FEI to Review Dressage Training Methods–Focus on So-Called “LDR”

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Oct. 5, 2015–The FEI, International Equestrian Federation, announced Monday formation of a working group “to thoroughly review” dressage training methods focused on the horse neck “stretching” guidelines that were drawn up in 2010 as a reaction to “rollkur.”

The decision to review the stewards’ guideline known as Annex XIII (click here–Annex XIII) was made at a stakeholder meeting at FEI headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland and came after persistent complaints about some training methods applied in competition warm up and training areas.

The composition of the working group has not yet been finalized, but the FEI said it will include representatives from the International Dressage Riders Club and the International Dressage Trainers Club, the FEI Steward General representing the International Dressage Officials Club, a veterinary expert and a representative of the FEI Dressage Committee.

The group would aim to finalize its conclusions in the coming months for presentation to the FEI Bureau for approval.

Representatives from the dressage stakeholders clubs and the European Equestrian Federation were at the session, chaired by FEI Dressage Committee Chair Frank Kemperman.

Stewarding, including the monitoring of pre-competition training techniques, education, support and respect for officials, competition formats, and judging were all debated at length.

Dressage Committee members also in attendance included Deputy Chair Thomas Baur of Germany, Maribel Alonso of Mexico, Luis Lucio of Spain and Athlete Representative Anna Paprocka-Campanella of Italy.

Dressage Judge General Stephen Clarke, who is also President of the International Dressage Officials Club, and Steward General Jacques van Daele joined the meeting via teleconference. Carina Mayer, who has taken on the role of interim Head of the Dressage Department was also involved.

The Association of International Dressage Event Organisers (AIDEO) was represented by its Secretary General Federico Padron and German member Klaus Roeser. The IDOC was represented by Club secretary Olivier Smeets.

David Hunt, President of the International Dressage Trainers Club (IDTC), represented the Judges Supervisory Panel, while the IDTC was represented by Linda Keenan and Board Member Sjef Janssen. International Dressage Riders Club (IDRC) representatives at the session were the Club’s President Kyra Kyrklund and Secretary General Wayne Channon.

Hanfried Haring, President of the European Equestrian Federation (EEF) and the Vice President Ulf Helgstrand were also at the session. Dressage analytics expert David Stickland joined the discussion on judging.

“This was a very constructive meeting”, Frank Kemperman said, “and there was a lot of solid debate and interesting proposals about stewarding and judging. It was very good to reach agreement on the formation of a working group to review and, if necessary, revise Annex XIII of the Dressage Stewards Manual.”

Ingmar De Vos, the FEI President, was also “extremely positive” about the meeting.

“We had some very good open and frank discussions which resulted in great input from the stakeholders today, especially on the proposal to introduce new formats in the sport for future Olympic Games and FEI Championships”, Ingmar De Vos said.

The FEI Dressage Committee will continue discussions on these topics at its in-person meeting this week with the potential for additions to proposals that will be put forward to next month’s FEI General Assembly in Puerto Rico.