FEI proposes new event scoring system

  • The FEI Eventing Committee has asked for feedback from National Federations, the Eventing Riders Association (ERA) and the International Eventing Officials Club (IEOC) on a proposed new scoring system for eventing.

    The new scoring system, which would be implemented in 2007, is based on positive percentage scores with the aim of making the sport more understandable to the public. It also contains crucial changes, which affect the relative influence of the phases.

    More than two years ago international event rider Clayton Fredericks started an online survey because he felt that the British Eventing system — where there is no dressage multiplying factor, so a dressage score of 60% receives 40 penalty points — was preferable to the FEI system — where a multiplying factor of 1.5
    is applied, so a percentage score of 60% gives a penalty score of 60. The FEI system has the effect of giving a wider spread of dressage marks.

    “The BE system is easier to understand,” said Fredericks. “Also, with an average dressage mark at a BE event you can still go for a place if you have a clear show jumping round and a fast, clear cross-country round. Under the FEI system, the dressage leaders can be so far ahead that those who have an average mark may feel it’s pointless to go on with the competition.”

    Four hundred people responded to Fredericks’s survey — many of them FEI registered riders — and 99% wanted the multiplying factor removed. Among the changes proposed in the recent FEI document is the removal of the dressage multiplying factor.

    However, at a meeting of the International Eventing Officials Club (IEOC) at Badminton on 6 May the majority of those present felt most of the proposals should be disregarded, according to Richard Meade, president of
    the club.

    “The general feeling at the meeting was that the scoring system should remain the same,” said Richard. “If you took away the 1.5 multiplying factor that would downgrade the influence of the dressage, and there was no support for that.

    “Also to turn everything into plus points is not going to be a great help to people’s understanding. There are many sports where the lowest score wins.”

    National Federations, riders and the IEOC must submit their comments on the proposed changes by the end of July. To view the FEI document visit: www.horsesport.org and follow links to Eventing, Working documents, From the committee. If you would like to submit comments to British Eventing email: jonathan.clissold@britisheventing.com.

  • Read this story in full, which includes an outline of the proposed changes to time penalties, in the June issue of Eventing magazine, on sale now
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