES – Proposed Modifications]