Eventing officials from developing nations will be paired with counterparts from top eventing nations to learn good safety practice in a new training programme launched by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).

The five-year Global Education Training Programme (GETP) will involve 50 officials per year as part of a drive to improve safety standards.

Initiatives include a mentoring scheme and four-day course-design workshop.

Shadow officiating, where officials from less experienced nations shadow the more experienced, will be key, as will exchanges in which “expert” officials work at events in “developing nations”.

“Education covers not just the athlete, but also technical organisation and training of the support network of judges, officials and course-designers,” said Alex McLin, general secretary of the FEI.

“This programme will play a major role in raising the quality and experience of eventing officials worldwide.”

British officials — technical delegate Mary Hambro and international FEI judge Andrew Fletcher — will take part in the new scheme.

Representatives from 13 national federations were involved in the 2009 pilot scheme of the GETP and there have been 78 applications from 22 national federations for the 2010 scheme.

The programme, which runs until 2013, is expected to cost CHF1m (£604,000).

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (18 March, ’10)