ERA International has asked for rider feedback and signatures regarding its movement against FEI Article 548.1 involving the 21 penalty rule. FEI riders can sign this petition to show support, and non FEI riders, owners, grooms, sponsors, etc., can sign this petition. Today is the last day to include your name and provide feedback.
PRO touched base with a variety of event riders to inquire about their opinion regarding the changes to the rule. As we’re all aware, frangible pins have become a staple on cross country courses the world over, and the changed wording of Article 548.1 has potential negative implications on many facets of the sport.
The 21 penalty rule has met with strong opposition from the interviewed riders in the PRO piece:
Clark Montgomery: “It’s my belief that we need to allow the officials to do their jobs while officiating our competitions and have them review each case independently as they have in the past. If the FEI endorses our ground juries for all of the other judgments and decisions, they should leave the frangible pin decisions in their hands too.”
Jock Paget: “I’ve seen pins break with just barely a rub, and then other times when it’s sustained a pretty heavy blow and not been activated. Unless it can be 100% guaranteed only to fall in one particular circumstance, and not at a fairly random occurrence, then I can’t see how the whole competition doesn’t run on chance, and when we’re looking at not only the Olympics, and four star competitions like Badminton, but also lower level events with sometimes hundreds of entries it’s just unacceptable.”
Allison Springer: “I am completely against the automatic, non-appealable 21 penalty rule. I fully support the International ERA’s thorough examination and findings of the very real implications that this rule change will cause. It is disconcerting that the FEI did not demonstrate the same due diligence nor did it allow acceptable time for their membership and the affected parties to weigh in on this potentially momentous change to our sport.”
A meeting with the FEI has been called today to discuss the many concerns that have been brought up with the rule change, so stay tuned for more updates on this story as they become available. In the meantime, you can use the links below to read about the rule change and the subsequent discussion of its consequences.
You can read all of the opinions of interviewed riders, such as Ian Stark, Ludwig Svennerstal, Tim Price and many more on the rule change over on the PRO blog here.