FEI NAMES MEMBERS OF NEW WORKING GROUP ON DRESSAGE WARM-UPS
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Feb. 18–Members of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) working group to expand guidelines on warm-up techniques were announced Thursday. Creation of the group followed last week’s roundtable conference on hyperflexion/Rollkur and aims to complete the guidelines by the end of next month.
The working group will be chaired by Dressage Committee Chair Frank Kemperman and be made up of Richard Davison of Great Britain, a dressage rider/trainer; John P. Roche of Ireland, FEI Director Jumping/Stewarding; Jacques Van Daele of Belgium, FEI Honorary Dressage Steward General/judge; Wolfram Wittig of Germany, dressage trainer, and Trond Asmyr of Norway, FEI Dressage Director/judge.
The group will draw on the expertise of a number of other specialists, including participants of the roundtable conference*. The working group aims to have the guidelines completed by the end of March, 2010.
The guidelines produced by the group will be communicated directly to stewards and to riders and trainers. The group is expected to also propose education of stewards to ensure FEI rules are strictly applied and that the welfare of the horse is maintained at all times.
Guidelines for stewards will incorporate the use of a range of sanctions, including verbal warnings and yellow cards for riders who transgress. Stewards will also be readvised to watch for signs of distress in horses, which may include but are not limited to obvious fatigue, profound or inappropriate sweating, persistent rough use of aids such as bits, spurs or whip, and over-repetition of exercises.
The FEI management is also studying a range of additional measures, including the use of closed circuit television for warm-up arenas at selected shows so potential abuse accusations can readily identified and recorded.
The FEI will ensure that all findings produced by the working group are communicated on an ongoing basis.