FEI Wants More Member Countries in Olympics

(ATR) The equestrian federation approves a number of format changes to its Olympic disciplines.

(ATR) The equestrian federation approved a number of format changes to its Olympic disciplines at its general assembly that could go into effect at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

The biggest change dropped the number of riders for each country’s team to three, a move that seeks to increase the total number of countries participating in equestrian events at the Olympics.

"This was a really important vote for the future of our sport if we are to increase universality in accordance with the recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020," said FEI president Ingmar De Vos.

"We need to increase the number of participating nations at the Olympic Games but within our existing quota of 200. Reducing team members to three per nation was probably the only way to boost the number of flags."

The proposed change was met with opposition from 11 countries, yet received the support from the remaining 96 member countries to pass at the general assembly in Tokyo.

The FEI also approved changes to its Olympic and Paralympic disciplines including eliminating the drop score in each event, the addition of music to dressage and changes to the scoring system and penalties. Click here to see all the proposed rule changes.

"These new formats give us a huge responsibility and failure is not an option, so we need to work together with all our stakeholders to prepare for Tokyo 2020," said De Vos.

The IOC Executive Board will review the proposed changes at its meeting in February and will make its final decision about events and quotas in July. The next FEI General Assembly in Montevideo, Uruguay will finalize the proposals.

Written by Kevin Nutley

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