Check it Out!
[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]
[Date Index] [Thread Index] [Author Index] [Subject Index]


There has been so much said about this topic, by people far more knowledgeable than I, but I do feel compelled to make a few observations:
1.  FEI is the governing body of world equestrianism. 
2.  The Olympic Games are run under FEI rules. 
3.  Almost every other equestrian discipline has come to terms with having to abide by FEI rules if the participants hope to compete internationally. 
There is no point pissing against the wind : as the world becomes smaller and smaller, and as we start to see more international competition, we will inevitably be faced with having a world body impose rules upon us.  Is that REALLY such a bad thing?
It seems to me that the main complaints being made are as a result of one of the following occurrences:
1.  A misunderstanding of the applicable rules (ie under which governing body is a ride being held)
2.  A feeling of resentment at an international body seeking to impose rules which are different to the "tried and trusted" local rules.
3.  Teething problems as the appropriate rules are applied.
These problems are not unique to endurance, or even to equestrian sports.  During the period of isolation during Apartheid, South African sports frequently applied its own rules to various sports (we couldn't compete internationally, so why apply international standards?), and had to adjust once the barriers against international competition were lifted.  Even now, in other equestrian sports, certain competitions are run under SANEF rules and others under FEI rules.  
The riders had to adjust.  That's something competitive sportsmen and -women are called upon to do.  Those that are able to do so, tend to do better than those who aren't. 
I have two sets of rules at home.  One is my SANEF rules, the other my FEI rules.  If I am going to a show, I find out from the showholding body which rules apply, and I make sure that I know the rules.  This is only a problem the first couple of times.  Also, I am finding that in the other Equestrian disciplines, SANEF is working hard towards making the SANEF comply with the FEI rules.  This frequently means that standards are raised.  I don't think this is a bad thing. 
I may be underestimating the difficulties facing endurance riders, and if I am, I apologise, but the refrain of "bloody Arabs" is quite familiar (although in Showjumping and dressage it is more often "bleeding Krauts" <g>) and I've never had much sympathy with it. 
Competitive sport stopped being a Sunday afternoon activity many years ago.  It is now a career.  And sometimes, during the course of your career, you are asked to toe a line you would rather not.  You have 2 choices : you can break the rules or you can help to MAKE the rules.  If you choose the former, then you may well find that you can't compete at your chosen endeavour.  It is surely far more constructive to examine the rules being imposed by the FEI in an objective, analytical, and unemotional fashion and ask "is what is being asked of me impossible to do, will it inflict undue hardship on my horse, will it detract from the sport" and to place THOSE complaints before the appropriate authority, rather than to throw your hands in the air and shout "bloody Arabs", or similar sentiment.
On the other hand, if you are doing this for fun, and choose not to exercise your right to address the powers-that-be on the making of rules, then you must, perforce, abide by whatever rules are imposed.
In any event, I hope that the change takes place as quickly as possible, so that we can all get on with the serious business of riding our horses.
(who has far too much time on her hands to ponder this crap whilst her horse is down with a virus!)

    Check it Out!    

Home    Events    Groups    Rider Directory    Market    RideCamp    Stuff

Back to TOC