The FEI General Assembly opened in Rio de Janeiro yesterday with a decision to postpone the vote on two of the most contentious subject to be debated there – the “blood rule” and the question of who should replace Margot Otto-Crepin as rider rep on the FEI dressage committee.

The FEI Bureau unanimously approved a proposal from the dressage committee to withdraw the much-debated “blood rule” – which states what should be done in the event of blood being seen on a horse during a high-level dressage test.

The Veterinary Committee has been asked to propose a general rule, in consultation with the various disciplines, that is valid and applicable for all FEI disciplines.

This will be discussed at the FEI Sports Forum in April 2012 and voted on by the General Assembly in 2012. Implementation will be on 1 January 2013.

Para dressage will also be covered by this new rule.

The Bureau today also agreed to postpone a decision on the appointment of the athlete representative to the Dressage Committee member, a subject which had drawn them into discussions with the International Dressage Riders Club.

“We we are keen to maintain a healthy working relationship with the IDRC as both the FEI and the Club have a mutual goal, which is to have democratic athlete representation on the Dressage Committee,” said FEI Secretary General Ingmar de Vos.

“The term of the outgoing athlete representative on the dressage committee has come to an end, so we need to move forward on this rapidly. We would like to thank Margit Otto-Crepin for all her dedication and hard work in the past.”