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Posted by Kirsty Pasto on 01/06/2020.

Preparing For the Safe Return of Equestrian Sport and an Update on the EA High Performance Program – 1st June, 2020

We hope you have all been keeping safe, well and healthy.  

Although the unexpected arrival of Covid-19 has caused extensive disruptions to the training, preparation and strategy of our riders and EA High Performance Program the equestrian community continues to show reliance and resolve as we all face the setbacks together.

This past week has seen numerous developments around the globe regarding the restrictions imposed by Covid-19 with many governments announcing new timelines for the resumption of sport and social activities, including the revival of equestrian events under strict social distancing guidelines. Our High Performance riders based in these countries have welcomed this development with many now refocussing their training to incorporate a new competition calendar.

The FEI also released their return to play policy for all events last Friday. The policy is aimed at assisting organising committees and National Federations with the safe resumption of FEI competition in all disciplines. The Policy will apply to all FEI Events held as of 1 July 2020 and has been put in place to limit the risk of transmission and further spread of Covid-19. 

It is now mandatory for FEI event organisers to conduct the risk assessment together with their National Federation and failure to do so will result in the FEI event being removed from the calendar. The Policy includes general best practice recommendations for organisers and domestically is to be implemented in conjunction with any requirements imposed by Australian authorities. In addition, discipline-specific guidance will be issued shortly by the FEI. A copy of the policy and resources available to Organising Committees can be found here:

Last week our NEXT Gen Eventing Squad Riders participated in their second online workshop aimed at continuing our riders’ development during a Covid-19 environment.  The workshop involved an in-depth session with the EA National Eventing Selectors where our riders were able to gain an insight into the selection process, what it involves and the multifaceted ways in which selection can be approached. 

The interactive session also saw the Squad riders take part in a mock team selection exercise where they were given a set of masked combinations and results, veterinary reports and risk categories and were asked to select their preferred team. The session was designed to give the riders a taste of how team selection works and to ask the selectors first hand any questions they may have about best preparing themselves and their horses for future team selection. The session stimulated productive group discussion with the riders keen to delve into the various elements requiring detailed attention when selecting a team. The workshop and was met with eager engagement and appreciation by the riders who came together for the meeting virtually from various parts of the world.

The EA High Performance Panel and the National Selection Panels have been working tirelessly on the selection policies in light of the FEI’s new qualification criteria for Tokyo 2020, which was released last week. Once finalised the policies will be submitted to the Australian Olympic Committee and Paralympics Australia for approval with the aim of making these available to the athletes and our stakeholders in a timely manner. We continue to work in the best interest of the sport and endeavour to update the equestrian community where possible with any further developments, as always we remain available to our stakeholders throughout this process.

In addition we have been continuing to operationally and logistically prepare for a delayed Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as advancing our overall High Performance Program. Whilst the delivery and orientation of the High Performance Program in 2020 has been reshaped due to the impacts of Covid-19 the integrity and content remains robust, progressive and resilient as we face this unexpected challenge as a united front.   

The health and safety of our people and horses remain our priority as we work together as a broader community in order to navigate through these unprecedented times.   

We thank you all for your understanding and continued support and please feel free to contact the High Performance team directly if you have any questions or queries.




























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