Riders Club Loses Appeal Against FEI Over Candidates for Dressage Committee

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Maria Ines Garcia Cuellar of Colombia wearing Pan American Games bronze medal. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Nov. 8–The International Dressage Riders Club lost its appeal against the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) over selection of candidates for the powerful Dressage Committee.

Jens Adolphsen acting alone as the FEI Tribunal dismissed the IDRC claim that it had the exclusive right to nominate a candidate to the six-member Dressage Committee that is the governing body of the Olympic discipline

The case dealt with a replacement for Margit Otto-Crepin of France, former president of the IDRC, who has resigned from the Dressage Committee.

The IDRC nominated Wayne M. Channon, its secretary general, for the post. However, he is British and another Briton, David Hunt, is already a committee member representing trainers.

The national federation of Spain nominated Luis Lucio, a two-time Olympic rider, and Colombia nominated Maria Ines Garcia Cuellar, a medalist at last month’s Pan American Games.

The IDRC argued that FEI statutes gave it the exclusive right to nominate an athlete member of the committee.

The FEI argued that the committee, national federations and the FE Bureau could also nominate candidates.

Dr. Adolphsen described the rules as “ambiguous,” but said the IDRC failed to show it had the exclusive right to nominate candidates.

Wayne Channon, speaking for the IDRC , the organzation was said “not surprised” by the decision but was “disappointed.”
“We knew the burden of proof was with us and we believe we provided more than reasonable doubt over the FEI’s interpretation,” he said.
“What we aimed to do, and believe we have done, is alert the dressage world to the fact that riders have a problem with proper representation on the Dressage Committee.
“There may be a rider sitting on the Dressage Committee but they do not necessarily represent riders.”
Based on the judge’s instruction that the FEI should redraft the current rules so that the meaning is unambiguous, Wayne said, it now falls to the FEI and the national federations to take a decision on the real meaning and draft the rules accordingly.
“This is a chance for the FEI and national federations to demonstrate their commitment to the athlete in equestrian sport and give us the basic rights of democracy that they demand and enjoy.” he said.

The FEI Bureau will decide on the candidate at the annual meeting of the FEI General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro next week.

The IDRC last week escalated the battle over tje nominating process when it expelled Luis and Maria Ines from the group to bolster its position.

For the complete decision click: IDRCvsFEI-Final_Tribunal_Decision-7November2011