Coronavirus Leads FEI to Cancel in Person Sports Forum, Switch to Online for Key Topics

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Mar. 6, 2020–The International Equestrian Federation’s annual Sports Forum scheduled for early April has canceled the in-person gathering in the Swiss city and switched to online for key topics. The FEI gave no indication about the status of its World Cups of dressage and jumping scheduled for Las Vegas the following week.

The FEI said Friday “a full risk assessment of the rapidly evolving Coronavirus Covid-19 situation in line with the recommendations of the relevant health authorities” led to the cancellation of the in-person forum scheduled for April 6-7.

Numerous gatherings from conventions and major trade shows around the world have been canceled in the near term due to the spread of coronavirus.

“The FEI Sports Forum involves a gathering of multiple persons traveling from all over the globe and, while delegates may be healthy on departure from their country of origin, they are at risk of in-transmit contamination,” the FEI said in a statement.

“Additionally, if there were to be a confirmed case of the virus during the Sports Forum, there is insufficient infrastructure and resources to quarantine all participants.

“As a result of this assessment, it is absolutely clear that there are too many risks associated with hosting the Sports Forum this year and, regrettably, the FEI has had to make the decision to cancel the in-person event and host the time-sensitive sessions online.”

The FEI statement said it will organize an online session on anti-doping rules, including an update on the new WADA world code and proposed changes to the Equine Anti-Doping Rules.

The full session on Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will also be hosted online, with detailed updates on final venue preparations and logistics, horse transportation, and optimizing performance in challenging climatic conditions for both horses and humans.

Other topics initially included in the Sports Forum: events requirements and standards, status of grooms and coaching will be considered later.