We knew sweeping changes for eventing were coming in order for the sport to align with the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Agenda 2020, and the FEI Eventing Committee unveiled its proposal yesterday at the General Assembly in Puerto Rico.
FEI President Ingmar De Vos addressed the National Federations in attendance before the presentation, giving the following explanation for why the FEI and IOC believe change is needed across all three Olympic equestrian disciplines.
“We want to remain relevant in today’s ever changing sporting landscape and gain the exposure and visibility our sport deserves,” he said. “We need to take advantage of the excitement and drama of our sport, make it easier to understand, attract young and larger audiences, be broadcast friendly and see more nations represented in our sport.”
As a result, the FEI Eventing Committee is proposing the following changes for the sport:
Three team riders: Each Olympic team would be made up of a maximum of three riders. Each team of three would be allowed one reserve combination.
No drop score: Teams would no longer have a drop score. All three scores from a team would count toward the final team score.
5-minute dressage: All dressage tests would be performed on one day by using a 5-minute test, which would shorten the entire dressage phase to a maximum of six hours for the 65 athletes competing.
Individual medals: The horses and riders placed below 20th after cross country would do their show jumping rounds first, followed by the 20 highest-placed combinations to determine the individual medals. This would also serve as the qualifier for the team finals.
Team finals: After individual show jumping medals are determined, the six to seven best teams (18-21 combinations) would then do their show jumping rounds for the team medals. The FEI is proposing to have “all three team members in the arena together, jumping one after another, so that a team result would be instantly available.”
Name change: We knew this was coming. The FEI Eventing Committee has proposed the hiring of a branding agency to evaluate changing the sport’s name to equestrian triathlon “in the effort of improving the understanding of the sport to new audiences.”
Detailed format change proposals will be presented at the FEI Sports Forum on April 4-5, 2016, and the new formats will be voted on one year from now at the 2016 FEI General Assembly. The approved proposals will then go forward to the IOC in early 2017 for implementation.
Click here to read the full Olympic formats proposal presented yesterday at the General Assembly; the proposal for eventing starts on page 22. If you’re interested in reading the summary notes from the Eventing Open Forums referenced in the proposal, those are all linked on this page.
What do you think about the proposed changes to the Olympic format, EN? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments below.
Equestrian Triathlon Eventing.