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Canadian Eventing Adopts Rule Modifications to Promote Safety
Ottawa, ON, Canada

Following careful consideration the Canadian Eventing Committee (CEC) has approved the following modifications to the 2008 Equine Canada Rules for Eventing-for implementation effective August 1, 2008. The rule changes were submitted by the Canadian Eventing Safety Committee and adopt the principles of the Federation Equestre International (FEI) rules. In addition the CEC have updated Art D11 to include a clearer definition of dangerous riding cross-country and the potential penalties, which could be incurred including the institution of the Warning Red Card System, which replaces the Warning Report System.

Rule modifications effective August 1, 2008

  • The first fall of competitor at obstacle on the cross-country course or on the show jumping course will result in elimination
  • Elimination of competitor after third refusal anywhere on cross country
  • Requirement of competitors to leave the cross country course after elimination
  • Art D11—modification to definition and penalties for animal abuse and dangerous riding
  • Annex 8—updated and implementation of the Warning Red Card System

The elimination after first fall rule on cross-country was approved in June by the FEI. From August 1, all riders competing at events held under FEI rules will be eliminated after one fall either in the cross country or show jumping tests. The new ruling will apply to all competitors at the forthcoming Olympic Games.

"These are important rule changes that must be made immediately," stated Peter Gray, Chair of the newly formed Eventing Safety Committee. "While the committee members fully understand and appreciate that some competitors may be frustrated by these modifications, they strongly believe the changes are necessary and will help to improve the overall safety of the sport."

The following Articles are affected by the decision-Equine Canada Section D 2008 Rules for Eventing

Article D 308.9 Rules for Cross Country-After Elimination/Retirement Disqualification

Article D311 Cross-Country Scoring

Article D 312. 4.4 Excessive Number of Falls and Mandatory Retirement

Article D 113 Medical Requirements-Medical Fitness

Article D317 Jumping Scoring

Article D319 Time Corrections-Jumping

Article D320 Definition of Faults-Jumping

Article D111 Abuse of Horses and Dangerous Riding

Annex 8-Warning Red Card System

Full rule modifications will be available on Equine Canada web site-Rules for Eventing.

"As the national governing body for equestrianism, our first duty is to the safety and welfare of Canadian horses and riders," remarked Akaash Maharaj, CEO of Equine Canada . "These changes will preserve the excitement of eventing, while upholding ethical conduct and reducing unnecessary risks to our equine and human athletes."

The Canadian Eventing Committee also adopted the introduction of cross-country monitoring system for dangerous riding also proposed by the Safety Committee.

The Eventing Safety Committee encourages all eventing officials and competitions to implement the following cross country monitoring system.

The Ground Jury President or Technical Delegate (TD) will designate one or several officials (i.e. TD, Area Stewards, Ground Jury members, fence judges, experienced eventing officials or coaches not serving an official function at the event) for the cross country to stop a rider on course for dangerous riding, riding an exhausted horse, excessive pressing of a tired horse, riding an obviously lame horse, excessive use of the whip and/or spurs or riding in an unsafe way. A minimum of three officials is recommended.

Officials will be positioned with a red flag. On the instruction of the Ground Jury (TD) one of the appointed officials shall wave the red flag to stop the rider if the infringement of the above is deemed to be serious. To facilitate this system, adequate and constant communications amongst these officials and the Ground Jury/TD, through a separate radio communication channel must be maintained. Competition organizers are strongly encouraged to utilize the services of cross-country officials and controllers as per Art D508 of the 2008 Equine Canada Rules for Eventing .

Any rider stopped on cross-country in this manner could be subject to penalties in accordance with Art D 111.3.

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