The Olympic format: top riders express their thoughts

Following Steve Guerdat’s speech at the FEI General Assembly, IJRC President Kevin Staut expressed his opinion on the Olympic format and underlined the importance of Steve’s words:

“The IJRC’s main objective as far as the Olympic format is concerned is to guarantee that our sport remains a discipline of excellence practised by the best riders, while respecting the well-being of our horses. I appreciate everything said by Steve Guerdat, a rider who fights for sound values according to his beliefs as a champion and his faith as a horseman”, said Kevin Staut.

On Monday November 15th, Olympic, World and European Dressage Champion Isabell Werth also spoke at one of Monday’s meetings at the FEI Hybrid General Assembly in Antwerp addressing several National Federations about the Olympic format.

She underlined how the opinions of riders are very rarely listened to in the FEI, saying that it would be better to listen to the athletes before the FEI General Assembly rather than during the Assembly. For riders the welfare of horses is of the utmost importance and can become a problem if they are under strong pressure from their teams because they consist of only 3 horse-and-rider combinations. Another important point is to always consider the quality of our sport and not the quantity!

“I consider it essential that an adequate level should be maintained during Olympic selections because there are ‘flags’ admitted that do not perform at an Olympic level and the welfare of horses then suffers – said Isabell Werth – Leaving aside the issue involving 3 or 4 combinations, it is essential that all teams be capable of competing at an Olympic level. This is above all necessary in Show Jumping and Eventing, disciplines in which there is a high level of risk for both horses and riders. We don’t want to have bad picture of the sport because of the pressure the riders have”.



DRESSAGE GRAND PRIX PODIUM TEAM GermanyPic Richard Juilliart Gold Medalists Team Dressage GER - RIO 2016 Photo FEI/Richard Juilliart