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2005 February / March / April / May / June / July / August / September / October / November / December
European Dressage Championship to be held on planned date in Hagen, Germany
The PSI-organisers Kasselmann and Schockemöhle will host the European Championships Dressage in their Hof Kasselmann in Hagen in the Teutenburgerwald, Germany, on the same dates as originally planned: July 27 - 31, 2005. Mariette Withages explained that Hagen had the most complete schedule to take over the organisation of the 2005 European Championships from Russia. “Hagen was the only one at this moment with a complete, written portofolio with an entire programme, side programme, financial budget and sponsoring in order. I had some phone calls with other organisers like Nijmegen in the Netherlands, but the fact that the Hagen organisers guaranteed the same date as originally planned, has been decisive”, Mariette Withages said.
All most all national European equestrian Federations have agreed on the proposal of the FEI to have Hagen as the new location for the dressage championships.It is a big release for Mariette Withages that all the problems finally seem to be solved now. “The organisers have two weeks to get everything ready and they assure this is no worry at all.. I do hope that probably even more participants will take part in the European championships now, because of the lower costs to reach and stay in Hagen”, Mariette Withages summarizes.
Organizer details will be available Wednesday July 13, 2005 at : www.psi-events.de A link will also be provided form the FEI at: www.horsesport.org
2008 OLYMPIC GAMES:
EQUESTRIAN COMPETITIONS MOVED TO HONG KONG
The IOC confirmed today the decision of BOCOG (Beijing Organising Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games).that the equestrian competitions of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad would be organised in Hong Kong.
When the FEI was informed of BOCOG's wish to move the equestrian competitions away from the heart of the 2008 Olympic Games, the FEI made every effort to try to reverse the plan. Letters from the athletes and the National Federations to BOCOG in support of the FEI's position, as well as a proposal to move the disciplines to an alternative site just outside Beijing did not succeed.
The main reason given by BOCOG to move the equestrian competitions to Hong Kong surrounded the quarantine and inability to set up and enforce an adequate disease free zone for horses in China. Although these were mentioned in Beijing's bid when securing the Games, at the time it did not appear to be the insurmountable obstacle that it has now become. And therefore it has left the FEI with no alternative but to accept BOCOG's request to relocate the event.
Since 2001, the FEI has worked in close cooperation with the OIE (Office International des Epizooties) to help BOCOG establish specific protocols in order to obtain an international acceptance of the health status for equine that would allow temporary import and re-export of the Olympic horses.
Even if the decision is difficult to accept by many in the equestrian community, Even if it is a huge disappointment for the equestrian community to have its competitions staged so far away from the Beijing, thethe FEI will now turn its full attention to ensure that there is an outstanding
Olympic equestrian competition staged in Hong Kong in 2008.
The FEI has confidence in the ability of Hong Kong to stage horse sport and looks forward to joining forces with BOCOG. Hong Kong's experience in hosting international equestrian events is well known, even if a number of issues still remain to be solved. A study on the climate will be conducted during thethis summer, to determine the competition formats and schedules, as the normal weather patterns suggest an extremely hot and humid environment for horses as well as excessive rains and typhoons which could interfere with the timetabling of events. A number of safeguards will be established as the welfare of the competing horses is paramount.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club will be integral to this co-operation and it is acknowledged that they already have the best veterinary services in Asia.
BOCOG, the FEI and the Chinese Equestrian Federation will jointly establish a working group that will determine the long-term and positive legacy for equestrian sport in China. This group will develop an equestrian training and competition facility, which will be located within a newly created disease-free zone and will be able to host international events.
Her Royal Highness The Infanta Doña Pilar de Borbón said: "There has been a great movement of solidarity among the National Federations, riders and the whole equestrian community against this directive to try and remain in Beijing. I would like to thank them all here, as well as the IOC, who supported our case and negotiated at length with BOCOG. We now have a big challenge ahead of us: to be at the heart of the 2008 Olympic Games despite the distance from the host city. We hope are confident that, with the help of the IOC and BOCOG, the media, spectators
Question & Answer
and television viewers will have the opportunity to enjoy the excitement of the Olympic Games, which has been part of our history and heritage since the Stockholm Games of 1912."
Beijing was elected as a host city in 2001. Why was such an important decision taken so long after the election of the host city? Since when was the FEI informed of BOCOG's intentions?
The FEI unofficially heard about a possible alternative in Hong Kong for the first time after the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, but no concrete proposal was submitted before January 2005, when the FEI Executive Board was presented with Hong Kong as an alternative venue for equestrian sport.
How is it that the quarantine issues for the temporary import and re-export of Olympic horses was not raised at the time of Beijing's bid?
In its Bid book of 2000, BOCOG stated that the quarantine period would b shorten to 15 days, for all Olympic horses going through import quarantine approval procedure as a group through an agency designated by BOCOG". In its report of April 2001, the IOC Evaluation Commission already mentioned "the difficulties in providing proper equine quarantine measures to satisfy OEI and EU regulations"Since then, the FEI has repeatedly stated that if BOCOG and the Chinese government agreed to specific veterinary measures and OIE protocols, it was possible to organise the equestrian competitions in the initially proposed site..
Who chose Hong Kong? Was the decision taken by BOCOG, IOC or did Hong Kong express interest?
The decision was taken by BOCOGBOCOG
Two years to go to the Games. Is this period enough to build all the facilities?
The FEI intends to organise a visit of technical officials at the end of August in order to assess the proposed facilities and plans. So far, the FEI has only seen Hong Kong plans on paper or video presentations.
Hong Kong Sport Institute has raised strong opposition to the tenure of the equestrian competitions in Sha Tin, which would lead to the closing of their training centre. Was this opposition taken into consideration in the discussions?
FEI was only informed one month ago of the situation – FEI understands It is our understanding that BOCOG have found and now has negotiated satisfactory arrangements with all parties concerned which will be announced shortly by BOCOG.
Is it the first time that the equestrian events are organised outside of the Games?
1956 Melbourne (AUS), the equestrian competitions were organised in Stockholm -The reason reason was the distance & time for horses to travel by boat - air travel for horses was not an option at that time
What are the measures that will be taken to preserve the welfare of riders and horses competing in the heat and humidity that can be foreseen in Hong Kong at this period of the year?
Adapting We will adapt the competition formats for all disciplines, carefully plan careful planning of the competition hours as well as and planning the schedule programme, so that competitions can be postponed to later days in case of adverse weather. The heat and humidity index will be carefully verified and specific installations for the cooling of horses installed.
Wasn't it simply a cost problem for Beijing?
All proposals from the FEI to cut down costs in the 2008 Beijing Master Plan were not considered and it is the right of the Organising Committee to determine the investment they wish to make for each sport. The FEI drew BOCOG's attention to the fact that equestrian cancan be organised on temporary facilities and does not require huge budgets.
Will the same arrangements (visas, etc.) apply for Hong Kong as for Beijing?
Yes, and additional efforts will be made by BOCOG to encourage Olympic visitors to go to Hong Kong to watch the equestrian competitions.
Is it true that the riders threat to boycott the Games if they are held in Hong Kong?
Up to the riders to decide. Riders' representatives wrote to the FEI to express their concern with regard to the welfare of the horse if the equestrian competitions were to be held in Hong Kong. They never mentioned a boycott but made the point that their horses' health was paramount and that they would not put it at risk. We will maintain constant dialog with the riders during the assessment phase and later for the implementation of the safety measures.
This move is likely to affect the good media coverage of the sport as many accredited journalists cover more than one sport.
Will any specific measures be taken to compensate for this disadvantage?
The FEI has made a certain number of requests to BOCOG to ensure the best possible coverage of the equestrian competitions. Hong Kong will benefit from all facilities of a media sub-center directly linked to the Main Press Center in Beijing. Olympic Organisers are used to dealing at different locations than at the heart of the Olympic citys (for example with sailing and football) and thanks to modern technology, we do not believe that the location of the equestrian competitions will represent a major obstacle.
Congratulations to Janet Brown and Dr. Michael foy on the occasion of their marriage.
FEI EUROPEAN DRESSAGE CHAMPIONSHIP WITHDRAWN FROM MOSCOW
The FEI has taken the decision to withdraw the 2005 FEI European Dressage Championship from Moscow. The event was due to take place from 29 to 31 July in Bitsa.
The Russian Equestrian Federation and the Organising Committee were unable to provide the necessary funding to guarantee the proper organisation of the Championships
“I feel very sorry for the hard working organisers of the championship” stated Mariette Whitages Chairman of the Dressage Committee. “All technical matters could have been arranged and the site of Bitsa would have played a beautiful host to the championship. However, without the necessary
guarantee, the FEI could not take the risk of shipping the top Dressage horses in Europe to an event where there were question marks surrounding a number of areas”.
The FEI is in discussion with several NFs to ensure the championship will still take place. Details of the rescheduled championship will be announced shortly and all National Federations advised accordingly.
No EC in Moscow!
No financial guarantees in writing reached the FEI today at 2.00 pm Swiss time. That’s why treasurer Michael Stone and the chairman of the Dressage Committee Mariette Withages were forced to cancel the European Championships in Moscow today. “This really was our final call. Enough is enough”, Mariette Withages said. She feels exhausted and disappointed and will not be in charge as one of the judges of the CDI-W at the venue Bitsa near Moscow next week either, an event which was meant as a test-event.
The treasury committee in Lausanne is in meeting at the moment to do a candidate call for the European Championships. Hagen (GER), Arnhem (De Steeg) (NED), Hickstead (GBR) and Aachen (GER) are mentioned as candidates already. “But their might be new candidates or as a second thought reverses from candidateship. Also the new organiser has to be able to give financial guarantees. We hope to be able to have the EC at the planned date of July 27-31. Very soon this will be known”, Mariette Withages states.
Please follow the latest news on www.horsesport.org , go to dressage, and on www.dressagedirect.com
FEI EUROPEAN DRESSAGE CHAMPIONSHIP IN MOSCOW
FEI sets deadline for financial guarantee. Following the change of the presidency at the Russian Equestrian Federation, the venue and the Organizing Committee (OC) of the 2005 FEI Dressage
Championship to take place from 29 to 31 July 2005 was changed to Bitsa several weeks ago.
The FEI was informed that the financial structure originally in place had to be re-organized. The OC had a number of problems raising the finances to organize the Championship. The FEI received letters from the Government of the Region and of the City of Moscow giving assurance of their support to the championship but no concrete financial guarantee has been received yet.
The FEI is aware of the importance of this Championship for the Russian Equestrian Federation, however it will not take the risk of letting the championship be organized without the necessary funding.
Consequently, the FEI has asked the OC and the Russian Equestrian Federation to show their financial security by providing financial guarantees, for this championship by Thursday 7 July 2005 at 14:00 (Swiss time).
In addition, the FEI requires the following conditions to be fulfilled for the same deadline:
- Proof of payment for the chartered aircraft for competing horses and traffic rights for the aircraft to be delivered to the official transport agent Peden
- written confirmation that the necessary horse feed supplies has been contracted and permits organized.
- Written confirmation of the quarantine waivers
- Photos of the trucks for transporting the horses from the airport to the show ground
If all these requirements are not fulfilled by the set deadline, the FEI will be forced to cancel the Championship.
FEI BCM WORLD DRESSAGE RIDERS RANKINGS
The FEI BCM World Dressage Riders Rankings are now published on the FEI website section dressage, results, rankings (direct link http://www.horsesport.org/D/d_03_02.html)
No change to the Top Ten: Olympic Champion Anky van Grunsven (NED) is in the lead with 80.724 points.
MEETING OF THE FEI JUDICIAL COMMITTEE
The newly expanded Judicial Committee met in plenary on 28 June 2005 in London in order to address a number of pending matters.
In attendance were FEI Judicial Committee members: Ken Lalo (ISR), Erik Elstad (NOR), Philip O’Connor (IRL), Francis Michielsens (BEL) (outgoing member), Jens Adolphsen (GER), Leonidas Georgopoulos (GRE), Helen Huggett (GBR) and Rogério Marcolini (representing Committee member Felipe Amodeo (BRA)) as well as Alexander McLin, the Head of the Legal Department of the FEI and Annie Cormier Smith, in-house Legal Counsel for the FEI.
The meeting provided an opportunity for the Committee members to get acquainted with the new coming members and to exchange thoughts on the processing of medication cases, implementing the task force recommendation and the many other legal issues currently facing international sport organisations including the FEI and the equestrian sport.
The newly elected members are Jens Adolphsen, Felipe Amodeo, Leonidas Georgopoulos, and Helen Huggett. Together with the remaining incumbents, the Judicial Committee is comprised of qualified attorneys in multiple jurisdictions, all with relevant experience in administration and/or
competition with respect to various international equestrian disciplines.
The Judicial Committee members focused particularly on sanctioning policy with respect to doping and positive medication cases. In doing so, close attention was paid to the recommendations of the Task Force on Medication and Doping made to the FEI General Assembly in April 2005. These, together with the impact of the World Anti-Doping Code and other applicable laws, were closely examined with a view to providing for equitable and transparent processes and penalties, where applicable, in the future and upon implementation of other key task force recommendations.
Processes concerning evidence gathering and hearings, case allocation and conflicts of interest were discussed. Committee members considered proposals from the FEI Legal Department and provided input with respect to issues of publication, confidentiality and expedited (“fast track”)
procedures in particular cases, with a view to continuously improving the efficiency of the FEI judicial process.
The Judicial Committee heard reports from Dr Andrew Higgins, Chairman of the newly formed Medication Advisory Group (MAG), on the group’s work related to recommended levels of detection for laboratories with respect to prohibited substances and the establishment of indicative withdrawal times for certain substances. It also heard a report from Dr John Lloyd-Parry, Chairman of the Medical Committee (a sub-committee of the Judicial Committee), on
matters concerning the welfare and testing of riders in the various equestrian disciplines.
Highlights of certain issues discussed including recommendations made by the committee shall be published in due course.
FEI MEETS WITH WORLD ANTI DOPING ASSOCIATION (WADA)
The FEI and World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) held a meeting on 30 June 2005 in Lausanne. Tom Dielen, Director of the European office of WADA met with Sven Holmberg (SWE), Chairman of the FEI Task Force on Anti-doping and Medication procedures, Michael Stone, FEI Sports Director, Frits Sluyter, Head of the Veterinary Department and Alex McLin, Head of the Legal Department.
WADA had studied the recommendations of the FEI Task Force and was pleased to observe that they were in line with WADA policies in the fight against doping.
Among the different topics discussed were the following:
- Preliminary suspensions: the FEI noted that preliminary suspensions have been implemented by many of the sports federations that are signatories to the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC);
- Preliminary hearings: such hearings are essential to safeguard the rights of competitors where preliminary suspensions are imposed. The FEI and WADA representatives discussed the manner in which such hearings could ideally be carried out;
- Automatic disqualification: the issue of automatic disqualification was discussed at length. In this context, FEI and WADA representatives discussed the issues linked to the specificities of equestrian sport, including those related to responsibility of competitors for their horses, and those related to specific scenarios, such as feed contamination.
The meeting was fruitful and the FEI was very pleased to receive positive feedback from WADA on the Task Force’s recommendations that were presented at the 2005 General Assembly.
“The FEI has a stricter set of rules regarding prohibited substances than those laid down by the World Anti-Doping Code”, commented Sven Holmberg. “It was important for us to line up with WADA and be able to benefit from their practical and legal experience in the fight against doping” Holmberg added.m“I am very pleased with the work achieved so far, and I am confident that we are able to implement the substance of all recommendations of the Task Force by January 2006”.
The recommendations of the FEI Task Force on Anti-Doping and Medication Procedures are available on the FEI website www.horsesport.org, section NFs Corner
FEI STEERING COMMITTEE UPDATE
The FEI Steering Committee held its second meeting on 4 July 2005 in Geneva (SUI). The Steering Committee was appointed by the Executive Board to prepare the master plan and budget for the implementation of the FEI Structure 2006-2010 as approved by the FEI General Assembly last April in
London. The Committee is composed of Freddy Serpieri (GRE), 1st Vice President, Guilherme Sarmento (BRA), Treasurer, and Frank Schreve (NED), Chairman of the FEI Group II.
The Steering Committee and representatives of the FEI Secretariat in Lausanne were presented with a comprehensive report from the consulting firm Roland Berger. The meeting included a fruitful exchange of views on the process, a necessary step for the lawyers from the firm of Lenz & Staehelin who are elaborating the draft of the new FEI Statutes.
A progress report will be presented to the National Federations of the Geographical Groups I and II that will hold a meeting on 25 July 2005 in San Marino (SMR).