Thomas Baur, Organizer of Dressage Events on Both Side of Atlantic, Resigns from Organizer Groups in Protest at Makeup of New FEI Dressage Committee

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Thomas Baur. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Nov. 24, 2021

Thomas Baur, organizer of several dressage events on both sides of the Atlantic, has resigned effective immediately from the executive boards of both the international and dressage member organizations in protest at the makeup of the International Equestrian Federation  (FEI) Dressage Committee.

Maribel Alonso de Quinzaños of Mexico with the declared support of the International Equestrian Federation was elected chair of the Dressage Committee and the Executive Board a week ago and Great Britain’s Peter Storr was appointed to succeed another Briton on the committee. The committee of six members had previously been all-European. The election of Maribel boosts the number of judges on the committee to three, 50% of the entire body.

Thomas, 54, was vice president of the multi-discipline Equestrian Organizers and chairman of the dressag organizers’ groups. He was the organizers’ representative on the dressage committee from 2009 to 2015.

In 2013, he became organizer along with the late Lloyd Landkamer and in recent years with Monica Fitzgerald to build the Global Dressage Festival into what has become a major international circuit throughout the winter in Wellington, Florida.

He has also been involved in recent effort to expand the dressage circuit in California with two new World Cup dressage events at the Desert International Equestrian Center in Thermal in the fall and two new CDIs on the calendar for Thermal next winter.

Thomas is also the organizer of events in Salzburg and Achleiten, Austria and Cappeln, Germany.

“During the past years, the voice of the dressage organizers club hasn’t been heard,” Thomas said in his letters of resignation. “Our elected representative and proposal for the organizers’ rep in the dressage committee was rejected by the FEI. Once again we are in the same situation, with a new chair who is a bureaucrat and part of the ivory tower Lausanne. It is very clear to me that dressage but also the equestrian sport in general is facing challenges they are not up to.

“For dressage, I’m certain that things will now become even worse. With me stepping down, I am then free to criticize the dressage committee, and the FEI. Currently, that is not possible under current MoU (memorandum of understanding) with the FEI.

“I hope you understand my frustration, and my reasons for my resignation.”