NEWS > General
Posted by National Admin on 07/01/2019.

FEI Update Dec 2018: Rules, Risk Management, Officials and Olympics


FEI Regulations for Equestrian Events at the Olympic Games

As you will recall, during the Rules Session at the 2018 FEI General Assembly in Manama (BRN) it was discussed and agreed that further modifications to the 2020 Olympic Regulations for Equestrian Events might be required based on the feedback of the International Olympic Committee.

On 5 December, a meeting with Swiss Timing and IOC (ORIS: Olympic Results & Information Services) was organised to review the implementation of the approved Equestrian formats in the Olympic results system. Further to this review, certain necessary clarifications / modifications to the 2020 Olympic Regulations were identified. As Swiss Timing and ORIS require urgent confirmation of these clarifications and modifications, they were submitted to the FEI Board for approval at its teleconference on Wednesday 19 December 2018.

Further to the decision of the FEI Board to approve these changes, the updates have been included in the Olympic Regulations (OR) available on

The changes made are as follows:

Eventing: Clarification in case of a tie for the Final Team classification, should two or more Teams have each activated a substitution (See OR Article 624.8).

Dressage:  If there is a tie for the last qualification place for the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, a draw will no longer be the first option to break this tie.  Instead, the second highest and second lowest scores of the athletes concerned will be taken into consideration, and if there is still a draw, the third highest and third lowest scores will be considered. Only if there is still a tie and only as a last resort, would a draw be held. (See Article 627.3).

Jumping: Changes made to clarify:

  • tie break procedure for the Team classification if the same number of Athletes in each team are eliminated or retired (See OR Article 630.8)
  • consequence of the disqualification of a Team member in relation to the activation of a substitution. (See OR Article 630.4)

During its teleconference, the FEI Board also approved the allocation of the Eventing Olympic Qualifier for Groups F and G and the Olympic Regulations and Qualification System documents have been updated to reflect these allocations. The Jumping and Dressage Olympic Qualifiers for the FEI Olympic Group C remain open and will be decided by the end of the year.
Please note that final IOC approval of the 2020 Olympic Regulations for Equestrian Competitions and Olympic Qualifiers are still pending.


FEI Regulations for Equestrian Events at the Paralympic Games

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games FEI webpage has been updated to include the FEI Regulations for Equestrian Events at the Paralympic Games, the FEI Paralympic Rankings Rules and the list of Qualifying Events for 2019. If you have any comments or questions please contact the FEI Para Dressage Department.



There are currently age limits (and potential extensions) stated in the FEI Rules and Regulations for a number of FEI Officials.

Recommendation 3 of the Working Group on Officials proposes to develop a competency-based evaluation system with the goal of replacing the age limit. In order to accomplish this Recommendation 3 it is necessary to have previously completed the job descriptions with checklists for each relevant role. The new FEI Director of Education and Officials will take responsibility to progress on Recommendation 3.

Until this work is done and the competency-based evaluation system is being formalised, the FEI Board approved during its in-person meeting in Manama (BRN) on 17 November 2018, this policy whereby FEI Officials who have reached the relevant age limit in 2018 or will reach the relevant age limit in 2019 can apply to the FEI Secretary General for an extension.

As a consequence of it, all relevant rules (namely Article 144.4 of the FEI General Regulations, Article 259.1.3 of the FEI Jumping Rules, Article 512 of the FEI Eventing Rules and Article 1102.5 of the Veterinary Regulations) as well as the restrictions pertaining to age limit in the Disciplines’ Education System are kept on hold and will not be applied. Instead, the present policy shall apply for the granting of an age limit extension, where appropriate.

Policy Criteria

  1. The present Policy applies to all FEI Officials and all levels in the FEI Disciplines AND Veterinary.
  2. The FEI Official who has reached the relevant age limit in 2018 or will reach the relevant age limit in 2019 (the “Applicant”) shall address the request for extension to the FEI Secretary General through his/her National Federation. The request will be sent to the email address of the relevant Department’s Discipline or Veterinary Director’s email address and to [email protected].
  3. The Applicant must have been active for the past 2 years.
  4. The Applicant must fulfil the requirements for maintenance of officiating status according to the Discipline requirements in regard to officiating and course attendance with a positive assessment within the past 2 years.
  5. The Applicant must be in good standing with the FEI. To be in good standing means, but is not limited to: 
           - Not have a pending disciplinary case by the FEI and/or National Federation;
           - Not have received a disciplinary sanction in the last 2 years;
           - Not have been in breach of the FEI Officials’ Code of Conduct. 
  1. The FEI Secretary General, in consultation with the Discipline Director and the Chair of relevant Technical Committee, shall at their sole discretion and on a case by case basis have the right to grant a 1 year extension.
  2. A first 1 year extension may be renewed upon a new application; the same process described above shall apply.
  3. FEI Officials who reached the relevant age limit in 2017 and before may only re-apply for an extension once the competency-based evaluation system is implemented.



At present, the FEI Endurance Rules define a Catastrophic Injury as one requiring euthanasia. Sanctions are applied on the basis of the owner agreeing to the horse being euthanised and can be avoided if euthanasia is refused with obvious serious welfare consequences for the horse. The Endurance Temporary Committee discussed this serious issue during their meeting on the 12 December and has proposed that, in addition to catastrophic injury, the sanction would also apply when there is a “Severe Injury” of the horse.

In order to protect the welfare of the horse, the FEI Board unanimously approved during their teleconference of 19 December 2018 the following modification to Article 815.3 of the Endurance rules which can be found here. This change would become effective as of 1 February 2019.

Please take note that in keeping with FEI Statutes Art. 20.3, the FEI Board may pass resolutions which are normally the prerogatives of the General Assembly. In such cases, the National Federations are promptly notified. If a majority of the National Federations eligible to vote, respond within thirty (30) days of the date of the notice, signifies its disapproval, the measure shall be rescinded if possible.

In addition, as the Endurance Temporary Committee continues working on its proposals for Endurance Rule changes for 2020, which will be discussed at the FEI Sports Forum next April, the FEI will actively reach out to Organisers to test the implementation of modified Heart Rates and presentation times in order to gather valuable information that will be presented as part of the Endurance discussions at the Sports Forum.


Eventing Risk Management Programme - FEI approved Frangible Device

The MIM Skinny Post & Rail kit has been added to the FEI register of products having met the standard for minimum strength of frangible/deformable cross country fences, to be used as from 1st January 2019.
The FEI Registration number given is FEI07SWE.
The register of products is published on our website under the Eventing / Risk Management section.

Eventing Education System – Evaluations of Judges at Events for Transfer to Level 3

The Eventing Committee has created an Eventing Officials Education Working Group to review the Eventing Education System and transfer protocol for Eventing Officials. The revised system is expected to be finalised by end May 2019.
Until the revised system is agreed upon, the current part of the transfer protocol for Level 3 referring to Evaluations/Assessments at Events for Eventing Judges, Technical Delegates and Course Designers, is not applicable.
Please kindly note that:
  • There is no change to Eventing Rules 2019 Art 511 which continues to strictly apply.
  • This provision only applies to transfer to level 3 Eventing Judges
  • The Eventing Course Concept document has been updated to include practical information and posted on FEI website
  • Requests already submitted or currently under review (included assessments already planned for 2019) will count for any future transfer.


FEI Driving World CupTM Rules

The FEI Driving World CupTM Rules, article 6.3, have been updated with immediate effect.
The complete rules can be found on


FEI Jumping Children's Classics Final 2018

Following the decision of the FEI Board, the FEI Jumping Children’s Classics Final 2018 will take place on 17-21 April 2019 in Tashkent (UZB).


Future development

During the General Assembly in Manama (BRN) in November 2018, it was announced that the US-based Reining bodies – the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) – were in breach of the terms of their cooperation agreement with the FEI. In order to ensure the integrity of the discipline and maintain a level playing field for all athletes competing in FEI Reining, the agreement with these two bodies has been terminated. Both the AQHA and NRHA have been informed that a binding commitment to implement the FEI rules on anti-doping, stewarding requirements and the age of competing horses are prerequisites for any future cooperation.
As mentioned by the FEI Secretary General, FEI Reining events will continue. National Federations and related associations involved in Reining are invited to provide feedback to the FEI Reining Department [email protected] on how they see the future of the discipline at international and national level.
We look forward to receiving your suggestions and feedback by 22 February 2019 (instead of 28 February as previously informed) at the latest.


Equine Prohibited Substances: Listing of bisphosphonates

What are bisphosphonates? 
Bisphosphonates are substances that can be used in horses to treat certain bone diseases e.g. osteoarthritis and navicular syndrome. They act by preventing bone degradation and provide very effective analgesia. Inappropriate use of these substances can prevent bone repair and lead to an increased risk of fractures and catastrophic injuries.

The two most commonly used products are Tidren and Osphos which are licensed for use in the horse. Other products are available however these are not licensed for use in the horse.
Bisphosphonates as Prohibited Substances
Tildren and Osphos are listed on the Equine Prohibited Substances List as Controlled Medication since they are licensed products with performance affecting properties and their use is everyday veterinary practice is widely acknowledged.

As of 1 January 2019, the bisphosphonate products that do not carry a license (i.e. Pamidronate, Neridronate, Olpadronate, Alendronate, Ibandronate, Risedronate, Zoledronate) will be listed as Banned Substances. As a result of this change, the FEI has received concerns from the equestrian community about the potential for horses testing positive in 2019 resulting from use of these substances during 2018.
Decisions taken by the FEI 
In view of the concerns from the equestrian community, the FEI has decided to maintain the listing of Pamidronate, Neridronate, Olpadronate, Alendronate, Ibandronate, Risedronate, Zoledronate as Banned Substance during 2019 but these substances will not become prohibited until 1 January 2020. The delay in implementation will therefore allow adequate clearance time of the drug from the horse’s body, following use of these substances during 2018.

Further to this decision, a study will commence in January 2019 concerning the use of these substances in clinical cases of non-FEI horses. The aim of the study is to determine substance elimination times and the lowest concentrations of these substances that could result in a positive test. 

Please contact the FEI Veterinary Department on [email protected] should you have any questions regarding bisphosphonates.
Other Top News