Riders Club Approves New Statutes in Dispute Over FEI Dressage Committee Appointment

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The International Dressage Riders Club has approved changes to its statutes that are designed to meet objections by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) that has threatened to suspend the club’s associate membership of horse sport’s governing body.

An extraordinary general assembly of the IDRC unanimously approved changes to the statutes to enable an appeal against expulsion from the club as occurred last year when two riders who had been nominated by their national federations to fill a vacancy on the FEI Dressage Committee applied to join the IDRC.

The IDRC had nominated Waye Channon, its secretary general, to fill the “rider” vacancy on the six-member committee, arguing that the IDRC was entitled to nominate the representative. The IDRC expelled the two nominees as they had not been members at the time of their nominations and their applications were submitted after their names were put forward by their national federations.

The FEI labeled the IDRC undemocratic and also cited a recommendation from the Dressage Task Force against more than one representative from a single nation and that Waye Channon was British, as is the trainer member of the committee, David Hunt.

The IDRC announced moves to change its statutes to allow appeals against expulsions and also offered to witdraw the nomination of the Briton to be the rider representative.

The FEI announced in February it was initiating steps to suspend the IDRC associate membership over the expulsion issue.

The IDRC was formed in 1983. The current president is Kyra Kyrklund of Finland.

The result of the dispute has been to leave open the rider representative place on the FEI Dressage Committee so that decisions that could have a major impact on dressage are made without direct input from riders.

The extraordinary general assembly voted unanimously, by members who were at the meeting in England as well as by email, telephone and mail–a process the IDRC gave as an example of the club’s ability to gather feedback from around the world–to:

* Adopt new statutes providing for appeals against expulsions;

* Incorporate the IDRC in the United Kingdom, and

* Appoint Catherina Haddad, a German-based U.S. competitor, to the IDRC Executive Board.