The European Equestrian Federation (EEF) took on 11 new members last week at its first general assembly.

The EEF was first mooted last September when a need for a forum at which to discuss issues common to European equestrian federations became evident.

The EEF now represents 40 nations, and has six associated members — including the International Dressage Riders Club (IDRC) and Event Riders Association (ERA).

During its first general assembly in Istanbul, Turkey, on 8 September, the existing EEF board — which includes the British Equestrian Federation chief executive Andrew Finding — was re-elected.

He told H&H: “The plan is to be supportive and complementary to the FEI (International Equestrian Federation).”

In the past year work has been done already on eventing safety, clean sport and reducing the costs of hosting major championships. New working groups were set up in Turkey to discuss the future direction of the EEF and to look at how the 40 differing nations could best work and communicate together positively.

Mr Finding added: “Not only is good work being done by the EEF, but it’s being done without bureaucracy and with minimal costs.”

During the meeting, the EEF accepted the FEI’s latest recommendations on the use of bute in equestrian sport (see tomorrow’s issue of Horse & Hound).

The EEF has formally applied to the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) for recognition as a continental association, in the same way that the Asian Equestrian Federation (AEF) and the Pan American Equestrian Confederation (PAEC) have been.