FEI Sports Forum 2024 opens in Lausanne with horse welfare at forefront of discussions

The 13th FEI Sports Forum at the IMD Business School in Lausanne (SUI) opened today, with more than 230 delegates in attendance and more joining online. 

In his opening remarks, FEI President Ingmar De Vos recognised key sporting accomplishments of the year, notably the launch of the inaugural Longines League of Nations™ (LLN) and the hosting of the FEI World Cup™ Finals. He commended the Organisers for their efforts in delivering exceptional events, specifically highlighting the success of the LLN legs in Abu Dhabi and Ocala, as well as the historic significance of holding the FEI World Cup™ Finals in the Middle East – in Riyadh (KSA) - for the first time.

Looking ahead to the rest of 2024, De Vos focused mainly on the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic and urged National Federations to actively participate in a digital campaign aimed at promoting equestrian sport in the Games in Paris, emphasising the significance of showcasing the sport and advocating for the well-being of horses on the world’s greatest sporting stage.

The FEI President also encouraged all delegates to contribute their ideas for an action plan based on the findings of the Equine Ethics and Wellbeing Commission. He emphasised the urgency of addressing existing challenges within the equestrian community and underscored the shared responsibility of all stakeholders in driving positive change.

As is customary at the FEI Sports Forum, an IMD representative addressed the audience and this year Cyril Bouquet, Professor of Strategy and Innovation at IMD, delivered a captivating and interactive keynote address, demonstrating how alternative approaches to problem-solving could benefit the equestrian industry. He urged delegates to embrace innovative thinking and experimentation, advocating for the exploration of new and unconventional solutions. Bouquet also highlighted the importance of testing ideas, learning from them and moving on in a rapid cycle of continuous improvement.

The first of the day’s three sessions was on the Final report of the Equine Ethics and Wellbeing Commission and proposed action plan, followed by Sustainability – a call for action, and FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Medication Control Regulations.

Grooms charter

The first day of the FEI Sports Forum also saw a group of equestrian athletes, organisers, owners, trainers and officials’ stakeholder organisations sign the FEI Grooms Charter. This document, which is built around the principles of horse welfare, integrity, education and safety, was created to ensure that grooms have the tools they need to provide the highest level of care for the horses in their charge, and that they are respected and supported in their role.

Sessions summaries

Summaries from each of the day’s three sessions are available at the links below:

Session 1: Final report of the Equine Ethics and Wellbeing Commission and proposed action plan

Session 2: Sustainability – a call for action

Session 3: FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Medication Control Regulations


The PowerPoint presentations made at each Session are available in pfd format in the FEI Sports Forum 2024 online hub (Session Documents section).

About Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) www.fei.org   

The FEI is the world governing body for horse sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and was founded in 1921. Equestrian sport has been part of the Olympic movement since the 1912 Games in Stockholm.

The FEI is the sole controlling authority for all international events in the Olympic sports of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing, as well as Driving, Endurance and Vaulting.

The FEI became one of the first international sports governing bodies to govern and regulate global para sport alongside its seven able-bodied disciplines when Para Dressage joined its ranks in 2006. The FEI now governs all international competitions for Para Dressage and Para Driving.

FEI Press Release
1 Photo caption: FEI President Ingmar De Vos delivers the opening address at the FEI Sports Forum 2024 (c) FEI/Richard Juilliart

2 Photo caption: IJRC President François Mathy JR and IJRC Director Eleonora Ottaviani at the FEI Sports Forum 2024 (c) FEI/Richard Juilliart