As the FEI reveals its plans for the resumption of sport and changes to qualifiying procedures to cater for Tokyo being postponed by one year, H&H digs into the details...
Competitors targeting the postponed Olympics will have to achieve a confirmation qualifying result before heading to Tokyo.
The news, which applies to dressage, showjumping and eventing, is one of a number of recent FEI board decisions as the sport looks ahead to the logistics of preparing for the Olympics next year.
The “confirmation result”, details of which will be confirmed, is for combinations who had achieved a qualifying minimum eligibility result (MER) between 1 January and 31 December 2019.
The deadline for all MERs and confirmation results has been moved to 21 June 2021.
The horse nationality transfer deadline, by which horses must be in at least partial ownership of the nation they are competing for, has shifted a year, to January 2021.
The 2020 dressage Nations Cup series is cancelled, but the FEI is prioritising shows at which Olympic qualification can be achieved when looking at the rest of its 2020 calendar.
“All CDIOs will be prioritised when date clashes are being considered, regardless of whether they are standalone events or part of a series, to allow for team preparation in the build-up to the Olympic Games in 2021,” states the board decision from 27 April.
Similar decisions have been made in showjumping, eventing and para dressage.
British Equestrian performance director Dickie Waygood told H&H the FEI has followed “a logical approach to the revised Olympic and Paralympic qualification procedure”.
“Providing sport can get under way in the not-too-distant future, there is adequate time to get qualifying done for new combinations or those partly qualified, likewise the final MER confirmation result,” he said.
“Prioritising certain team competitions will be beneficial for riders and selectors as we build towards Tokyo. Once we have a better idea of the calendar for each discipline, riders, owners and performance managers can plan their campaigns accordingly.”
The FEI is also taking a flexible approach to its fixtures list, with changes to clash rules that would help certain events move dates if they wish, and is waiving calendar fees for organisers of events from 15 March until the end of 2020.
It has also shared plans as to how the 2020 showjumping FEI Nations Cup final might look, with no qualifying events and a maximum of 22 teams in the final.
The FEI medical committee and headquarters team are finalising a policy for “enhanced competition safety” during the pandemic, with measures for safe resumption of events, when approved by the World Health Organisation and governments.
This includes obligation for organisers to carry out risk assessments for safe events as well as discipline-specific guidelines.
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