Report from the 2007 FEI General Assembly in Estoril, Portugal

Wed, 04/18/2007 - 00:00
FEI Dressage News

The FEI Adopts New Statutes. The Statutes adopted by today' s FEI Extraordinary General Assembly are the culmination of a modernization process which began several years ago.

They are the product of transparent in-depth consultation with all the National Federations, so as to best represent the principles and norms that govern horsesport. The new FEI Statutes recall the FEI' s purposes and objectives and reflect its core values and fundamental principles. They are the FEI' s constitution and thereby set forth its organization and the attribution of powers, rights and responsibilities among its bodies and stakeholders, including the National Federations, Athletes, Organizing Committees and the International Olympic Committee. Indeed, modernising the governance structure comes not only from the need for the identification of core elements and purposes reflected in a constitution but also the need for greater clarity on processes and ways different bodies act and interact. They provide mechanisms for governance, accountability, action, operation and transparency necessary to further its existence and enable its progress, and for ensuring compliance with the Olympic Charter. The FEI Statutes were adopted unanimously by the FEI Extraordinary General Assembly. The FEI General Assembly which immediately follows is taking place under the new Statutes. Also presented to the vote of the General Assembly were the new Internal Regulations and General Regulations, which can be seen as the more specific and detailed implementation features of the broad principles set in the Statutes. These were also accepted.

FEI Development Programme

One of the key objectives of the FEI as the governing body of equestrian sport is to promote equestrianism in all its forms and to encourage the development of the FEI equestrian disciplines throughout the world. Development is also one of the six pillars of the FEI President' s Manifesto. To transform this goal into reality, the FEI is working on the creation of a comprehensive development programme the mission of which is to assists NFs in achieving sustainable growth and self-sufficiency so that all members play a full and active part in the FEI and horsesport. The first step in the production of such a programme is the assessment of the current situation. An NF audit was conducted and the resulting quantitative analysis was published. However, as some of the findings need to be refined. On the basis of this preliminary work, tailored made programmes, catering to the specific needs of the respective countries, can be designed. The second step will be the one of producing a long-term national development plan, including annual objectives, course templates, monitoring and evaluation tools, online support services, advice and service systems and centre network system. NFs would be requested to report on a regular basis in order for the package to be readjusted. A strategy phase ensuring the implementation of these plans will follow. In order for such an endeavour to properly function, cooperation and negotiation with the NFs is essential. Truly successful development is a two-way effort, with both parties giving and taking. If the National Federations decide to join the programme and make a full use of the tailor-made packages, they would be asked to express their motivation by accepting certain conditions set by the FEI. This will be formally done by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) clarifying these conditions. These principles were presented in today' s well-attended interactive workshop. They were discussed by the participants and best practices shared. The results of the discussion will be published on the FEI website. Given that this is a subject of special importance to the FEI, we will do our utmost to keep you informed on a regular basis.

2008 Olympic Games Progress Report

Delegates of the Hong Kong Equestrian Company made a comprehensive and very informative report on the progress made in the preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games. The presentation, which was followed by a Question and Answer session, covered key areas such as venues construction, accommodation, accreditation and test event. Work is progressing according to plan and Hong Kong will undoubtedly provide excellent facilities for very successful 2008 Olympic events.

Other matters of interest are:


The above mentioned document includes a summary of the specific competition regulations for the three Olympic disciplines as well as all the specific rules in regards to qualification of nations, riders/horses, substitutions, appointment which applies only for Olympic Games. The document is subject to approval by the General Assembly and will be published on the shortly afterwards.


The competition timetable, agreed with the IOC and BOCOG, is available on FEI website. Competitions will be held either early in the morning - 6h30 - or in the evening under floodlights to avoid the intense daytime heat.


An agreement between the IOC and the FEI was made allowing the FEI to be involved in the attribution of the Specialised Press/Photographers Accreditation for the 2008 Olympic Games. The procedure will be finalised in May 2007; full details will be sent out in due course.

TEST EVENT, 11 - 13 August 2007

The test event will be organised as a CCI2*. Preparations are up to schedule. Several NFs are expected to send horses. The Paralympic Test event due to take place at the same time as the Eventing was cancelled, which is unfortunate as this would have been the ideal opportunity to test the infrastructure and ensure that all facilities were compatible with the requirements for disabled athletes.


A meeting of the FEI Welfare Sub-Committee was organised in March, to primarily focus on preparations for a Heat and Humidity Information Event to be held in 2008 prior to the Olympic Games. Invitations will be sent to all NFs. Heat and Humidity Data gathering: It is FEI's duty to be fully proactive in providing the necessary information on heat and humidity management to ensure that competitors were well informed and in a position to prepare their horses optimally for the challenging climatic conditions that they will face in Hong Kong. The 2007 Test Event will provide invaluable information to supplement existing knowledge on competing under conditions of high heat and humidity. Sharing of information among the various NFs and the FEI was considered of the utmost importance. The key issues were to ensure that horses competing were in the possible best state to travel, were protected and assisted in their preparation to compete, that they competed safely in the Games, and returned home securely and unharmed. The ultimate aim was to use the science to ensure that the care and welfare of the participating horses were respected at all times in accordance with the FEI Code of Conduct.


The agreement signed by between the FEI and BOCOG and countersigned by the IOC at the time of the decision to transfer equestrian sport to Hong Kong required that a post-Games Legacy for Equestrian Sports was required in mainland China. It has been confirmed that an equestrian centre is to be established in the Guangdong Province 60 km away from Hong Kong. Its role will be to hold international, continental and national Jumping and Dressage events and serve as a national training centre. Establish A quarantine zone for importing and exporting horses is to be established. The 2010 Asian Games will be held there in the city of Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton.

Jumping - Invitation System for CSI 5* Events

Jumping is FEI's premier discipline: . Of the 1951 international events organised in 2007 world-wide were in Jumping. The FEI is proud of the healthy state of the discipline. However, it is its duty to ensure the highest degree of integrity following strict criteria of quality. The FEI Bureau therefore approved the introduction of an invitation system for CSI 5* events world-wide coming into effect on 1 May 2007.

The following is the summary of the invitation system, which was presented to the participants in today' s session on Jumping. Compulsory Invitations

- 70% of the total number of competitors invited must be from the top 150 on the FEI World Jumping Riders Rankings List established by the FEI two months prior to the event. Some further conditions must be respected and a consequence this percentage may need to be reduced.

- If an NF is invited to send participants but decides not to participate, another NF is selected by the Organising Committee in accordance with certain conditions.

- a maximum of 30% of the total number of competitors can be invited as wild cards by the Organising Committee through their NFs. These competitors can be taken from any position on the FEI World Jumping Riders Rankings List.

The FEI has the right to nominate one competitor. The level of the nominated rider must be of the required standard for a CSI-5* event. The maximum number of times a competitor can be nominated during the same season for this section is three.

National events

Organising Committees that wish to organize a national event must comply with the FEI rules for national events. These include the restrictions on the number of foreign competitors and the number of NFs represented by competitors.

Sanctions and consequences

If prior to a CSI-5* event it is known that the event will not follow the FEI technical conditions and the FEI rules for invitation of competitors, the event may be removed from the FEI calendar at the discretion of the FEI. If sufficient proof can be established after the event that the FEI technical conditions and the FEI rules for invitation of competitors have not been respected FEI World Jumping Riders Ranking List, points may be withdrawn at the discretion of the FEI and CSI status may be refused for the following season. If the event is a FEI World Cup' or Samsung Super League with FEI it may lose it status for the coming season. If the event is organized outside the jurisdiction of the host NF, participating competitors will not be allowed to participate at other FEI Events.

Anti-Doping Testing Overview

The year 2006 was a most productive year for the FEI with regard to testing, in terms of numbers of horses tested as well as the number of events covered. In total, the FEI tested 3173 horses: 2097 in the Medication Control Programme (Groups I and II) and 1076 outside of the MCP, which is superior to anything done so far. In ten years, the number of tests has doubled: there were 1,500 tests conducted in 1996. A bit disappointing was that the rate of positives remained the same overall: 2.5% in the MCP and 1.3% outside of it. As far as the different disciplines were concerned, the absolute number of positives coming from Jumping is inevitably the highest, as the events tested by the FEI are mostly Jumping events. An interesting trend was that the increased popularity of CICs led to more Eventing horses tested and thus caused a higher number of positives from this discipline. The breakdown of positive cases by discipline was as follows:

Discipline: positives 
Jumping: 30 
Endurance: 9 
Eventing: 14 
Dressage: 6 
Vaulting: 1
Driving: 1 
Reining: 1

In terms of expenses, there was a clear parallel between the increase in activities and the operational budget: MCP testing expenses went up by 40%. This means that a ceiling in testing, in regard to the current available budget, has been reached. It is therefore anticipated that the MCP fees might need to be increased.

Anti-Doping and Medication Control: Reducing the Risks of Positive Drug Tests in Competition Horses

To make a clear distinction between the use of routine, legitimate medication and deliberate and calculated doping to affect a horse' s performance, the FEI has published Guidelines to assist treating and team veterinarians. The objectives are to protect the welfare of the horse, defend the integrity of the sport and to reassure the public, sponsors and media.

The FEI believes that any horse requiring bona fide veterinary treatment should receive it, but recognises that the use of medication to treat illness and injury close to an event carries an inherent risk of incurring a positive drug test if insufficient time has elapsed for the elimination of the drug from the horse' s system. The Medication Advisory Group (MAG) has therefore joined with the European Horseracing Scientific Liaison Committee (EHSLC) to coordinate a series of drug administration studies to produce information for treating and team veterinarians. For FEI purposes, the drugs have been selected in collaboration with the International Treating Veterinarians Association and are collectively known as the FEI ' Medicine Box' . These are all treatments that might reasonably be expected to be used in routine clinical practice in the time running up to an event.

Experience over many years in the FEI has shown that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are clinically used in the management of injury to the locomotion system, are the most common group of drugs reported as prohibited substances. They have therefore been selected by the MAG as the first group for publication of detection time guidelines, along with the mucolytic agent dembrexine a local anaesthetic and a sedative have been added. Information is now available on the FEI web site on the following: phenylbutazone, flunixin, ketoprofen, dipyrone (metamizole), dembrexine, mepivacaine and detomidine (a sedative). Advice on further drugs in the Medicine Box will follow as soon as possible as the data from the administration studies become available.

The Equine Anti-Doping and Medication Control (EAMDC) Rules adopted by the General Assembly at its meeting in Kuala Lumpur (MAS) in May 2006 clarify that there is a strict liability on the Person Responsible with regard to prohibited substances. The MAG wish to point out that individual horses will vary in their responses to the administration of drugs as well as to the effects of training and exercise programs, diet, stable management and state of heath, which can all cause variations in drug elimination. Detection times issued by the FEI are not the same as ' withdrawal times' which must be a matter for the profession judgement of the treating or team veterinarian using an adequate safety margin and/or the FEI Elective Testing procedures. Further information is available on the FEI website:, Veterinary section.

Appraisal of the FEI President

On the request of the FEI President an independent audit report was prepared to evaluate the progress of the targets set in her pre-election Manifesto. The audit panel, consisting of Michael Bates (GBR), Jane Forbes Clark (USA), and Russell Withers (AUS) was appointed by the FEI Bureau in November 2006. The Manifesto of the FEI President contains six Key Pillars with Main Pledges associated with each of the Pillars. The Audit Panel reported on the progress against the Main Pledges and other key undertakings contained in the Manifesto.


Throughout this Manifesto I have included some bold statements and targets. To lead this organisation effectively, I have to be measured against these statements and also to demonstrate my leadership. I am prepared to submit myself to an independent external audit every year.

Audit Panel Report 
An Audit Panel, consisting of the three members named above, has been appointed by the FEI Bureau in order to conduct an independent review. The Manifesto also outlined a proposal to have the roles and responsibilities of volunteers in senior positions clearly defined. This is now the case through the FIE Internal Regulations to be approved by the 2007 General Assembly. Detailed Job Specifications will be presented to the FEI Bureau later in the year. The Manifesto outlined a proposal to ' enhance accountability, transparency and credibility of the organisation' . In the framework of its Integrity in Sport Strategy, the former Commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police, Lord Condon and Mr. Jeff Rees have been hired to conduct an ethics audit of the FEI commencing July 2007.


a) To grow the number of NFs, with differing degrees of professional help into properly constituted, well integrated and active members of the FEI.
b) To introduce a Global Network for all NFs provided by sponsorship in kind.

Audit Panel Report 
a) In March 2007, the FEI established an NF Liaison Office, the purpose of which is to assist all members, but particularly smaller NFs, to use more easily the services of the FEI and become more active and integrated. The FEI also conducted a survey and audit of all NF resources to be expanded in the framework of the evelopment strategy. 
b) A new FEI website with improved functionality has been implemented. Moreover, a comprehensive IT strategy has been produced and the first results should be released by the end of 2007.


To raise CHF 2 Million (20% of a total CHF 10 million to be raised) to be earmarked for Development.

Audit Panel Report 
CHF 2 million of the funds raised through the President' s auspices will be spent on development. A Development Strategy is being prepared by the FEI Headquarters.


To raise a total of CHF 10 million for FEI Projects and Horsesports in the first year of Presidency.

Audit Panel Report 
At the time of compiling the Panel's report, less than one year had passed since the President has assumed office. Presently, CHF 6.150 million has been received by the FEI through the President's fund raising initiatives. This amount is recorded under Extraordinary Income in the 2006 Annual Accounts of the FEI. There are pledges for the balance of CHF 3.850 million. On matters of commercialisation, Commercial Director Christophe Troendle has made significant progress in establishing FEI properties with accompanying sponsorship. The weekly ' FEI Equestrian World' is shown on television throughout the world and revenues from television rights have increased substantially.


To increase the efficiency of anti-doping and judicial decisions. Within two years reduce average time taken from testing to judgment from 2.5 months to 1.5 months.

Audit Panel Report 
At the end of 2006, there were 13 open cases versus 30 at the end of 2005 and 58 at the end of 2004. Adequate resources for the Legal Department have been achieved with the establishment of a strong team. Administrative process (Fast Track) is working well; the time taken to reach a decision for Standard Track cases continues to decrease. The development of the Medication Control Program and Medicine Box has been published on the FEI website. The Manifesto called for the establishment of an Athletes Commission. This has now been drafted in to the Statutes and Internal Regulations for approval at the 2007 General Assembly.


To set the conditions to take equestrian from a Category C to a Category B discipline by 2012.

Audit Panel Report
This is a long term goal. The FEI President meets regularly with the IOC in Lausanne. The IOC President and the Olympic Games Executive Director attended the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games. FEI has worked to achieve reduction of the quarantine period for the 2008 Olympic Games.


It was the Audit Panel's view that significant progress had been made against all of the FEI President' s pre-election Pledges. The Panel was satisfied that the Pledges and associated undertakings had either been achieved or were ' work in progress' . The Panel expressed its thanks to the FEI Headquarters for their prompt and efficient response.

FEI Commercial Progress

One of the reports that will be presented to the FEI Bureau and General Assembly is on the achievements of the FEI Commercial Division. We would like to take this opportunity to present to you the FEI' s commercial strategy and the major developments in this field. The FEI Commercial Division has been active for just over three years - it was set up at the end of 2003 - and is responsible for marketing, sponsoring and television matters. Its main objective is to provide the FEI with additional financial resources in order to better protect and further develop the sport. Horsesport enjoys exceptional core values. It is one of the very few sports in which men and women compete side by side on truly equal terms up to the highest level. It is more than just a physical activity, it is even more than a sport; it is a social activity that engages the whole family, a lifestyle that calls for strong commitment and immense dedication. Horsesport' s unique feature - the teamwork between man and horse - encourages responsibility and respect. Based on this rich tradition, the FEI Commercial Division has produced a long term commercial strategy organised along the following principles:


The rights to the FEI top events - FEI World CupTM, Super League with FEI and the FEI World Equestrian Games - belong to the FEI, which means that even though the events are handled by local organising committees, the FEI is an integral part of the selling process. This is a key element which makes possible long-term partnerships which was not the case in the past. The recent sponsorship successes bear witness to this fact. The leading animal health company Alltech became the first ever title sponsor of the FEI World Equestrian Games 2010. This new cooperation with the World Games Foundation Inc, the Organising Committee of the Alltech FEi World Equestrian Games 2010 and the FEI provides for world-wide exposure for four years, which admittedly is far more valuable than a fortnight in a single country as was the case for the previous Games partners. The partnership with the renowned Swiss watchmaker Rolex for the FEI World CupTM Jumping and Dressage Finals in Las Vegas followed by the title sponsorship of the FEI World CupTM Jumping, Western European League, is another valuable step in the right direction. Rolex have supported equestrian sport since 1957 and yet it is the first time in 50 years that a partnership with the FEI materialises. Rolex trusts the FEI and promotes their relationship with us, which results not only in a substantial financial benefit but also, and perhaps more importantly, in improved visibility and image. The FEI Headquarters are working on ways to increase value of FEI products and, thereby, add value for all stakeholders.


From a faceless organisation vaguely identified by an old-fashioned logo, the FEI is in the process of becoming a recognised brand. This is an in-depth process that goes beyond the change of logo. It is a change in philosophy, values and working methods. However, transforming the FEI into a brand is only the first step in a lengthy development. Branding horsesport is just as important as branding the FEI itself and the widening use of the "FEI at the Heart of Horsesport" strapline demonstrates the will to proceed in that direction. A second phase will be to further develop and better define competition brands, which will in turn be followed by a global communication campaign aimed at the knowledge about the FEI and horsesport beyond the equestrian fans to the general public.


To be successful commercially, the FEI needs to put to full use the potential residing in its specificities. The fact that there is no gender testing in horsesport, the contact with nature and the importance given to the welfare of the horse are valuable qualities that should be given prominence.


Horsesport enjoys an incomparable network encompassing all social strata, cultures and nationalities. It ranges over many crafts, professions and occupations. and the skilful activation of the network, which is a wealth of knowledge and connections, can provide for many exciting opportunities.

The leadership of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein is bringing the FEI and the whole of horsesport to another level of professionalism and excellence. The President' s Manifesto provides for a new structure which allows the FEI to improve and manage more effectively its properties. Thanks to all these factors, the general attitude towards the FEI is changing and the organisation gradually stands out as a partner of quality for such prestigious companies as Rolex and Samsung. 12/04/2007 - Financial Update

As a result of the positive commercial developemnts undergone by the FEI, there are visible changes in the articulation of FEI' s finances. The income earned commercially in 2006 - through sponsorship and television rights - represents 40% of the overall FEI income; also, this is an increase of 30% compared to 2005. This is a clear indication of the fact that the share of taxation revenues, generated by passports, registration and event revenues, is decreasing. This trend is to continue in the coming years. Taxation revenues are the second source of income for the FEI with an overall weight of 35 %. The third source of income is IOC and Olympic Solidarity contribution which has a share of 14%.

The FEI is convinced that our sport has a strong commercial potential and the organisation' s revenues will in time increase. However, it is important to highlight that FEI' s ultimate goal is not to accumulate millions in a Swiss bank for its own use. Our objective is to better protect and support the sport by supporting the event organisers, by investing in it in the form of additional prize money but especially in the various development programmes the FEI is running worldwide.

FEI Television

The Samsung Super League with FEI as it appears on TV One of the key areas for which the FEI Commercial Division is responsible is television. The cameras of FEI Television have become a familiar sight for organisers and visitors to FEI top events. We would like to take this opportunity to present a number of important elements that ultimately affect FEI Television, to specify the rights situation of the top FEI properties and to explain the way TV production from these events works. Our current strategy is to find a balance between rights fees and the scope of the coverage. In order to achieve value for its products and respect among broadcasters, the FEI always tries to charge a fee albeit, at times, a small one. A significant change over the last couple of years has been noted, broadcasters in general agreeing to that fee, which has led to a positive change their attitude to the sport. A contract between the organiser of the event, the FEI and the respective NF is established. The organiser is responsible for the delivery of the international TV signal; in order for this to be delivered, the organiser has in turn a contract with a host broadcaster, who is usually a national terrestrial, satellite or cable broadcaster. In some cases where no agreement can be made between an organiser and a national broadcaster, an independent television company has to be hired by the organiser at their own expense to produce the international signal. The international signal has to match the global standards outlined in the contract and it includes FEI series graphics and international sound (sound from the arena). It does not include commentary, presenters to camera and news inserts. Currently, the international signal has to be distributed by satellite or fibre optics through the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in Geneva. The FEI sells the event or the whole series to international broadcasters. The broadcasters have the choice of either taking the live signal or a programme of highlights. In the case when the live signal has been taken, the signal is sent by the host broadcaster to the EBU which in turn distributes it to the international broadcasters which may either show the competition live or delayed live; the latter option allows for some basic editing so that the event can fit the broadcaster' s time slot. To be able to produce the highlights programme, FEI Television attends each show, makes interviews and films additional features of interest. Following each competition, a master tape is collected from the host broadcaster and is edited into a 52 minute highlights programme incorporating the interviews and background shots. Once the picture editing is complete, a voice-over is added to produce the final edited master. Copies are made and couriered to the various broadcasters world-wide. Finally the master tape of each competition is included in the television archive. The results of FEI Television in terms of number of hours, broadcasters and countries are growing: the number of broadcasters of the FEI World CupTM Jumping has increased from four in 1999 to 18 in 2006. During the same period of time, the footprint has grown from 62 to 150 countries and the number of hours broadcast has increased from 75 to 501. Similar results are observed with the Samsung Super League and the FEI Nations Cup: there are now 16 broadcasters as opposed to 8 in 2000. The footprint now covers 160 countries - 138 in 2000 - and the number of hours broadcast has increased from 164 to 593. Thanks to Rolex, highlights of the Rolex FEI World CupTM Jumping and Dressage Finals will be broadcast on the Cable News Network (CNN), which rates as USA' s number one cable news network available in 88.2 million US households and is distributed to more than 1.5 billion people in over 212 countries and territories. Another very successful development has been the television magazine, FEI Equestrian World sponsored by Rolex. This monthly 30-minute programme puts forward the lifestyle surrounding horsesport and its less known yet exciting features. Twenty broadcasters air the magazine world-wide with among them such blockbusters as BBC World, the estimated reach of which is 220 million homes.

Horsesport TV - a New Generation Internet Protocol Television

Thanks to the constantly improving Internet technology, the FEI is presented with a new opportunity: on demand global television coverage of FEI events across all disciplines reliably made available on the Internet. Horsesport TV has the full potential to become the premier website for equestrian viewers combining a unique archive catalogue with a modern on demand service of news and sport in all FEI disciplines worldwide.

My Horse and Me - FEI' s First Video Game

In the final months of 2007 will be launched FEI' s first ever videogame. My Horse and Me, the most realistic horse experience simulation game ever, will be produced and distributed internationally by Atari, a major international producer, publisher and distributor of interactive games for consoles and PC CD-ROMs. The game will be available on multiple platforms (PC, NintendoDS and Wii) and will contain sections on training, competition and horse care. The game is licensed to Atari by the FEI, which is a proof of its authenticity and excellence. The FEI will share the selling profits with the National Federations.

FEI cares about youth

The future of horsesport What is youth, what future developments does the FEI envisage, and how will we come about creating a more cohesive and comprehensive image for youth in horsesport' It must be said that up until now, youth was seen as a rather ill-defined territory, as it is affected by all the different disciplines. However, this ambiguity is being resolved on a daily basis following the creation of a new role within the FEI Headquarters of a youth manager in February 2006 and a three- to five-year strategic plan to be announced by the end of the year. Indeed, the purpose and goals for the Youth Department are to enable a coordinated framework for youth, that is, for all riders under 21. There are currently four age categories:

Children: 12-14 years
Pony Riders: 12-16 years
Juniors: 14-18 years
Young Riders: 16-21 years

"In order to develop future objectives, the first crucial step is to gather information and produce a situation analysis for all the disciplines so as to best define what it is we really want to achieve and whether we can provide for greater consistency amongst the different disciplines in all youth related matters, as well as creating a logical pathway leading towards the senior age groups," explains Nici Kennedy, FEI Youth Manager Is the current infrastructure for youth enabling riders, what kinds of talent scouting procedures are in place, or even scholarships' Implementing long-term and viable solutions take time and once the above mentioned questions have been elucidated, we will be in a much better position to serve the future generations of horsesport. In the making at the moment, a new web page for youth whose objective is to provide an interactive and animated space with discussion forums and thought provoking issues which will attract the riders of the future from around the world. In essence, to use the tools with which the young generation is at ease.

Related Links 
2006 FEI General Assembly - Summary
2005 FEI General Assembly in London
1998 FEI General Assembly in Hong Kong