The proposed Endurance Rules modifications for 2020 is presented to the National Federations (NFs) in a completely new rule book, with a new structure and revised wording.
We start a series of articles to review all the new proposed rules, article by article.
Chapter I “General” consists of 2 articles about Rules and Regulations in International Endurance Events and Horse Welfare.
* * *
800. RULES AND REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO INTERNATIONAL-LEVEL ENDURANCE EVENTS
800.1 All international-level Endurance events, including CEIs, CEIOs, and Championships (Events), are governed by and must be organised in accordance with the following rules (each as amended from time to time): these Endurance Rules, the FEI Statutes, FEI General Regulations, FEI Veterinary Regulations, FEI Code of Conduct for the Welfare of the Horse, FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations, FEI Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes, and any other rules, policies or documents issued by the FEI from time to time that apply according to their terms to international-level Endurance Events (collectively, the FEI Rules and Regulations).
800.2 By registering with the FEI, submitting an entry for an Event, and/or participating in any capacity in an Event, Athletes, Trainers, Owners, Crew Members, Support Personnel, teams, Chefs d’Equipe, National Federations, and other persons participating in the Event are deemed to have undertaken to comply with the FEI Rules and Regulations, not only during the Event itself but also in the course of preparing for the Event, and will be liable for the consequences set out in the FEI Rules and Regulations in the event of any breach.
800.3 In addition to complying with the FEI Rules and Regulations, Endurance Events held as part of Regional Games (and participants taking part in those Events) must comply with the requirements laid down by the relevant IOC-affiliated Regional Games Association.
800.4 Without prejudice to the generality of Article 800.2, these Endurance Rules recognise in particular two distinct roles associated with the preparation and participation of Horses in Events:
800.4.1 The Trainer is the person who is responsible for preparing the Horse both physically and mentally for competition (which includes determining the appropriate exercise programme, nutrition, and veterinary care for the Horse).
800.4.2 The Athlete (who may also be the Trainer) is the person who rides the Horse in a Competition.
800.5 It is the personal and non-delegable responsibility of each person participating in any capacity in an Event, including each Athlete and each Trainer, to familiarise himself with all of the requirements of the FEI Rules and Regulations, including any amendments that may be made from time to time. Each Athlete and each Trainer must also ensure that each of his Support Personnel (including Crew Members) and any other person from whom he obtains advice or support familiarises himself with such requirements. Ignorance of those requirements will not be a defence in the event of any breach.
* * *
Now, Endurance Rules clearly states that ignorance of the law is not an excuse!
* * *
801. HORSE WELFARE
801.1 Horse welfare is the first priority in Endurance: everything possible must be done to protect Horse health, safety and welfare at all times. This guiding principle is the most important responsibility of all persons participating in Events, including Athletes, Trainers, Owners, Crew Members, Support Personnel, teams, Chefs d’Equipe, and Officials. Anyone participating in any capacity in any Event is required to comply strictly with both the letter and spirit of Article 801 and the FEI Code of Conduct for the Welfare of the Horse.
801.2 In addition to Article 801.1:
801.2.1 The Athlete and the Trainer must have knowledge of the efficient and safe use of the Horse, and must take care at all times of both human and equine safety.
801.2.2 The Athlete is responsible for safely managing the condition of his Horse over the course, taking account of the climate and other conditions, without compromising the welfare of his Horse.
801.2.3 The Athlete and Trainer may not enter or keep a Horse in a Competition if the Horse is suffering from an illness or injury or is receiving medication that would adversely affect or enhance its ability to compete.
801.3 The FEI has zero tolerance for any cruelty towards or Abuse of a Horse:
801.3.1 Failure to comply with Article 801 and/or the FEI Code of Conduct for the Welfare of the Horse may be considered Horse Abuse.
801.3.2 Any act or omission at an Event that amounts, in the opinion of the Ground Jury, to cruelty towards or Abuse of a Horse shall result in an Endurance Yellow Warning Card and Disqualification and may also be subject to the additional sanctions set out in the FEI General Regulations.
801.3.3 Any cruelty towards or Abuse of a Horse that takes place away from an Event will be subject to the sanctions set out in the FEI General Regulations.
801.4 Reporting requirements:
801.4.1 Any person who witnesses Horse Abuse must report it to the FEI in accordance with the FEI General Regulations. Such reports must whenever possible include the signatures and addresses of the persons who witnessed the abuse.
801.4.2 Any Horse Abuse must be reported without delay, but there is no time limit for reporting any such abuse. If the abuse occurs during an Event, the report must be made without delay to (i) the Ground Jury and/or the Secretary of the OC, and (ii) FEI Headquarters.
801.4.3 Any cruelty towards or Abuse of a Horse that takes place away from an Event must be reported to the FEI Headquarters.
801.4.4 A failure to report cruelty towards or Abuse of a Horse is itself subject to sanction as a breach of the FEI Rules and Regulations.
* * *
New rules contain constantly repeating phrases like a mantra about welfare of horse. Both Article 801 and the FEI Code of Conduct for the Welfare of the Horse contain phrases that Horse welfare is the first priority in Endurance: everything possible must be done to protect Horse health, safety and welfare at all times.
A failure to report about Abuse of a Horse is itself subject to sanction as a breach of the FEI Rules and Regulations.