Dressage Judging Working Group Named To Study Sport, Recommend Changes

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Frank Kemperman. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Frank Kemperman. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, July 7, 2016–Members of a working group to study judging in dressage and propose changes was announced by the International Equestrian Federation Thursday, to be led by FEI Dressage Committee chairman Frank Kemperman and includes only one judge.

The working group, the FEI said in a statement, will:

–Evaluate whether measures introduced after the 2009 Dressage Task Force that revamped the sport and included a wider range of stakeholders in the FEI Dressage Committee had a “positive, neutral or negative effect on the quality of dressage judging;

–“Evaluating the current dressage judging system in general;

–“Creating a benchmark of various subjectively judged sports in order to define areas for improvement in the dressage system, and

–“Issuing recommendations to the FEI Dressage Committee on ways to improve the dressage judging system.”

Members of the task force that was foreshadowed after the last weeks of the 2016 Olympic qualifying with some controversial results are:

–Frank Kemperman, chairman of the FEI Dressage Committee who led the 2009 task force that overhauled dressage after the 2008 Olympic Games. 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. The FEI said the group will reach out to stakeholders and members of the dressage community to encourage them provide ideas and documents for discussion.

The group’s first teleconference will be at the end of July.

The FEI also announced that as of next Jan. 1 all dressage competition results with detailed scores must be broken down figure by figure and judge by judge.

The change will provide complete and accurate results for all equestrian fans following international dressage and para-equestrian dressage results and will also allow the FEI to process advanced statistics and analytics to improve education for judges throughout their careers.