Saturday, December 06, 2008

FEI - 2009 Rules - Explanation of changes

compiled by Anne Ayala

Endurance riders interested in FEI should go to the FEI website and go to Endurance/Rules and download a copy of the 2009 Rules for Endurance. Below I have tried to point out the most important changes in the Rules and offer some advice based on clarification received from Vonita Bowers at USEF.

In 2008 (before the new rules go into effect on Jan. 1), a rider should compete any horse that has not successfully competed in FEI within the last 24 months at the highest distance (50,75,100) that they are comfortable with. Successful completion is more important at this date than getting a COC. Then in 2009 the horse will be able to move up in the Star Qualifying system to the next level (i.e. FEI 50 completed, horse can then do an FEI 75, and with successful completion at that distance (2*), can attempt an FEI 100, and with completion of an FEI 100 can continue at that distance.

Rider’s FEI experience is lifetime, so if you have done FEI in the past, you are qualified at the next distance level. If, as a rider, you have not successfully completed an FEI ride, try to do so at a 50 or 75 or 100 mile level before January, 2009. Then you as a rider will be eligible to move up to the next Star level or continue at the 3* level.
To compete at the FEI 50 and 75 mile distances, you need: Descriptive Coggins papers that clearly identify the horse, and Veterinary papers confirming the two equine influenza vaccines. At the 100 mile level the horse must have an FEI Passport. All competitors must have: Competition Membership in USEF, USEF Horse Annual or Lifetime Registration, and FEI Horse and Rider Registration. All of these are done through the USEF office.

These levels do not need to be a horse/rider combination as the horse and rider are separately qualified. The only time there must be a combination is when a horse/rider team is trying to get a COC to qualify for an upcoming event (usually a Championship or World Cup event).

If you are just beginning either as a horse or rider in FEI competition after January 2009, each must first complete or verify Novice Qualifying rides before you can register you or your horse for the first FEI 1* (50 mile or 80 km ride). You will be able to count AERC rides for this experience. Transitional rules state: “Riders and Horses that have already successfully completed at least 3 National Events (AERC) within 2007 and 2008 at distances up to and including 90 km (56 miles), not subject to time restrictions, will not need to re-qualify prior to competing within FEI competitions. After, January, 2009, Article 816 of the 2009 rules explains what you need have on your record before doing an FEI 1* --- 2 LD rides and 2 50-mile rides no faster than 10 miles per hour (i.e. ride time of 5 hours or more on a 50 or 2.5 hrs or more on an LD). OR 3 50-mile rides at speeds 10 mph or less, meaning 5+ hours). You should look up your record for the past 2 years and be prepared to enter these qualifying rides on any FEI entry form in 2009.

New rule on horse age: Horse must be at least 5 yrs to qualify as Novice. One Star (50) and Two Star (75) must be 6 yrs. Three Star (100) must be 7 yrs and Four Star Championship horse must be 8 yrs old. USA horses are deemed to have their birthday on Jan. 1. That is, any horse born in 2004 is considered to be 5 yrs. old as of Jan 1, 2009. (Article 812)

Same rule on rider age: A rider is eligible to participate in a CEI from the year in which they reach their 14th birthday (any time within that year) and who has paid the required USEF membership and FEI registrations.

Rest periods: Once you begin the FEI Star Qualifying system, your horse must be given certain rest periods after a competition (Article 815.3): 13 days rest after an FEI 50 and 20 days rest after any distance above 50 miles. Likewise there are new rules regarding longer rest periods for a horse that is eliminated for metabolic reasons which require immediate invasive treatment at a CEI event (see Article 815.3).

Championships: For those of you who are interested in competing at the Championship (4*) level, please read Article 816.3 carefully for the requirements, noting in particular the number of CEI 2* events or higher required for horse (3) and rider (5).

FEI Endurance Log: It is anticipated that each horse shall have an official log that accompanies the Passport (Article 820.8) in which the results of each FEI competition undertaken will be recorded, including any details of treatment and required rest period. These entries will be made by the Vet Delegate or the President of the Ground Jury.

Weight of rider: At senior CEI 3* events the minimum riding weight may be between 75kg (as in the past) or 70 kg; however to serve as a qualifying event for Championships the minimum riding weight of 75 kg. must be in place. At 1* and 2* events other weight divisions may be allowed, if specified in the Definite Schedule.

Dress Code: For riders, the dress code for competition remains much the same: protective headgear, safe footwear with heels or boxed stirrups/equestrian safety stirrups, shirt with collar, appropriate riding gear.

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