FEI SPORT FORUM: BUSY AGENDA FOR IJRC

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The International Jumping Riders Club is again attending the FEI Sport Forum in Lausanne (April 29-30) to maximize opportunities to meet decision-makers and ensure members’ views are reflected in the multi-faceted discussions.

The Sport Forum does not vote on new rules but is an opportunity to obtain an early understanding of proposals for 2025 before they go to national federation and stakeholders for consultation, and to meet head of FEI departments such as jumping, legal and veterinary.

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The IJRC will be represented by its president Francois Mathy Jr, director Eleonora Ottaviani, veterinary advisor Stéphane Montavon and other members of the team Laura Borromeo and Beatrice Ottaviani.

While in Lausanne the IJRC’s Longines rankings working group will have a separate meeting with the FEI President, Ingmar de Vos, Stephan Ellenbruch, Chair of the Jumping Committee, and FEI Jumping Director Todd Hinde.
The IJRC is committed to ensuring that young and other up-and-coming riders are not disadvantaged by any changes to the rankings formula and have access to 5* invitations that they deserve on merit.  
Another meeting with CSI organizers will include discussion on the array of additional costs charged to riders and owners at shows, with the aim of clarifying the essential and reasonable, and those we increasingly refer to as ‘fantasy costs’.

The IJRC will also meet a representative of the International Grooms Association and attend a board meeting of the European Equestrian Federation.
The most eagerly awaited presentation in the public sessions is that of the FEI’s Equine Ethics and Wellbeing Commission, who are expected to make final recommendations as equestrianism continues to meet the challenge of the Social License to Operate and recognize the wider public’s perceptions of how elite sport horses are cared for.
 
Of urgency from a practical perspective is the reluctance of organizers across all disciplines to host FEI championships. Another session is devoted to exploring why. Only Aachen applied to host the 2026 world jumping championships. Historically senior championships have been allocated two or three years in advance following competitive tender. But according to the FEI’s bid platform, no venue has filed an official candidacy to host next year’s senior European championships in jumping, nor in eventing and para dressage.

Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medications is the only FEI rulebook set for full revision this year and is the subject of another key session. The remainder of the forum is devoted to gender equality across key roles and levels; safeguarding; and sustainability, with regard to climate change and environment, with input from the International Olympic Committee.

International Jumping Riders Club: by the athletes, for the athletes

Since it was founded in 1977, the IJRC has worked tirelessly to ensure that the best interests of jumping and its horses and riders are served by the FEI and by the Organizing Committees.
The IJRC Board is entirely comprised of active riders and/or recently retired distinguished riders: François Mathy Jr (President), Ludger Beerbaum, Emilio Bicocchi, Michael Duffy, Steve Guerdat, Rodrigo Pessoa, Kevin Staut, Richard Vogel. The NARG (North American Riders Group) has indicated Tiffany Foster as a representative on the new board together with Kent Farrington and Lauren Hough who can replace her as deputies.
Eleonora Moroni Ottaviani is acting as Director of the Club and represents the athletes in the EEF Board and Jumping Working Group. 
The Board IJRC members are also actively involved in the FEI Jumping Committee (Rodrigo Pessoa), and the FEI Welfare Working Group (Cayetano Martinez De Irujo).
The Club also plays a prominent role in the Longines Rankings Working Group and is allied moreover with the NARG.
The IJRC has had a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the FEI since 2014 and was the first riders group to achieve this status. 
This entitles the IJRC to participate in all consultations prior to changes in FEI sport rules and other policy matters.

International Jumping Riders Club IJRC press release

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