Minutes of the 2012 International Dressage Trainers Club General Assembly

Thu, 02/14/2013 - 10:18

The International Dressage Trainers' Club (IDTC) sent to its members the minutes of the 2012 General Assembly held at behind closed doors at the Global Dressage Forum in Hooge Mierde, The Netherlands, on 29 October 2012.

One of the more interesting discussions the IDTC held was a review of the London Olympics and if the Judging Supervisory Panel could be applied to more shows of different levels.

The IDTC also laid its finger on the sore spot in the sport, stewarding, and some IDTC members blamed social media for generating a negative image by posting rollkur photos online. The IDTC wants to look into controlling this image more. One member even made the suggestion to close the warm-up to the public and press!

Chaired by British trainer David Hunt, present board members at the General Assembly included Sjef Janssen, Kenneth Dyrby, Johan Hinnemann, Dane Rawlins, and Andrjez Salacki.  Other members attending were T. Bartels  R. Bastings, W. Bechtolsheimer, G. Bierenbroodspot, H. Bernoski, M. Caplain, A. Francqueville, C. Haddad, J. Hamminga, M. Hansen, J. Haazen, S. Helljesen, M. Heltzen N. Later, L. Lucio,  W. Pruchniewicz, M. Rosenhagen, B. Schlueter, P. Stoor, M. Thomsen, H. Van Bergen, L. Van den Berg, J. Van Daele, R. Van der Schaft, W. Verwimp,  D. Wigmans, R. Zandvoort, and P. Zavitz-Rockx.

The Chairman, David Hunt, opened the meeting

The minutes of the 2012 General Assembly were approved
1) Finances:  Rob Zandvoort went through details about the finances regarding the annual members meetings. When the cost of the meeting exceeds incomings should the shortfall be split among the participants or taken from the club’s account? It was felt that it would be unfair to burden participants with unexpected charges. Every effort should be made to insure that the meeting is self-funding and the most important variable is to know the precise number of attendees Suggestion was members sign up for the meeting earlier so the organizers knowbeforehand how much they can spend.  Cut off date January
2) Review of London Olympics and JSP
The Olympics were a big success. The standard of horses and the riding was very high. There were more horseswho were potential medal winners which made for good sport. The President who also was member of the JSP during the Olympics, informed about the JSP’s role. In the Grand Prix, 59 marks were changed. In the Grand Prix Special, 26 marks were changed. The purpose of the JSP is to improve the accuracy of the judging. The JSP go through every mark changed with each judge involved. The feedback from the judges is that they feel supported and backed up by the JSP.

Sjef Janssen asked when JSP can change a mark? David Hunt confirmed that the JSP can change mistakes only, not a judge’s opinion. They have to work within theparameters of the judges' marks, which mean they can only go down as much as the lowest mark given or up to the highest mark.

Dr. W. Bechtolsheimer wondered if comment on general view of the way of going, e.g.-tongue up, open mouth etc could be commented on/mark changed. David Hunt answered they advise the judges about which direction they are going.

It was suggested to bring JSP to smaller shows (CDI’s) to observe and be part of discussion. Kenneth Dyrby said “who pays for this”?  Can shows choose to pay and have JSP present?

Dane Rawlins urged this should not be forced on organizers, but maybe a possibility if show organizers should wish to do so. Wim Verwimp suggested JSP should be introduced to Pony, JR and YR Championships as well.
How are JSP members selected?
David Hunt explained: Members have to be respected in the sport, max 75 years of age. The judge must not be judging anymore, or working as a trainer at top international level. Discretion a key attribute.
Qualification for International Judge Status.

To become International Judge: The person can max beup to 55 years.  Many felt the sport was missing out on eligible people because of this age limit. David Hunt said this will be under revision. 
Development of new tests:

The test committee consists of David Hunt, Kyra Kyrklund, Katrina Wüst
There will be a new Intermediaire 2. The old Grand Prix Special is back. The Olympic Grand Prix Special will possibly be used for some indoor shows.

Sjef Janssen asked how many movements each mark should cover?  Suggestion was to separate the movements and divide up the difficult movements more. This would give fairer judging.

A re- look at the coefficient mark was wanted. There should be higher coefficients for the difficult Grand Prixexercises and possibly a different coefficient or the mostdifficult excercises, example x 3 for 1 tempis.

The tests will continue to go under revision every 4th year

Summary: worth looking at separate movements and thecoefficient system. The board will make a recommendation and present to the Test committee
Spectator protocol. How to deal with it?
Sjef janssen said we need new guidelines. The social media is difficult to control and they have a strong influence on our sport and how we are viewed by the general public. There should be a meeting with the FEI about this. It is important to know- and get guidelines on how to handle the pressure from the social media. Janssen urged the FEI should protect its riders; not talk to the journalists. Diederik Wigmans suggested closed warm up’s, or  visible warm up’s by screen. Not open to public. Different opinions among the trainers on the subject of warm up and publicity.

Dressage Judge and FEI steward Jaques van Daele said the FEI gave the stewards the responsibility. He was referring to the incidents at the London Olympics were there was photos taken of riders using hyperflexion and these photos got spread on the internet. The steward guidelines are based on scientific veterinary advice and horse welfare. The stewards were always present at the warm up’s during the Olympics, and no one commented on abuse or that the stewards should have interfered.

Linda Keenan suggested a meeting with the press, FEI, trainers and stewards to agree and make clear guidelinesto make all the involved in the sport work closer together.
To make a complaint, a rider or trainer has to pay euro 200,-. Wim Verwimp suggested there should also be acost for a spectator or press handing in a complaint. Today anybody can make a complaint, but only riders/trainers have to pay to have their complaintdiscussed and viewed . Maybe this will limit bad talk and complaints from people wanting to create bad press and atmosphere? People will consider more carefully when they have to pay a cost to have their complaint heard. The trainers agreed the way forward is to have a meeting with FEI about this.

FEI General Assembly :
This will be held in November 2012. The FEI haveindicated they want to remove the status of Associate Member from the stakeholder groups. The national Federations have power in FEI through elections. The future is a liason with the national federations to come forward with suggestions to the FEI.

The FEI is proposing that Candidates for the Rider representative in the Dressage must have ridden in one of the two last Olympic Games or World Games. As a club, we must associate with people in the federations. Members were encouraged to tell if they would associate with their Federation on the club’s behalf. There will be made a letter to the federations the members could present to their National Federations. This letter is a complaint towards the removal of the Associate Membership status in FEI.
The vote is on the 8th November 2012.

FEI Sports Forum:
During the sports forum, there will be a three hours round table discussion where it’s possible to interact with the FEI. The question to the members to get us to think was “If you were in a closed room with FEI,-what would you say”?  Many ideas came forward.
Spring meeting:
What do we want in the future, do we need the spring meeting or take a break from them? Should the format be changed? Is the timing wrong or should we continue as we have done? The reception was to continue with the spring meeting.

The general opinion about the format of the meeting was that the trainers wanted the meeting to be a more about horses and training, and to involve more horses, training and discussion about the sport and different training systems and theories.  Warendorf was a popular choice among the trainers, Ermelo secondly. Johann Hinnemann said he would ask Warendorf about the spring meeting in March/April 2013

Para trainers and membership:
Para trainers are welcome to become members. David Hunt will talk to Michel Assouline about recruiting members.
How can the trainer club get more members and more attention?, was a question from the audience. Linda Keenan manages the web page and PR. The communication mainly goes through email, not so much by use of the web page. Should some money be used to promote the group more or use the web page as a source to look up information about trainers for new members and clients? Is a facebook page a suggestion? No, was the reception from the trainers. The club should be to promote and encourage members by improving the web page. The club has 120 members, with 10-15 new members a year. The members promote the club in their own country and make it visible through this. The trainers didn’t want the group to be commercialized through media like facebook, but keep it a club for selective members.

Related Links
FEI Abolishes Associate Membership
IDRC and IDTC Met to Discuss Stewarding Guidelines and Team Formula at Aachen
IDTC Supports Ad Hoc Working Group
Spanish Equestrian Federation Opposes Haya's Request for Resignation FEI Dressage Committee, IDTC In Favour