The FEI Dressage Calendar Task Force has met by teleconference on 16 April 2020 to discuss the reorganisation of the 2020 FEI dressage calendar, which has been upended by the corona pandemic.
The attendees of the FEI Dressage Calendar Task Force teleconference meeting were of Mark Samuel, Jack Huang, Frank Kemperman, Ulf Helgstrand, Beatriz Ferrer-Salat, Thomas Baur, Sabrina Ibanez, Francisco Lima, Gaspard Dufour, Aine Power, Bettina de Rham and Guillaume Dolivo.
While show organizers are craving to hear back from the FEI for confirmation of newly proposed show dates in the autumn season, the Task Force has only drawn lines and the sand with recommendations and made no decisions yet.
Recommendations to the Board
The DTF has recommended the FEI Board to approve the following resolutions until 31 December 2020:
- Applications and/or modifications for Higher Level Events (which includes CDI-W) dates must reach the Secretary General at least 8 weeks prior to the Event.
- Redefining “higher level events” for the purposes of the Calendar (i.e. should date clashes be considered for CDI3*/CDI4*/CDI5*?)
- CDI 3* shall be exempted from the date clash rule
The review of date clashes will be done on a case-by-case basis once applications and/or modifications are received from National Federations.
CDIO events will be favoured "in view of preparation of teams for the Games"
- Prioritise all CDIOs when date clashes are being considered, regardless of whether they are standalone Events or part of a Series, to allow for team preparation in the build-up to the Olympic Games next year.
The DTF recommends that the impact of the requested date changes on the existing Events in the Calendar should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and the DTF and the Dressage Committee should provide proposed solutions to the FEI Secretary General and the Board.
Recommendations for the 2020 Summer Championships
FEI Youth Championships in Europe
- The decision to maintain a Championship or not should be taken at the latest 10 weeks before the Championship;
- Championships must be held outdoor; and
- If the Championships is postponed to a later date in 2020, it should not take place outside the school holidays.
FEI Youth Championships in North America
The DTF noted that discussions are ongoing with the relevant National Federations regarding the potential postponement of FEI North American Youth Championships.
The 2020 NAYC edition is scheduled for August 2020 in Traverse City, MI. A suggestion was made to move the NAYC to December 2020 with Wellington, Florida being a potential venue, but the USEF has signed a three year contract with Traverse City, Michigan (USA) to host that event.
World Young Horse Championships in Verden
The Verden show organisation proposed a new date for the World Championships - 9 - 13 December 2020.
Dr. Klaus Miesner, executive director of the breeding department at the German Equestrian Federation, told Eurodressage that "The OC Verden and NF GER made a proposal for a change of date on April, 8th. That was even before mass events were prohibited until August 31st by our government one week later. The FEI Task Force for Dressage is currently considering this proposal and has been in discussion with us about the issue. I hope for the final decision very soon."
The FEI Dressage Task Force has rejected the December date as they clash with the busy World Cup Qualifier schedule in December (Salzburg, London, Mechelen).
The DTF believes and recommends that the WCYH Verden
- Shall be held outdoors;
- Preferably in Fall (September-October); and
- Ideally not clash with a World Cup Qualifier or adversely impact the World Cup Calendar.
The Chair of Dressage Committee and the Dressage Director to consult with World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses to ask for a new proposal for a change of date.
2021 European Dressage Championships
The 2021 Dressage European Championships are scheduled to take place in Budapest (HUN), 23-29 August 2021, but that are now three weeks after the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo
The DTF stated: "based on the confirmation from the Organiser that will not be in a position to host the Championships for the Olympic disciplines on a different date the DTF agrees that no Championship for Senior shall take place in Europe in 2021.
This means that the 2021 World Young Horse Championships in Ermelo will be pushed from its original date (29 July - 1 August 2021) to the Budapest dates of 25 - 29 August 2021.
"At the request of the Organiser, the DTF (with the abstention of the Chair of Dressage Committee, Frank Kemperman, whose son Joris organizes the WCYH) recommends to change the dates to 25-29 August 2021," the DTF stated.
2020 FEI Nations Cup
Due to the fact that all but one of the Events have been cancelled, the DTF recommends to cancel the Series.
2021 World Cup Final
The DTF suggested that this shall be reviewed later this year by the Dressage Committee with a recommendation to the FEI Board.
Possible initiatives to help Organisers in 2020
The DTF recommends:
- To include a Covid-19 Organisers relief levy only on Prize Money earned by the athlete(s) at an Event;
- To consider waiving the necessity of appointing foreign Officials for Events up to CDI3*;
- To reduce officials travel requirements for CDI4* and CDI5*; and
- To reduce Organising Dues for Events organised in 2020
The DTF took note of the decisions taken by the FEI Board on 15 April 2020 as follows:
- Waive all Calendar Fees (regular or late date applications/changes) for Events that are still taking place in 2020 (after 15th March 2020);
- This waive is valid until the end of 2020; and
- To defer any further financial decision regarding waiving of Organising Dues until there is more clarity on how Events will potentially be organised in 2020. The proposal is to discuss it again during the Board meeting in June.
The next DTF teleconference meeting will be on 28 April 2020 to review the applications received and collectively share the responsibility to accept and/or reject the application of date changes for higher level events in the FEI Calendar during the Covid-19 period.