The FEI is promising a high-level review of dressage training methods.
The decision follows an all-day meeting on Monday at FEI headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, of the world governing body’s Dressage Committee and other stakeholders.
The FEI will now form a working group to thoroughly review Annex XIII of the Dressage Stewards Manual, which deals with training methods.
The composition of the working group has yet to be finalised, but will include representatives from the International Dressage Riders Club and the International Dressage Trainers Club, the FEI Steward General representing the International Dressage Officials Club, a veterinary expert, and a representative of the FEI Dressage Committee.
Meeting participants agreed that the group would aim to finalise its conclusions in the coming months for presentation to the FEI Bureau for approval.
The meeting was chaired by Dressage Committee chairman Frank Kemperman.
“This was a very constructive meeting,” Kemperman said, “and there was a lot of solid debate and interesting proposals about stewarding and judging.
“It was very good to reach agreement on the formation of a working group to review and, if necessary, revise Annex XIII of the Dressage Stewards Manual.”
Stewarding, including the monitoring of pre-competition training techniques, education, support and respect for officials, competition formats, and judging were all debated at length, the FEI said.
Dressage Committee members were also in attendance: deputy chairman Thomas Baur, of Germany; Maribel Alonso, of Mexico; Luis Lucio, of Spain, and athlete representative Anna Paprocka-Campanella, of Italy.
Dressage Judge General Stephen Clarke, who is also president of the International Dressage Officials Club (IDOC), and Steward General Jacques van Daele joined the meeting via teleconference.
Carina Mayer, who has taken on the role of Head of the Dressage Department ad interim, also played a role in the session.
The Association of International Dressage Event Organisers was represented by its Secretary General Federico Padron and German member Klaus Roeser. The IDOC was represented by Club secretary Olivier Smeets.
David Hunt, who is president of the International Dressage Trainers Club (IDTC), represented the Judges Supervisory Panel, while the IDTC was represented by Linda Keenan and board member Sjef Jansen.
International Dressage Riders Club (IDRC) representatives at the session were its President Kyra Kyrklund and Secretary General Wayne Channon.
Hanfried Haring, who is president of the European Equestrian Federation, and its vice-president Ulf Helgstrand were also at the session. Dressage analytics expert David Stickland joined the discussion on judging.
FEI President Ingmar De Vos, who had earlier welcomed representatives to the meeting, said afterwards: “We had some very good open and frank discussions which resulted in great input from the stakeholders today, especially on the proposal to introduce new formats in the sport for future Olympic Games and FEI Championships.”
The FEI Dressage Committee will continue discussions on these topics at its in-person meeting this week, with the potential for additions to proposals that will be put forward to next month’s FEI General Assembly in Puerto Rico.