Demotion Added As Penalty for Judges Breaking Rules–FEI Proposed Change

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Oct. 26, 2016

Dressage judges breaking rules set out in the so-called Codex or code of conduct could face demotion in addition to existing penalties of warning letter, suspension or removal from the official judges’ list, according to a proposal by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).

Changes in the code are to be considered by the FEI General Assembly–the ultimate decision-making body of the FEI that governs international horse sports–in Tokyo Nov. 19-22 and came after some controversial actions by judges at qualifying competitions for the Olympic Games.

Among the changes from the previous code published in 2010:

–Judges to accept responsibility for being in good health and fit to officiate throughout the an event;

–Installation of an electronic signaling system in all the judges’ huts at FEI championships and games at Grand Prix level to discreetly inform the C-judge in case of blood, lameness, error of course, or similar incidents. It is is optional for other events;

–Forbids the use of other electronic communication, including mobile phones while judging, and

–Adding demotion as possible disciplinary actions for breaking the rules to a warning letter, temporary suspension or removal from the FEI dressage judges’ list. There are five levels of FEI judges, with 5* being the highest.

No change was proposed in the payment of €120/US$130 per day to judges, though some organizers especially in the United States, pay substantially more.

A working group led by Frank Kemperman, chairman of the FEI dressage committee, is studying judging.