FEI Dressage Task Force Meets for First Time

Dressage Task Force Summary Report for FEI Stakeholder Groups

On 12-13 January 2009 the first meeting of the FEI Task Force (TF) was held at the NH Airport Hotel, Frankfurt (GER). The meeting was Chaired by Frank Kemperman, Organisers (NED) and the following members were present;

  • Richard Davison Riders GBR
  • Robert Dover Trainers USA
  • Alain Franqueville Chefs d’equipe FRA
  • Elisabeth Max-Theurer Owners AUT
  • Katrina Wuest Judges GER

In addition the following FEI personnel were in attendance;

  • Eva Salomon Dressage Director HQ
  • David Holmes Executive Director Sports HQ
  • Anna Milne, Minutes taker HQ

The TF was appointed by the FEI Bureau at the General Assembly in November 2008. The role of the TF is to advise the FEI on the specific projects as published on the FEI website and repeated below:

  1. Review the issues surrounding the very significant area of the training and development of, assessment and selection of judges for major championships and Olympic Games; review as part of this development of randomized/computerized judge selection process.
  2. The fitness for purpose of the method of judging dressage competitions needs thorough review – both in terms of the number of judges, their positioning and the judging process.
  3. Following significant feedback from NFs it is clear that the decision to move from 4 to 3 riders in a team is not universally accepted as the best for the sport and this therefore needs reviewing.
  4. The system for qualification for Championships, and the receipt of Certificates of Capability for Championships, WCs and OG's.
  5. Review the consultation process within dressage and how it affects the structure of the committee going forwards to ensure maximum involvement by the key stakeholders both internal to the sport and external within the greater sporting/Olympic/Paralympics environment.

The task force will operate for one year and produce an interim report to the Bureau at its March/April meeting.

Introduction

In a short introduction the Chairman welcomed the TF members and FEI personnel. The TF then clarified and refined the ‘modus operandi’ of the TF. In particular they discussed the procedure which each representative could use to liaise with the stakeholders groups. The TF is required to produce a written report to the FEI Bureau by November 2009. It was envisaged that the report would evolve ‘organically’ through brainstorming discussion and interaction during TF meetings. Much would be work in progress continuing on from one meeting to another. However, when conclusions were achieved it was considered that these should be published to stakeholder groups in order to get feedback.

It was also decided that a summary report would be produced at the end of each meeting. This report would be used by each TF member to inform their stakeholder groups and by the FEI for distribution to the NFs in order that they should remain informed. The members of the Task Force recognized the great responsibility placed upon them to create a more democratic and transparent process, including regular consultation from all stakeholders through their representatives on the tasks presented to them by the Bureau.

Review the consultation process within Dressage and how it affects the structure of the committee going forward to ensure maximum involvement by the key stakeholders both internal to the sport and external within the greater sporting/Olympic/Paralympics environment.

  • The structure of the future FEI Dressage Committee was discussed at length.
  • It was agreed that this should take the form of five representatives from each key stakeholder group.
  • These groups were agreed to be Riders, Trainers, Judges, Owners and Organisers. Other groups were discussed but the composition of the committee must be in accordance with FEI statutes and fall in line with budgetary restraints. Marketing and media representation could be provided through FEI personnel or outside consultants.
  • In accordance with FEI statutes the role of the future DC would remain as an advisory group.
  • Consultation and communication with stakeholder group members would be through officially recognized International Clubs affiliated to the FEI.
  • Each club would be required to satisfy minimum operating criteria and be accepted at the General Assembly in November 2009 as an Associate member. Voting procedures for the club’s board members and officials and terms of office would all be standardized and scrutinized.
  • In turn NFs would be encouraged to establish national stakeholder groups whose views and representation could then be communicated through to the international groups and onwards to the FEI DC.
  • The subject of the chair was discussed at length; it was suggested that the Chair should not have a vote and that they should come from within the committee eventually, when a member comes to the end of their term of office. Review the issues surrounding the very significant area of the training and development, assessment and selection of judges for major championships and Olympic Games; review as part of this development of randomised/computerised judge selection process.
  • The Judges Education System was presented and scrutinised. This document is still in draft form and the FEI Dressage Director agreed to feedback the remarks and questions of the TF. A further update will be given at the next meeting.
  • Judge evaluation techniques were discussed in detail including official debrief meeting, the formation of a Judges Supervisory Panel, judging records, analysis and feedback from fellow judges, riders and trainers. Attached is the suggested questionnaire for riders and also the suggested overall feedback process. Task Force members should seek feedback from their stakeholders for the next meeting.
  • The selection process was discussed and it was felt that this should be reviewed and that the Task Force should see what other sports do in this regard in order to see if good practice could be used. The fitness for purpose of the method of judging Dressage competitions needs thorough review– both in terms of the number of judges, their positioning and the judging process.
  • It was agreed that since this is such an important issue that experts would be invited to explain the system of judging in other sports. The areas for review are the method of judging the tests, the positioning of the judges, the marking system and the number of judges etc.
  • Following significant feedback from NFs it is clear that the decision to move from 4 to 3 riders in a team is not universally accepted as the best for the sport and this therefore needs reviewing.
  • A number of issues and options were studied. It was felt that 4 riders per federation is the best option. The formula that the TF favored was 3 riders in a team plus an individual. The individual rider could also act as a reserve 13/01/2009
  • New formats for the competition classes were also discussed and will be re-examined at the next meeting.
  • It was felt that in order to move this key area forwards it is necessary to review how other sports run their competitions at the Olympic Games. Review the system for qualification for Championships, and the receipt of Certificates of Capability for Championships, WCs and OG's;
  • It was agreed to conduct an analysis to compare the different options for achieving qualifying score.



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