The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has granted provisional approval for dressage and jumping competitions to be held for the first time at the Maccabiah Games and scheduled for Israel July 17-30.
The approval came in the form of granting an exception for unsanctioned events. Under this rule, athletes can be barred from official events for up to six months for participating in unsanctioned events.
However, in a statement to dressage-news.com, the FEI said that Secretary General Ingmar De Vos “has granted an exception to the Unsanctioned Event Rule under Article 113 (6) of the FEI General Regulations for the Maccabiah Games, provided that the Israeli National Federation appoints the necessary FEI Officials and Technical Delegates from the FEI approved list to officiate at the Games.
“Once the appointment of these officials has been confirmed the event will be entered into the FEI Calendar for informational purposes and the event is thereby considered approved by the FEI.”
Austria, Chile, Germany, Hungary, Peru and the United States along with host Israel have signaled participation in the first equestrian sports to be staged at the Games, held once every four years. The U.S. plans teams for both disciplines.
The U.S. dressage team comprises: June Brody of Lebanon, New Jersey; Rebecca Brown of Dallas; Rebecca Cohen of Wellington, Florida and Wendy Garfinkel also of Lebanon with Becky Brown of Dallas as coach. Rebecca Cohen will forego the North American Young Rider Championships to be on the first Maccabi USA Equestrian Team.
The jumping squad: Annastelle Cohen of Clinton, New Jersey; Darren Finkelman of Middlebury, Virginia; Charlotte Gerstenfeld of Fairfax, Virginia; Corinne Goldman of Edgewater, Maryland, and Rebecca Weissbard of Manorville, New York. The coach is Neal Shapiro of Robbinsville, New Jersey, team silver and individual bronze medalist at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games and twice winner of the World Equestrian Festival CHIO Grand Prix of Aachen, Germany.
Dressage is expected to be at FEI Challenge Medium while jumping at 1.20/1.25-meter for the equestrian competition to be held at Noam Farm near Tel Aviv July 23-25.
The Israel Equestrian Federation will provide a pool of horses and others may be borrowed from other nations in Europe.
A total of about 9,000 athletes from 71 countries, amongst them 18 nations that have never participated in the Maccabiah before, will compete in 42 sports at masters, open and junior levels. There will also be paralympic events. The U.S. team is expected to number about 1,000.
The World Maccabiah Games are the third largest international sporting competition in the world and the world’s largest international Jewish event. In addition to being an international sporting competition, Maccabiah is a celebration of Jewish culture, unity and pride.