In recent weeks, the riders have influenced a U-turn in two unpopular FEI proposals. One is the reinstatement of the Table C from the World Equestrian Games (WEG) – an omission that would have been nearly as big a cultural shock as, say, dropping dressage from the three-day event.
The other is the FEI decision to not, after all, bring CSI entry fees in line worldwide. Many protested this would damage the horse industry in Europe where 90% of the world’s jumpers are bred and produced in a system reliant on a relatively inexpensive two- and three-star show calendar.
Often, when I mention the IJRC to people involved in the other disciplines, they wryly point out that as jumping is by far the richest, its riders have more vested interests to protect than most, plus the financial resources to pay professionals to do the lobbying for them. It’s also popularly reckoned that the FEI is more likely to listen to the jumpers than the other riders – because their sport is so rich.
There may be an element of truth in all that, but IJRC members haven’t left their very switched-on executive director Eleonora Ottaviani to do all the spade-work.
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