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A shake-up of international eventing levels is planned for 2018.

Under FEI rule proposals for next season, which were revealed online on 6 July, the current star structure will receive a major revamp to incorporate two new levels.

At the lower end, a new 1.05m category has been proposed, which would become the new one-star.

The FEI is proposing taking the current CCI4* events into a “special event” section of their own — outside of the star structure — and has suggested giving these a new name, such as “iron horse” or “masters”.

It is has also mooted the idea of a new level — CIC5* — with dressage and showjumping at current CCI4* and cross-country at CIC3*, which could be used to support Nations Cup or a new World Cup series.

FEI 2018 eventing rule proposals

“The eventing committee is proposing for 2018, a review of the structure of the competitions to adapt to the current global level of the sport and better support the implementation of the Olympic strategy,” said a statement from the FEI.

“This is part of the continued effort to address risk management and the cost effectiveness of the discipline together with encouraging the development of the number of nations participating in eventing.”

It adds that the new 1.05m category would “allow a transition between national and international competitions in developing countries”.

“The level can be used for the pony championship as well as the basis for developing a children level or category in eventing.

This level would be optional for national federations and not included as a compulsory level of events to obtain qualifications.”

National federations have until 18 September to provide feedback and a revised draft of the rules will be available in October.

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Other major proposed changes include:

  • Removal of the dressage coefficient: this is where marks are multiplied by 1.5 to give a broader spread of marks
  • Changes to the “flag” rule: a rider will no longer be automatically penalised with 20 penalties if he jumps clear and knocks a flag, but chooses to represent to be certain
  • All team riders at championships to be required to wear national colours and saddle pads to clearly identify and differentiate between the different countries competing

The FEI is also proposing changes to minimum eligibility requirements in line with the new levels; “unified” specifications for one- and two-star events (instead of having CIC and CCI events at this level) and there are plans to consider two alternative positive scoring proposals during 2018.

For more details plus reaction to the rule change proposals, don’t miss this week’s Horse & Hound — out Thursday (20 July).