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AN European Equestrian Federation (EEF) was officially established last week to help the national federations present a united voice to the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).

Although regional federations already exist for Asia and the Americas, until now European nations have presented their regulations individually to the FEI, making decisions complex and long-winded.

It is hoped that the EEF will ease communications with the FEI and be an important point of contact for lobbying the European Union (EU).

“We will co-operate with the FEI but act independently so communicating with them is key,” said Dr Hanfried Haring, president of the EEF (pictured).

“We are also influenced a lot by EU decisions so we need to be able to contact them effectively.”

The federation will be funded by contributions from national equestrian bodies such as the British Equestrian Federation (BEF).

Chief executive of the BEF Andrew Finding is a board director of the new European organisation.

“We are very keen that it is seen as a positive development, where we work harmoniously with the FEI,” he said.

And FEI president Princess Haya has “welcomed” the European federation, saying it brings Europe into line with Asia and the Americas.

Topics that the federation will be focussing upon include clean sport – drugs, welfare and disciplinary matters, the future of eventing, cost of major championships and EU legislation.