FEI Holds Virtual Board Meeting on Finance, Cancellations and Championships

26 June 2020, Lausanne, SUI ~ A virtual Board Meeting of the FEI was held from 23-25 June 2020 due to the dangers of travel communication during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The main discussions, Finance, Cancellations and Championships during the FEI Board Meeting video conference days (23-25 June) are summarized here.

23 June 2020 ~ The FEI President opened the three-day virtual Board meeting by welcoming Members from all four corners of the globe and thanking them for their flexibility and availability online and at all hours during the Covid-19 pandemic. He kept his opening address short but to the point.
Representing the FEI were:
FEI President Ingmar De Vos
Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez
Chief Financial Officer Claude Praz

Cost Reducing Measures
Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez presented the FEI’s cost saving measures to date as well as contingency plans for the future.She raised two key areas where the FEI had significantly reduced costs in order to alleviate the impact on the 2020 budget:

Postponement and/or cancellation of all non-essential projects: The Secretary General commended FEI HQ staff for their rigorous review of their budgets and reductions in expenditure, resulting in savings of CHF 6,500,000.

Staffing and Working from home: Temporary partial unemployment for FEI Staff: Since 15 April 2020, 60% of FEI staff have been on temporary partial unemployment subsidised by the Swiss Government, resulting in an estimated CHF 1.5 million saving by the end of the year as well as safeguarding jobs in the long-term. It is planned to deepen the partial unemployment measures in July and until the sporting Calendar begins to pick up. The Swiss Government subsidy is confirmed until October, with the possibility of a further six-month renewal under discussion.

Freeze on Recruitment: The FEI has put a freeze on recruitment for all open positions, with the exception of the two Director-level appointments for Jumping and Endurance, although the recruitment process has been slowed due to the inability to conduct in-person interviews. The Secretary General thanked Manuel Bandeirade Mello, who will stay on as FEI Endurance Director until a replacement has been found, as well as Deborah Riplinger, who will be promoted to Interim Director as of 1 July and postpone her retirement until June 2021 to allow for a smooth handover to the new Director once appointed.

Voluntary salary cut: All senior management have volunteered to take a salary cut until the end of 2020. On behalf of the FEI Board, Vice President Mark Samuel commended the FEI HQ and Directors for this generous show of solidarity.

Impact on FEI Calendar and FEI Championships

The Secretary General updated the Board on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the FEI Calendar, with statistics to show per month and per discipline the number of competitions at events that had been cancelled up to 16 June 2020. Overall, 3,352 competitions had been cancelled so far, with 2,953 of these directly attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic. This amounted to approximately 50% of the competitions scheduled for 2020, with more cancellations expected in the future.

Derogation (change or relaxation) to Endurance Rules*Emergency Board Resolution

In line with the requirements of the FEI Policy for Enhanced Competition Safety during the Covid-19 Pandemic(effective for all FEI Events held as of 1 July 2020), the Board unanimously approved an *Emergency Board Resolution to allow a derogation from Article 807.2 of the Endurance Rules until 31 December2020, extending the possibility of staggered starts to CEI 2* and 3*. This resolution will be reviewed in November 2020 to discuss whether the end of year deadline potentially needs to be extended, depending on the evolution of the pandemic.

FEI General Assembly 2020 Moves Online

The FEI General Assembly 2020, which was due to be held in Johannesburg (RSA) in November, has been cancelled and will now be held online due to Covid-19 social distancing requirements and travel restrictions. The decision was approved by the FEI Board during its three-day video conference meeting this week, and the Board also gave its unanimous support to allocate next year’s FEI General Assembly to Johannesburg.

“The safety of our community is our highest priority and although it is regrettable, cancelling our in-person General Assembly this year and going online was the responsible thing to do,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “We are very grateful to the National Federation of South Africa for the support and flexibility they have shown, as well as their willingness to host our General Assembly next year when the situation will hopefully have improved for everyone. We are lucky to live in a time where it is possible to meet virtually, even though face-to-face meetings and discussions keep us together as a community.”

Championships and Key Events for 2021-2022

FEI Championships 2020 (postponed to 2021)
*FEI Driving European Championship for Young Drivers, Juniors & Children – Lamotte-Beuvron (FRA), dates TBC

FEI Para Driving World Championship for Singles – Schildau (GER), dates TBC
*The above postponements were both approved as Emergency Board Resolutions under Article 20.3 of the FEI Statutes.

FEI Championships and Finals 2021
- South American Jumping Championships for Young Riders & Juniors, Pre-Juniors and Children – Carrasco, Montevideo (URU), 7-13 September 2021
- FEI Jumping European Championships for Young Riders, Juniors & Children – Vilamoura, dates TBC
- FEI Driving World Championship for Young Horses – Mezohegyes (HUN), dates TBC

FEI Championships & Finals 2022
- FEI Jumping European Championships for Young Riders, Juniors & Children – Oliva (ESP), dates TBC
- FEI Dressage European Championship for Juniors & Young Riders – Hartpury (GBR), dates TBC
- FEI Eventing European Championship for Juniors & Young Riders – Hartpury (GBR), dates TBC
- FEI Driving European Championship for Young Drivers, Juniors & Children – Ászár-Kisbér (HUN), dates TBC
FEI Driving World Championship for Singles, Haras du Pin (FRA), dates TBC
- FEI Vaulting European Championship for Juniors, Kaposvár (HUN), 27-31 July
FEI Driving World Cup™ Series Season 2020/2021

A summary of the main FEI Board Meetings and Decisions and dates: https://inside.fei.org/fei/about-fei/governance/meetings/fei-board.

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