Endurance Strategic Planning Group composition announced

Lausanne, Sept 2, 2013: The FEI has announced the composition of an Endurance Strategic Planning Group further to the unanimous recommendations of the Round Table held on 24 July.

The Group will be chaired by Andrew Finding, European Equestrian Federation Board Member and CEO of the British Equestrian Federation. The members of the Group are veterinarian Brian Sheahan (AUS), chair of the FEI Endurance Committee; Joe Mattingley (USA), international Endurance rider; Saeed H Al Tayer (UAE), Vice President of the Dubai Equestrian Club and organiser of FEI World Endurance Championships; and veterinarian Jean-Louis Leclerc (FRA), an internationally respected and very successful chef d’équipe and team manager within the discipline.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Endurance Strategic Planning Group for accepting to review and build a promising future for the FEI’s fastest growing discipline,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said.

“Andrew Finding is one of the most knowledgeable people in equestrian sport worldwide and all the members bring a wealth of expertise as veterinarians, successful riders, trainers, event organisers and team managers. The Group will be fully supported in its work by FEI Director of Endurance Ian Williams and FEI Veterinary Director Graeme Cooke.

“I have no doubt that the Group will analyze the discipline thoroughly and professionally and will provide the FEI with sound recommendations for the sport’s further successful development.”

“I will undertake the role of Endurance Strategic Planning Group chairman with diligence, and I shall approach this task from a totally independent standpoint,” Andrew Finding said. “The Group will work with complete integrity, taking advice from those who are familiar with the problems and challenges of Endurance sport.

“If I need to be tough in commenting on behalf of the Group then that is what I shall do. It is my intention to have our work followed and verified by the Equestrian Community Integrity Unit.

“Our most important objective is to find solutions and help ensure the sport and everyone connected with it follows, at all times, the FEI’s Clean Sport policy and the Code of Conduct for the Welfare of the Horse. We must look forward and work together positively.”

The Endurance Strategic Planning Group’s mission statement, which has been approved by the FEI Bureau, is to develop a strategic plan for Endurance over the decade 2013-2023 which will define a global rate of growth for the sport that is manageable and effectively supervised by the FEI and National Federations.

Increased levels of participation, a greater number of events and improved standards are to be encouraged. The National Federations, athletes, trainers, officials and organisers must adhere to and promote the highest Clean Sport standards and meet the FEI’s Code of Conduct for the Welfare of the Horse at all events.

The plan is specifically designed to meet the needs of Endurance as a growing sport with the potential to attract more athletes while continuing to promote the FEI’s objectives on the global stage. It should encourage an environment in which riders and horses compete in a spirit of partnership and fair play according to the requirements of the FEI’s Clean Sport policies and where the welfare of the equine athlete is paramount.

The Strategic Planning Group will provide recommendations for consideration by the FEI General Assembly.

The Group’s first conference call will take place this week and the first in-person meeting will be held in Dubai at the beginning of October.

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