As we all continue to adapt to the ‘new normal’ that has been unduly impressed upon us by the Covid-19 global pandemic we are reminded that although our sport may be performed individually in the arena our Australian riders are collectively a strong and supportive community. The engagement our High Performance riders have shown throughout these unprecedented times, and the commitment they have made to join together with their fellow riders, as well as support our upcoming athletes, is truly commendable. The positive attitudes and team mentality our riders have displayed can only serve to strengthen our Program as we move forward into what we are sure is a bright future.
This past week has seen notable successes for some of our Australian athletes competing in FEI events overseas. These successes are an indication of our riders’ resilience and determination as our sport is able to carry on in some parts of the world, albeit under strict social distancing guidelines and altered conditions. Domestically we continue to stay abreast of the latest developments regarding the movement of both our horses and people and we are working closely with our athletes and the relevant governing authorities to ensure our riders are prepared for when FEI competition is able to resume in Australia.
As we are all aware the Special General Meeting, which will be convened by Administrators KordaMenatha, to decide the fate of Equestrian Australia (EA) will take place tomorrow 15th September 2020. The EA High Performance Program has throughout the voluntary administration process remained dedicated to our athletes and strived to ensure they were kept updated and informed regarding the latest developments. We hope that the outcome of the meeting will be a collaborative achievement to move forward in the best interest of equestrian sport. As always we remain available to answer any questions or queries our athletes may have regarding the process and the outcome.
The FEI Board met via videoconference last week to review a number of key issues and to approve a number of Covid-19 related resolutions, including some that may have a potential impact on equestrian sport in Australia. Those of note include the emergency board decision to approve the derogation of Foreign Officials at FEI Eventing CCI4-L and CCI3-L competitions until 31 December 2020. In addition for Para Dressage it was also decided to allow the FEI Headquarters to determine on a case-by-case basis, if an Organising Committee is affected by Covid-19, to waive the obligations of Article 8439.1 of the Para Dressage Rules which state that for all CPEDI3* and FEI Championships, two FEI Para Equestrian Classifiers must be present, and one Classifier must be from a foreign National Federation. This exemption is also in place until 31 December 2020. To review the full list of all resolutions made by the FEI please visit their https://inside.fei.org/fei/covid-19/resolutions-decisions
The reality of a postponed Games in Tokyo 2021 has required extensive review into the logistical, operational and safety aspects of our planning to ensure the care, support and preparation of both our people and horses is not compromised. In order to make certain we exhaust every option and attend to every detail we have been working closely with the FEI, AOC and Paralympics Australia (PA) to ensure all requirements are met to not only allow our athletes to take part in the Games, but to also achieve podium success. This also includes the revision of the Nomination Criteria for the Tokyo 2020 Games for all equestrian disciplines. Due to the postponement of the Games and the additional criteria added by the FEI we undertook a careful and meticulous revision of our policies to ensure that our athletes are afforded the greatest opportunity to compete at the Games. The AOC and PA are in the process of reviewing these policies and we are awaiting final approval. Once we have these policies available we look forward to sharing them with our stakeholders.
As always the health and safety of our people and horses remain our highest priority as we work together as a united high-performance community to navigate these unprecedented times. We encourage all of our riders, staff and the wider equestrian community to diligently adhere to their government’s protocols regarding Covid-19 in order to minimise the risk of exposure and to limit the spread of the virus.
We thank you all for your understanding and continued support and please feel free to contact the High Performance team directly if you have any questions or queries.
Article courtesy of Equestrian Australia