Proposals to Deal With”Lack of Transparency, Conistsency, Clarity” In Dressage Judging to be Disclosed

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Frank Kemperman, International Equerstrian Federation (FEI) Dressage Committee chairman, pointing finger with dressage judges Dr. Dietrich Plewa (left) and Leif Tornblad. File photo. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Mar. 14, 2017–Proposals to deal with “lack of transparency, consistency and clarity” in dressage judging will be reported by a working group to the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Sports Forum April 10-11.

“The key fundamentals required of a new system have been defined as accuracy, flexibility and being easily adjustable, helping overcome natural biases, being easy to use by existing judges and cost effective to implement at all FEI levels,” the FEI said in a preview of the report by the five-member group set up last July.

The group will report on how dressage is perceived today and propose ways “to address the areas of concern to ensure that the dressage judging system remains up to standard of high performance sports in the Olympic program.

The findings are “based on analytical studies of the current judging system and on exploring judging systems used in other disciplines, such as reining and vaulting.”

Short term and long term solutions will be discussed, according to the preview, “to address the issues raised in dressage judging, which have been identified by media or stakeholders groups as lack of transparency, consistency and clarity.

“One of the long term objectives which will be proposed by the DJWG is to concentrate on education and training of judges across all levels and a proposal to introduce a code of points, which will need to be built with the input of stakeholders’ groups/technical experts.”

Findings are “based on analytical studies of the current judging system and on exploring judging systems used in other disciplines, such as reining and vaulting.

“One key area is the revision of the current judging system to give clarity and more transparency to athletes, officials, trainers, public and media,” it said.

“The second key area is the development of modern and up to date education tools for officials at all levels to ensure fair and open judging at all levels.

“The key fundamentals required of a new system have been defined as accuracy, flexibility and being easily adjustable, helping overcome natural biases, being easy to use by existing judges and cost effective to implement at all FEI levels.”

Working group members are:

–Frank Kemperman, chairman of the FEI Dressage Committeeand who led the 2009 task force that overhauled dressage. He is also a member of the FEI Bureau and organizer of the World Equestrian Festival CHIO at Aachen, Germany regarded as one of the world’s premier horse shows;

–Maribel Alonso de Quinzaños, a 5* judge from Mexico and a member of the FEI Dressage Committee. Maribel is also active in governance of the sport in the Americas and internationally;

–Kyra Kyrklund, a five-time Olympian for Finland as well as competitor in multiple world and European championships, president of the International Dressage Riders Club and current coach of the Swedish team. She is based in England;

–Richard Davison, a four-time Olympian for Great Britain who is also active in management of the sport at national and international levels, and

–David Stickland, a senior research physicist with Princeton University working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research that operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. He is a consultant to the FEI on dressage judging analysis.