Early hours Olympic dressage meeting was ‘inappropriate’ says FEI

  • A controversial meeting called by dressage technical delegate Mariette Withages with only four of the Olympic teams to discuss judging during the dressage competition has been deemed inappropriate, according to an International Equestrian Federation (FEI) enquiry.

    Representatives of the German, Dutch, Danish and American dressage teams met the ground jury, appeal committee and two FEI officials at 1.30am last Monday morning, more than 36 hours before the whole competition had ended.

    Other teams complained, so a second meeting was held the next day with everyone present, at which the issues were repeated.

    Mrs Withages said she had received a number of communications about judging and, while she did not pass them on to the judges, she thought it important to investigate.

    The president of the ground jury, Gotthilf Reixhinger, also said he had received a call from someone who wanted to discuss the principles of judging, but he did not regard it as appropriate and ended the call.

    He said he had reviewed his marking against that of other members of the jury to satisfy himself that there could be no valid criticism.

    A paper by Chris Hodson, FEI vice-president, concludes: “The judges agreed that the best course is transparency, meaning a willingness to discuss markings and principles with athletes and the media; this is already being done, but as always can be improved.

    “I am clear that the judging was not affected and that the two meetings produced common understanding. The first meeting should have been notified to all.

    “The procedure will be tightened so that this will not happen again.”

    You may like...