New hybrid Olympic eventing format submitted by FEI to IOC

  • A new eventing format for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics has been put forward to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), comprising two days of medals and elements of both long- and short-format competitions.

    The IOC told the FEI at Christmas that the federation had until 1 March to come up with a new format for eventing at LA28. This news was made public at the FEI online eventing seminar on 20 January, where several ideas were tabled.

    The FEI has now confirmed which of these it submitted to the IOC this week, ahead of today’s (1 March) deadline.

    The proposed format involves the team competition run as a short format (dressage, showjumping, then cross-country), with the medals awarded after cross-country on day three. The individual competition remains in the long format, as at previous Olympics, which would mean the extra showjumping round to decide individual medals would take place the day after cross-country (day four).

    During the eventing seminar, FEI eventing committee chairman and Olympic gold medallist David O’Connor stressed that the “short-format” cross-country would still run according to the current specifications of 10 minutes.

    An FEI spokesman told H&H today that the FEI board held a teleconference on Tuesday, adding: “The board agreed with the proposed modifications to the eventing Olympic competition format, which will be shared with the IOC by the set deadline of 1 March 2024 as per the official international federations consultation process launched by the IOC.”

    The spokesman added that the proposal was discussed during the eventing seminar in January.

    “The details pertaining to the technical aspects of the proposed format will be discussed in detail next year in the framework of the revision of the FEI regulations for equestrian events at the Olympic Games, once the IOC has provided its feedback,” said the spokesman.

    H&H covered the eventing seminar in January, where the FEI president Ingmar de Vos shared the surprising news that eventing is not yet confirmed for LA2028 – although leading figures have confidence that it will be. Its inclusion hinges on a venue being found that accommodates all equestrian disciplines on one site, including the cross-country phase.

    “The message of the IOC president was very clear: change, or be changed,” said Mr de Vos at the time.

    Why is eventing being asked to change for LA28?

    The IOC and Olympic Broadcasting Services would like medals to be awarded after cross-country, as this is the sport’s biggest draw.

    Broadcast and digital figures are used as a measure of a sport’s popularity, which is why the FEI is taking note. Ever present, too, are the pressures for horse sport to reduce costs and complexity at Olympics.

    The Olympic programme and formats will be confirmed by the IOC after Paris 2024.

    • What do you think of the proposed eventing format for LA28? Send your thoughts to hhletters@futurenet.com, including your name, nearest town and country, and for the chance your letter could appear in a forthcoming issue of the magazine

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