Almost 80 participants from 12 member countries met for the Conference 2022 in Oslo, Norway. As the Delegates’ Assembly was organised as online meeting in February 2022, this year’s conference included several panel discussions as well as the annual meetings of all FEIF departments.
In the general meetings several topics were discussed: The future of the World Championships and WorldFengur, a presentation on the working processes within FEIF, an update on current vaccination requirements (influenza and herpes) and the outlook on the next years’ activities of Horses of Iceland. The Youth Country of the Year 2021 was presented to Great Britain.
Presentations: https://www.feif.org/feif/documents/ (scroll down to presentations)
FEIF Chairperson Meeting
The participants presented the developments and activities in the different FEIF member countries and discussed overall topics like the welfare of the horse at events, the general approach to the question how and when officials might need to be suspended, and the future of WorldFengur as one of the most important assets of FEIF .
Based on the presentation in the general assembly on the decision-taking process within FEIF, there was general agreement that the chairpersons need to arrange further meetings during the year to make sure that there is a good communication and update on developments in all countries. The Swedish participants prepared a very interesting presentation on social media, and how to handle this within the countries, particularly in connection with volunteers.
FEIF Education Meeting
Although an online FEIF Education meeting had already taken place in February this year, a face-to-face meeting of education representatives was offered during the conference and was used to discuss different topics in a workshop. Education can be seen as a glue between many departments and could cooperate even more with other departments. For example, there already are combined sport judges and trainer seminars. Detailed proposals will be worked on by the committee. There will also be a survey regarding the different national requirements for the trainer levels, with the aim of achieving harmonization and mutual acceptance between member countries. On Sunday, the representatives went to other departments meetings, mainly to the youth department, as there were also related topics on the agenda.
FEIF Leisure Riding Meeting
The Leisure Riding Committee and the national representatives discussed a lot of different topics from a long agenda. It was the first meeting led by Christian Eckert, who was elected to the position of the Director of Leisure Riding in 2020.
Each country presented a special project in the meeting to provide ideas for activities to the other countries. Based on these presentations, the group decided to adpot the concept presented by the Norwegian representative for the FEIF Tour Rider Cup. Further countries showed interest in hosting the photo competition, which has a high number of participants both now and last year. The theme for the summer photo season will be “Friendship”.
FEIF Sport Meeting
As usual the national Sport Leader Meeting had a long agenda. After two Covid years, where it had not been possible to have an in-person meeting like this, it was very nice to see each other, and have good discussions on several sport related topics.
Some of these were accepted as proposals for the Delegate’s Assembly2023, e.g. earplugs as allowed equipment, harmonization and rearrangement of the elimination and disqualification rules in sport, ideas to prevent huge finals, the possibility to start in more than one tölt test and in more than one four or five gait test in one competition, the proposal for more approachable entry-level tests, and a different way of registration for teams at the World Championships. Riding the last section of T2 on both reins was accepted as an optional experiment for this year. Details will be published on the FEIF website. Furthermore, the sport leaders talked about the Herpes vaccination, and the Gædingafimi test for which the rules at the moment are translated from Icelandic into English and German. The topics of using video evidence, judging pace in five-gait tests and riding the demanded section in T2 and T1 in any order will be further discussed in the Sport Committee and the Sport Judge Committee this fall.
FEIF Youth Meeting
The group of national youth leaders went through the usual procedures of reports from the countries, discussing how we can improve past events, and prepare future events, especially the next FEIF Youth Camp planned for summer 2023 which will be hosted by Finland. Every one of these discussions lead back to the same question: how can we improve the flow of communication between FEIF and the relevant people within the member associations?
New ground was broken in an open and fruitful discussion about sexual harassment, with particular reference to the equestrian world. Of course, the topic is not new, but it was felt that we are at the beginning of an important conversation that will stay with us for some time to come. FEIF strongly urges all member associations to discuss, review, or adapt a strong Child Protection Policy.
Information on the Breeding Meeting will follow….
Photos: Katharina Haider, private