Pivotal week for horse sport at Paris 2024: Olympic and Paralympic formats to be thrashed out this week

  • The way horse sport will look at the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be thrashed out at the FEI sport forum this week (25 to 26 April).

    Teams of three have already been decided – that was given the green light following a vote at the 2021 FEI general assembly (GA) in November, as part of the decisions on qualifying criteria.

    But the exact competition format each discipline will take at Paris has not yet been finalised.

    Stakeholders had a February deadline to submit proposals and comments on the Olympic and Paralympic format, which give a skeleton to discussions that can be expected at the forum in Lausanne.

    The lion’s share of the opening day (25 April) of the forum, held in person for the first time since 2019, has been set aside for debate on the Olympic and Paralympic format.

    The headlines for eventing include proposals to strengthen minimum eligibility requirements (MER), and for the Olympic cross-country test to be a 10-minute course with CCI4*-L distance, CCI5* technical difficulties and four-star fence dimensions.

    A review of the length and content of the eventing dressage test and reducing the number in the final showjumping round, for individual eventing medals, from 25 to 20 will also be discussed.

    The showjumping proposals feature a review of MERs, and a switch in scheduling to have the team before the individual competition.

    There is a suggestion of a rule that would allow the ground jury to eliminate a combination during a round, if the partnership is not up to standard.

    Increasing MERs in Olympic dressage from 66% to 67% is tabled for discussion, as is using percentages rather than points to calculate the team results.

    Decisions cannot be finalised this week – those are expected at the 2022 general assembly. Discussions here are a significant part of the rule-making process, which then includes further drafts and amendments before the final proposals are put to a national federation vote at the GA.

    A full revision of the eventing, dressage and para-dressage rules will take place on day two (26 April).

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