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[RC] Changes to FEI rules, from an Australian perspective. Part 2 - Jay Randle

In effect, the FEI have put in place some REALLY great rules, that will protect horses around the globe where previously there has been no qualification process required.  However, the BIG problem is that the DISTANCES of the FEI star-system rides have been changed.  Whereas previously 2* rides were between 90-119kms, now 2* rides are between 120-139kms.  And whereas previously 3* rides were between 120-160kms, now 3* rides are between 140-160kms.
What this means is that a horse or rider that previously completed numerous 2* rides of up to 119kms in distance, is now related back to 1* level, and must now complete a 2* ride of 120kms+ in order to regain their qualification, before they can go on to enter a 3* ride.
In Australia, this becomes a little bit of a problem because historically we have not had many 120km rides available, therefore it becomes quite difficult for us to get these horses through this 'new' qualification procedure. 
And because a horse/rider must now complete a 1* ride BEFORE they can go onto a 2* ride, it is even more difficult for us.  I don't believe there has EVER been a 1* ride in Australia before!  And now our local clubs and organising committees are being asked to put on 1* rides, which incur much greater expense and worry for them.  But we need the 1* rides now, in order for any horse/rider to become qualified to enter a 2* ride!  It's a bit of a Catch22 situation!
Of course, there are MANY riders in Australia who have no intention of entering FEI rides, and no interest in FEI procedures, however there are also many riders who consider that getting their horse through the FEI ride levels is an achievement of which to be proud, and who are now being a bit thwarted in these goals.  I imagine it is similar in Europe, especially as there are hundreds more horses/riders there who have previously been started upon the FEI levels of rides, and are now seemingly being disadvantaged with the new rules.
I agree with the French letter that was posted to Ridecamp, in that there is nothing wrong with the new FEI rules, it is the transitional period, and the disregard of previously-qualified horses that has caused the problems, and the disaccord.  We are having the same problems here.  I hope that the meeting between the French Federation and the FEI brings some clarity to this situation.
Just my thoughts.....

Best regards

Jay Randle

May the horse be with you.....


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