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21 Jun 2021

Restart of events helps FEI reduce projected loss

The FEI, the international federation for equestrian sports, has reduced its projected financial loss for 2021, with revenue streams boosted by the resumption of competitions.

At last week’s two-day virtual meeting of the FEI board, it was revealed that the federation was set for a deficit of SFr782,000 ($848,000), down by SFr541,000.

Opening the meeting, which was held on Tuesday and Wednesday, De Vos hailed the restart of competitions including the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup series and the fact that the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games are poised to go ahead in the coming months.

He said that the unity and team work among members of the FEI community sporting partners and sponsors had been “one of the greatest lessons” of the Covid-19 pandemic and the outbreak of EHV-1, equine herpesvirus, among horses, which centred on a venue in Valencia in Spain.

Officials provided updates on the measure being taken to combat the viruses.

In terms of Covid-19, FEI medical committee chair Mark Hart noted that while vaccination programmes are helping to address the pandemic, there are regional variations and safety provisions at competitions will be reviewed after the Olympics and Paralympics.

On the EHV-1 front, it was concluded that biosecurity measures, including the use of the FEI HorseApp, had enabled competition to resume in April, with Sabrina Ibanez, the secretary general of the federation, claiming that the 136 events that took place across all seven disciplines at the start of June were “a good sign toward a progressive return to normality”.

An EHV-1 Relief Fund, through which 76.8 per cent of funding requests had been satisfied, has now been liquidated.

In other developments, various events were awarded, including the 2023 FEI Driving World Championship for Pairs and 2024 Driving World Championship for Singles to Haras Du Pain in France and the 2024 Driving World Championship Four In Hand to Szilvasvarad in Hungary.

Flyinge in Sweden was named as the host of the simultaneous 2023 Vaulting European Championship and Vaulting World Championship for Juniors, and Bern in Switzerland as the host of the 2024 Vaulting World Championship.

Live Oak in Florida will stage the North American League, a leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup, in the 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons, as the replacement for the previous Palm Beach Masters leg.