A sustainable future for the FEI’s oldest and most prestigious team series centre stage at Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Task Force Meeting

October has been a month during which important debates were held addressing crucial issues linking to jumping, debates in which the IJRC played an active role presenting a number of suggestions and considerations.

At the recent meeting held in Lausanne the focus was concentrated on one of the subjects that the equestrian world has most at heart: the Nations Cups.

IJRC president Kevin Staut and IJRC Board member Steve Guerdat made significant contributions to the discussion as members of the stakeholders panel held at the afternoon session of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Task Force Meeting at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne (SUI) on October 25th, 2022.

They were joined by several equestrian representatives from around the world who attended the meeting online and in-person at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne (SUI) to explore different options aimed at ensuring a sustainable future for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Series.


Lausanne (SUI), 26 October 2022

Equestrian representatives from around the world gathered online and in-person at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne (SUI) on Tuesday 25 October to explore different options to ensure a sustainable future for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Series.

A diverse spectrum of the Jumping community was present at the task force meeting, with around 50 participants from over 20 nations representing the interests of Athletes, National Federations and Regional Associations, Organisers, Chef d’Equipes, Owners, and the FEI.  

The day was divided in two parts, beginning with a very clear setting of the scene by the FEI President Ingmar De Vos, where he referred to the long history and evolution of the Series, the success of the Series and the need to adapt to a changing sporting and media landscape.  This was followed by presentations from FEI Staff including Jumping Director Marco Fusté, Commercial Director Ralph Straus, Legal Director and Deputy Directors Mikael Rentsch and Aine Power and FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez. The FEI delegation set out the current situation in relation to the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Series including the sporting context, the bidding process and legal requirements, the pool of events available to host qualifiers, as well as an increasingly competitive Calendar with international Jumping events rising from 720 in 2007 to 1771 in 2022, an ever-changing media landscape, commercial implications and a lack of identity for the Series.

With a break for lunch, and clear discussion points in mind for the afternoon, the second part of the day focussed around input from each of the different stakeholder groups and their ideas to secure the future of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Series. This was facilitated by a representative panel consisting of Athletes Steve Guerdat (SUI) and Kevin Staut (FRA); Organisers Nayla Stössel from St. Gallen (SUI) and Daniela Garcia from Mexico; Swedish Chef d’equipe Henrik Ankarcrona; Chair of the FEI Jumping Committee Stephan Ellenbruch; and, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez.

As the day progressed, with ample feedback from the panel, constructive contributions from the participants in Lausanne and a detailed proposal from online participant Beezie Madden (USA), there was no shortage of ideas and there was both consensus and an appetite to address certain challenges in the redesign of the series going forward.

For FEI President Ingmar De Vos who moderated the meeting, the dedication of the community “was echoed in the high level task force discussions, with all the participants expressing their commitment to the Series and everything it stands for, and a strong desire to see it succeed and maintain its place as the pinnacle of our sport. Because this is what many athletes aspire to – to represent their nation on the international stage, to be a part of a team, and to win or compete for their flag. And this is a dream which the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Series can and should continue to deliver for elite and developing equestrian nations.

“But to do this, we need a clear and easy to understand concept and a unique identity which reflects this status as the pinnacle of the sport, a global series with top events, and a narrative that can attract fans, inspire teams and create that strong sense of pride which goes hand in hand with the heritage of the FEI Nations Cup.”

“There is no shortage of commitment to the Series, but we need to secure and ensure meaningful change if we are to guarantee the viability of the Series for generations to come and we need the active help of our National Federations to provide us with the right tools to make this happen.

“I believe this task force meeting addressed all the relevant topics and confirmed that we are all in this together, and we will have to do this together in the name of the sport, and in the name of this wonderful Series which has such an important place in the community.” 

As for next steps, the FEI President confirmed that based on the constructive feedback from the meeting, an internal debrief will follow to establish future actions including drafting some proposals for a stronger framework, and a follow up meeting with the task force in the first quarter of 2023 to continue the fruitful discussions.

World-renowned Athlete and President of the International Jumping Riders Club Kevin Staut (FRA) summarised the position of Athletes and the general consensus in the room aptly when saying “we all want clarity and consistency (…) and we want the series to be rewarding for the Athletes, the NFs and the Organisers.

“We go for the glory, we go for the sport.”

For more information on the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™, click here.

Photo caption: FEI President Ingmar de Vos addresses the representative stakeholder panel at the afternoon session of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Task Force Meeting at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne (SUI) on 25 October 2022. The panel consisted of (from left to right): Athlete representatives Steve Guerdat (SUI) and Kevin Staut (FRA); Organisers Nayla Stössel from St. Gallen (SUI) and Daniela Garcia from Mexico; Swedish Chef d’equipe Henrik Ankarcrona; Chair of the FEI Jumping Committee Stephan Ellenbruch (GER); and, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez (SUI). © FEI / Anouk Ruffieux 

Regarding another important meeting with the FEI held early in October in Barcelona, many different issues were addressed as the minutes below clearly indicate.

On October 1st, the International Jumping Riders Club attended a meeting with the FEI at the Real Club de Polo, Barcelona.

Attendance List:
FEI President Mr. Ingmar De Vos,
FEI Secretary General Ms. Sabrina Ibáñez,
FEI Chair Jumping Committee Mr. Stephan Ellenbruch,
FEI Jumping Director Mr. Marco Fuste,
FEI Legal Director Mr. Mikael Rentsch,
FEI Director of Governance & Institutional Affairs Mr. Francisco P. Lima,
FEI President’s Office Manager Ms Barbara Rodel,
FEI Secretary General’s Office Manager Ms. Frédérique Reffet Plantier,
IJRC President Mr. Kevin Staut,
IJRC Director Ms. Eleonora Ottaviani
IJRC Members:
Cayetano Martínez de Irujo,
Steve Guerdat,  
Eduardo Alvarez Aznar.
Beatrice Ottaviani
The most important comments reached at this meeting were:

FEI World Championships 2022
A brief positive comment concerning the Herning World Championships.
The FEI’s President also emphasised problems concerning the Endurance World Championships that had been scheduled to be held in Italy, but then cancelled due to issues experienced by the Organising Committee.
Having seen the latest CSI held in Milan last July, it was recommended that the FEI should closely supervise the organisation of the next show jumping European Championship, in order to avoid problems such as those experienced with the Endurance Championship.
Marco Fuste reassured everybody saying that he is constantly in touch with the OC.

Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Taskforce Meeting
This Meeting was held in Lausanne on October 25th. IJRC President Kevin Staut and IJRC Board Member Steve Guerdat attended in person while Eleonora Ottaviani and IJRC staff attended online.

List of Banned Substances – Approval Process
This list is being updated together with Mikael Rentsch who is following the process and IJRC board member Max Kuhner will also be consulted.

Prize Money Inflation Rate / Payment of Officials / Increasing costs
The Club expressed its opinions concerning extra fees and a rise in entry fees over the past 10 years, also analysing in depth subjects such as prizemoney, conversion rates, the inflation index, exchange rates etc.

Payment of officials
This is a subject that above all concerns OCs, but it is also important that such expenses should not result in increased expenses for riders who already shoulder the burden of a rise in costs.
Riders have not requesting increased prizemoney but are requesting that Entry Fees etc should remain fixed and unchanged. An increase in costs or PM would cause a crisis for the entire equestrian industry.
The possibility that officials should receive a warning from the FEI in the event they should not do their jobs competently and seriously in the best possible way was also discussed.

Athletes Maternity Leave and Injuries is still ‘work in progress’ as far as deciding when ranking points should be frozen (freezing point).

Individual Invitations to CSIOs will in the future follow the rules established by the Invitation System.

PLUS: Following a discussion between our IJRC Director and IOC Secretary General in Rome during the Eventing WEG, the need has arisen to establish potential cooperation between the FEI and the IJRC regarding Social Licence.

Other important comments regarded the system on which the Ranking is based were also discussed and it was unanimously decided that the Ranking points allocation system will remain as it stands since although it is not perfect it is working really well.

In closing the meeting at 12 o’clock, it was decided that the next meeting will be held at the next FEI World Cup final in Omaha (USA).