FEI Publishes Diagrams for Dressage Warm-ups for Stewards Manual

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland, May 11–The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has published three diagrams on warm-up techniques that will completes the new Stewards Manual.

The FEI said in a statement that the new Annex created by the Working Group set up to deal with warm up techniques produced the three diagrams to illustrate permitted positions of the horse’s head and neck during pre- and post-competition training.

“One of the key stipulations in the Working Group’s report was that all unacceptable training methods and techniques must be stopped immediately,” it said. “The Working Group was also insistent that abuse of the horse must be avoided and, in particular, stressing the horse, aggressive riding and inflicting pain and/or discomfort on the horse must be prevented.”

The three diagrams as published by the FEI:

Diagram 1. Long, deep and round.
Diagram 1. Long, deep and round.
Diagram 2. Low, deep and round.
Diagram 2. Low, deep and round.
Diagram 3. Long and low.
Diagram 3. Long and low.

The current FEI Stewards Manual already includes instructions covering aggressive riding, but the new Annex (XIII) has clear instructions on action to be taken if necessary relating to flexion of the horse’s neck during pre and post-competition training.

“Any head and neck position obtained through the use of aggressive force is not acceptable. Movements which involve having the horse’s head and neck carriage in a sustained or fixed position should only be performed for periods not exceeding approximately 10 minutes without change,” the FEI said.

“Deliberate extreme flexions of the neck involving either high, low or lateral head carriages, should only be performed for very short periods. If these deliberate extreme flexions are performed for longer periods the Steward will intervene.

“It is the Steward’s responsibility to ensure that riders respect these procedures.”

Frank Kemperman, the Dressage Committee Chairman and who chaired the working group, said: “Used in conjunction with the new Stewards Manual, these illustrations now provide the Stewards with the final piece in the jigsaw that will allow them to do their job more effectively, ensuring that horse welfare is maintained at all times.”

The illustrated FEI Stewards Manual Dressage has been sent to all National Federations today, with a request to forward it to all their Stewards immediately for implementation from May 15. Dressage will be the first discipline to use the new Stewards Manual, with the other FEI disciplines currently reviewing their individual requirements.

The Guidelines, which were produced by the Working Group formed after the round-table conference held in Lausanne in February and were approved at the FEI Bureau meeting in Geneva on April 15.

More information on the Guidelines can be obtained here.
The Working Group was made up of Dressage Committee Chair Frank Kemperman as chairman, Richard Davison of Great Britain as Rider/Trainer; John P. Roche of Ireland, FEI Director Jumping/Stewarding; Jacques Van Daele of Belgium, FEI Honorary Dressage Steward General/Judge; Wolfram Wittig of Germany, Trainer, and Trond Asmyr of Norway, FEI Dressage and Para Equestrian Dressage Director/Judge. Input was also received from Dr Gerd Heuschmann and Sjef Janssen and from the FEI Jumping Committee.

Head and neck positions