FEI Releases 2015 Rules for Eventing

Photo by Eric Swinebroad Photo by Eric Swinebroad

Just in time for Christmas, the FEI has given us our 2015 Rules for Eventing. There’s quite a bit of red on these this year, so make sure you review them yourself before your first FEI event of the year. The marked-up version can be found here and a clean version can be read here.

These rule changes are for FEI events only! If you only compete at horse trials, these rules don’t apply to you. You compete under USEF rules, and can find the 2015 version here.

Notable changes for 2015:

  • Remember that policy we had in place in 2013, during the transitory year, where certain horse trials were approved as CNs (National Competitions) and counted as FEI qualifiers for that calendar year? That policy has become permanent. Of course, that requires that horse trials request CN status, which is up to the organizers. (Section 520.2)
  • Armbands are no longer compulsory. While organizers do still need to obtain emergency contact information from FEI competitors, you need not worry about forgetting to turn in your armband prior to cross country. In fact, only athetes with a previous medical condition are required to wear some kind of identifying medical notification, or alternatively may wear their armband as before. (Section 523.1)
  • During ring familiarization, grooms are now permitted to lead or walk the horse on a long rein as well as the athlete. (Section 535.6.1)
  • Not naming any names, but the infamous ponytail is no more. Long hair must be tied and neat while competing. (Section 538.1)
  • Boots for riders have been clarified to be long (i.e. tall) boots. No half chaps, please. (Section 538.2.1)
  • Ready to have your mind absolutely blown? Horse boots and bandages have been removed from the Forbidden list for Dressage. Does that mean they are now legal during the dressage test? We’re not positive, but stay tuned for clarification on this development after the holiday. (Section 539.2.3)
  • As hinted by the USEF rule changes, we are getting half mark scores in dressage. (Section 544.1.1)
  • Breaking a frangible pin results in an automatic 21 penalties. These penalties will only be removed if it is clear that the frangible device malfunctioned, breaking on a light tap similar to a tap in show jumping. The 21 penalties will hold up even if the horse would not have fallen without the frangible device. (Section 548.1)
  • Pretty much the entire section on dressage bits is red. Notably, the baucher bit is no longer allowed and snaffle bits must be jointed, among other changes. We highly recommend you check your bit with the Ground Jury at your first FEI event this year. There are changes for both snaffle bits and double bridles. (Annex A-1)
  • There is a note that cross country bits are being reviewed to provide a list of allowed bits for this phase in 2017. (Annex-A)
  • There are new 2015 dressage tests (two for each level) for 1*, 2*, 3*. These tests go into effect March 1, 2015. But the best part is they have not yet appeared on the FEI’s website. Stay tuned. (Annex A-3)

These are only a few of the changes, so make sure you review these rules yourself!

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