FEI Responds to Riders’ Concerns: Modifies MER Rules

Photo by Eric Swinebroad


After much outcry that Blyth Tait would find himself on the new FEI uncategorized rider list, the FEI has backpedaled and re-written their rules in sanskrit to be more fair to riders across the board.  The Event Riders Association (ERA), which started a well-supported online petition to overturn the rule, has used a secret decoder ring found in a Cracker Jack box to clarify the FEI rules for the masses.  If you have your own decoder ring and would like to follow along, try it out here: FEI Rules Modifications.

From the Event Riders Association:


The FEI has taken into consideration concerns raised by riders and others and in consultation with ERA and the NFs has made some adjustments to the new MER (Minimum Eligibility Requirement) rules.

Firstly it is now easier to obtain a Category. If you have 5 x MER at a higher level than your current Category, then you will gain the Category below.  For example if you have 5 x MER at CI 3*, you will now be a Category C rider, even if you do not have 15 x MER at CI 2*. This will move many more riders in to Category D (5 x CI2*) and move other riders into a more appropriate Category for their experience (updated lists will be published by the FEI on 20th March 2013). This becomes important because of the second change …

ANY Categorised rider can now enter directly at 2-star level, provided they meet their NF Requirements.  This avoids the need for experienced combinations to run at 1* and was a key change asked for by ERA.  It means there will be a better balance in the system between proving competence and unnecessarily running horses at lower levels.

Next, the FEI has confirmed that it will maintain 15 x MERs at a level as the base requirement to achieve a Category going forward into 2014 and that riders will not have to achieve 20 x MERs as originally expected.  Again this was a key change asked for by ERA to give riders more certainty going forward and to avoid riders “chasing” MERs to retain their current Category. But note, MERs achieved in 2005 will no longer count in 2014, so you need to ensure that you have sufficient replacement MERs in 2013 to keep or upgrade your Category if necessary.

Finally, the FEI has also implemented a change in nomenclature requested by ERA and the first level of International Rider will now be termed “Uncategorised International Athlete” rather than as a “National Athlete.”

ERA welcome these changes and will continue to monitor the effect of all the new rules during the season.

For full details see the FEI Website.


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