FEI Reining Committee Agrees New Rules Structure

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The FEI Reining Committee has now completed its work on a total revision of the Rules structure for the discipline. The proposed amendments will be sent to National Federations for full consultation before they are voted on at the FEI General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro (BRA) in November prior to implementation on 1 January 2012.

The FEI set up three working groups in January of this year to conduct a full review of the discipline, addressing all aspects of the sport, including rules and veterinary issues.  The proposed new Rules include a ruling that prevents any organisation that does not fully comply with FEI Rules and Regulations from running competitions in conjunction with FEI Reining Events.

The new Rules will cover training and warm-up methods used at FEI Events for sliding stops, spins and backing. Also included in the revisions are new Rules covering:

  • Types of bits allowed
  • Types of spurs allowed
  • Education of Officials
  • Minimum number of Stewards required at Events

Separately, the FEI enquiry into allegations that breaches of its Rules and Regulations occurred during training sessions at the FEI World Reining Final in Bökebergs Gård (SWE) on 20 May 2011 has now been completed.

The enquiry was based on detailed reports received from FEI officials on duty at the Event as well as interviews with key individuals, including the FEI Honorary Steward General for Reining Eric Straus, who was Chief Steward at the Event.

No yellow cards were issued at the Event, but the Chief Steward has since informed the FEI that verbal warnings were given to a number of riders in Bökebergs Gård.

The enquiry has established that verbal warnings were issued for a variety of reasons, including riding for too long, running a horse into the wall, overly aggressive use of the hands, overly aggressive use of the spurs and attempting to train post-competition. However, due to the lack of authenticated evidence such as original unedited video footage, no further action can be taken against any individuals.

Findings from the enquiry have been incorporated into the overall review of the discipline and have played a key role in finalising the proposed new rules on training and warm-up methods as well revisions to the FEI’s stewarding policy on enforcement of the FEI Rules and Regulations. The FEI is also working closely with the Steward General to coordinate revision of the Stewards Manual.

“We absolutely understand the importance of learning from this alleged incident”, FEI Director Non-Olympic Sports Ian Williams said. “Our work over the last seven months has been to ensure that we put new Reining Rules in place that protect the welfare of the horse, as well as systems that empower our Stewards to enforce those Rules.”




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