The General Assembly of the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) concluded last Friday in Geneva, presided over by IJRC president, Kevin Staut.

Addressing the floor, he thanked all those present for attending, including IJRC members, the FEI representative, FEI General Secretary Sabrina Ibáñez, chefs d’equipe, owners and journalists, before detailing the IJRC’s initiatives over the past year.

In order to bring out the voice and the point of view of the riders, the IJRC had attended the following meetings, he said: FEI Sport Forum, FEI General Assembly, Longines Ranking Working Group, European Equestrian Federation’s Meeting Board and General Assembly.

He went on to underline the positive co-operation between the IJRC and the FEI Jumping Committee and legal department, adding that in the future the IJRC hopes to improve co-operation with the main body of the FEI and create more contact with National Federations.

The Ranking Points and Invitation System featured high on the list of priorities. Jérôme Begey and Victoria Rydborn (FEI information technology) reviewed the two pilot phases that have taken place in 2018 and presented the proposed changes for the future.

They underlined that the system would become an athlete active process and should give all athletes and National Federations a time frame which is long enough to choose and set priorities for the events they wish to be invited to. At a given time, invitations would be attributed to athletes based on their wishes, priorities, position in the FEI Longines Rankings and the quotas of the events.

The new workflows will be developed and validated during 2019 to be implemented in 2020.

John Roche talked about the next point on the agenda, concerned new ranking rules; a new ranking for young riders (under 25) and a minimum fixed money prize for 3*/4*/5* CSI. All the new rules are on the FEI website under the section “Jumping Rules”.

Following Roche, Stephan Ellenbruch Chair of the FEI Jumping Committee, talked about the New FEI Jumping Rule Changes regarding the use of: hind leg boots, blinkers, fly masks, sheepskin etc., martingales, bits and draw-reins. He also talked about the new Gran Prix qualification rules. Another very topical theme was discussed: Contamination. Anna Thorstenson (FEI Legal Department) explained there are different kind of contamination. Most derive from: natural feed, environment, supplements, human medicine and habits. Some banned substances can remain in the horse’s body for many months.

She underlined also the riders’ responsibility and suggested that they should always remain vigilant and informed. They should educate grooms and actively support the team working with the horse to be especially careful, since the rider is held responsible if not able to prove his or her innocence. The establishment of responsibility leads to suspension of all related activities for a period from six months to two years, with all the related consequences. Given the importance of topics on the roster, the need for active and constant collaboration between all stakeholders and the IJRC (representing the riders’ voices), came over, once again, loud and clear.

Text©IJRC - photo©IJRC/F.Petroni