New FEI policy concerning boot and bandage control effective as of today

1 July - The FEI Jumping Committee has issued updated guidelines for jumping stewards relating to boot and bandage control, and has also added a new policy concerning hind boots to the Draft Schedules for jumping events. The new policy – which involves a simple protocol – will enable stewards to ensure that hind boots are properly fitted, and will come into effect as of today. These new guidelines aim to help riders prepare their horses for competing under fair and equal conditions and is in line with the Jumping Committee's constant quest to ensure fair play at events.

 The updated templates of the Draft Schedules and the updated Annexes to the Manual for Jumping Stewards are now published on the FEI website for athletes and stewards.

 The policy effective as of 1 July 2014 is described in Annex XIV para. 2 (Stewarding  Prior to Competition):

If an athlete is uncertain as to whether the boots he/she intends to use during an event are allowed, he/she or his/her representative should show the boots to the Chief Steward for his/her opinion before the boots are used in training or in competition.

In addition, athletes are to be made aware that hind boots must be removed and placed again on the horse's legs in the presence of a Steward while in the warm-up arena prior to entering the competition arena for certain competitions. (If bandages are used in place of boots, athletes are not required to remove the bandages in the warm-up arena.) This procedure is compulsory for competitions for which boot and bandage control is mandatory, that is the Nations Cup, Grand Prix, and the competition with the highest prize money, and is at the discretion of the Chief Steward for other competitions.

As an alternative to carrying out this procedure at the time designated by the Steward an athlete may ask his/her groom to take the boots to the in-gate and place them on the horse's legs in front of the Steward prior to the combination entering the arena.

The Steward has the authority to intervene if a boot is deemed excessively tight by instructing that the boot be removed and put on again correctly. [Stewards are to note that it is normal for a horse's gait to be somewhat affected immediately after boots have been removed and re-placed.] If an athlete or his/her groom refuses to remove and re-place the boot(s) when instructed to do so by the Steward, a Yellow Warning Card will be issued to the athlete in question.

If it is deemed impossible or unsafe to remove the hind boots in the warm-up arena prior to the combination entering the competition arena, due to an extremely excited or nervous horse, the boots of the horse in question are to be removed by the athlete/groom following the athlete's round upon leaving the arena and inspected by the Steward. This inspection may be carried out during the boot and bandage control if the boot and bandage control is carried out for the competition in question.

This procedure does not replace boot and bandage control after completion of an athlete's round for competitions for which boot and bandage control is mandatory (refer to JRs Art. 244.1). [Note to Stewards: Refer to Annex XV for additional guidelines on hind boots.]