Olympic Agenda 2020 Working Group – June 2016
 
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Olympic Agenda 2020 Working Group – June 2016

British Eventing last week hosted their final Olympic Agenda Working Group ahead of the FEI Eventing Committee meeting at the end of June, where the FEI will finalise their recommendations for the format of eventing in the Olympic Games.

The BE Working Group, formed in July 2015, brings together representatives from the BE Board, International organisers, course designers, owners, officials, the Horse Trials Support Group and Event Rider Association UK to draw on their vast wealth of experience to discuss changes from a British standpoint, and this key gathering provided the opportunity to consult on the FEI’s Olympic Agenda 2020 proposals and format of the sport.

Formats

The current FEI proposal on formats suggests:

  • First Horse Inspection
  • Day 1 - dressage taking place over one day
  • Day 2 - cross country
  • Day 3 - Horse Inspection, show jumping for an individual medal followed by show jumping for the team medal


However the Working Group were unanimous in the decision of a second option:

  • First Horse Inspection
  • Day 1 – dressage over one day
  • Day 2 - team show jumping followed by the cross country
  • Day 3 - Second Horse Inspection followed by the individual show jumping

 

With the team medal being decided on the cross country phase and a second show jumping round for the individual medal, the second format delivers an exciting finish to both the team and individual competition, helping with the presentation and excitement of the sport. Running the individual show jumping after the cross country gives a greater chance of teams completing as well as ensuring a clear definition of medal efforts for the team and individual competition.

Adding further to the second option, it was suggested that the cross country would be run in a drawn order, that riders must achieve a Minimum Eligibility Requirement to progress to the individual show jumping phase and that this final round would be completed in reverse order of merit.

Teams

The BE Working Group were in favour of all horses being presented at the first Horse Inspection with the combinations who would be representing in the team, and the order in which they will run, to be submitted to the organisers afterwards, once competition had started teams could not make substitutions.
Composite Teams

It was felt that there should not be the possibility of composite teams but that qualification for the Olympic Games should be reviewed to allow more teams to qualify either through Continental Championships or the World Equestrian Games.

Individuals

Those countries represented by individuals only, and not by a team, should be able to have maximum of two individual athletes.

Presentation

The BE Working Group recognised the importance of how eventing is presented and that improvements need to be made to ensure the sport is appealing to as wider audience as possible. There is a large desire within the eventing community that the on screen presentation needs to be enhanced and it was suggested that the sport should work with leading experts on how this, and the overall presentation, can be improved. It was also recommended that the scoring system used at an Olympic Games should be universal throughout the sport and easily understandable to assist with the universality and inclusivity.

A significant point highlighted by the group was the requirement of the FEI, National Governing Bodies and Federations across all disciplines and nations to work together to gain the maximum coverage and engagement in the media throughout Rio 2016, ensuring equestrianism provides the best metrics possible.

Next Steps

The above recommendations outlined by the BE Working Group have been submitted to the FEI ahead of the FEI Eventing Committee meeting at the end of June, the FEI will then send their proposals to all National Federations in mid-July. Further feedback from the Federations will be returned in October ahead of the FEI General Assembly at the end of the year.

Further information on the BE Olympic Agenda Working Group can be found on our website;

July 2015
August 2015
November 2015
February 2016
March 2016