Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Clarification requested of the President of FEI Driving

The clock is ticking...
I have asked the President of the FEI Driving to answer or clarify the following:
1 – The Rules have not changed, so I am confused why five individual driving competitors were allowed at Normandy in 2014 (and many previous WEG’s) and not this year?
2 – It has been suggested the contracts signed by the OC had an omission regarding the option of individual competitors. Perhaps special consideration needs to be given since they were signed late in the process (due to Canada backing out) and this may have been an oversight. Contracts can be corrected and/or amended should the FEI and OC agree.
Currently it appears there are 18 drivers to compete at WEG – the lowest count ever! Discretion has been used so many times in the past – it is really needed now!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Another Big Day - Petition Submission!

Although we all saw the USEF announcement naming the U.S. Driving Team for FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 - there is still time!
As of the close of business on Friday, August 24, 2018, the President and Secretary General of the FEI Driving, the President of the USEF Network and the head of the Tryon2018 Organizing Committee, all received the full package of Petition Reports. Hopefully the information will favorably impress the ultimate decision makers.
Now all we can do is wait as they consider what horse driving enthusiasts worldwide are requesting! We have from now to September 10th for them to use their discretion to positively impact and support the Driving Sport experience for all at the World Equestrian Games.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


Sincere thanks to each and every one of you for your overwhelming support! We achieved 1098 signatures with 332 comments to send to the FEI.
People from 25 different countries added their voice.
We will be keeping you posted on our progress as we present this request to the FEI.

 

CLICK HERE for the latest news as of today

                                      

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Driving Enthusiasts - Support your Sport! Call to Action!!


Your help is needed to convince the FEI to use its discretion to continue the tradition of allowing the host country to have up to six individual competitors in addition to its three-member team.


Please use the link below to add your voice requesting Manual Mello – FEI Driving Director to again use the FEI’s discretion to invite those drivers in the host country who have qualified to compete as they have in the past.  Share with all your Facebook friends and ask them to share with their friends – let’s accept the FEI’s invitation to express our passion for our sport!  





DEADLINE to Sign August 20, 2018

We believe the FEI decided to limit the number of competitors from each country due to the significant growth of the World Equestrian Games – limiting each country to only the team members, or Individuals from countries only able to send one competitor in each discipline.  This growth may be true for the other disciplines but this is not the case for driving.  Four-In-Hand Drivers have been on the decline world-wide, and there are only a few young contenders in the world in the pipeline. 
Prior to the 2010 WEG in Kentucky, the FEI used its discretion so that in addition to the two to three team members representing each country, the host country was permitted to have up to six additional competitors compete as individuals as well as other countries who fielded full teams (Kentucky had seven individuals compete). Note if a country can only send one driver he/she is considered an individual.
This tradition provides great encouragement to keep the pipeline full of up and coming competitors.  Many expected this tradition to continue at this year’s WEG being held at Tryon, North Carolina, and were incredibly disappointed to hear it is not. Even if it had, as was seen at Kentucky, it only added more US competitors but no more from Europe.

Partial excerpt from the FEI Website:
“The FEI World Equestrian Games™ is the pinnacle of equestrian sport and July 11th marks two months to the opening ceremony for Tryon 2018!
With an anticipated 1,000 athletes, 1,500 horses and 500,000 spectators from more than 70 countries scheduled to attend, this edition will be one of the biggest sporting events on US soil this year…
The eighth edition of the Games is generating huge excitement at the prospect of the world’s best partnerships from across all the FEI disciplines uniting for a showcase of horse sport at the spectacular Tryon International Equestrian Center venue.
Equestrian fans, athletes and teams from across the globe will come together to celebrate the sport - as one.
We ask equestrian fans to come together and show their love of the sport at one of the biggest events in the world. It's the chance to celebrate everything that makes equestrianism one of the most loved sports worldwide.
It’s time to be passionate.”
Article 919 Entries Championships and CAIOs 1. Championships and CAIOs are open to national teams. A national team consists of three Athletes of the same Nationality. In the event that a nation can only send two Athletes, they must be entered as a team. An entry from a nation able to send only one entry shall be classified as an individual entry.
Article 927 Additional Entries for Championships and CAIOs 1. At the discretion of the OC all NFs who have submitted a Nominated Entry for a team may be invited to enter Additional Entries for Championships…
 

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Looking into the Future of Combined Driving


Guest Editorial

Looking into the Future

As twenty-year veterans of combined driving, having participated as either driver, groom, navigator, sponsor and volunteer – we are concerned about the future of our sport at the World Equestrian Games.


My husband and I were very lucky to have attended the WEG in Kentucky in 2010.  In 2010, in addition to the two to three team members representing each country, the host country was permitted to have up to six individuals as well.
The FEI Rulebook states:
Article 919 Entries Championships and CAIOs 1. Championships and CAIOs are open to national teams. A national team consists of three Athletes of the same Nationality. In the event that a nation can only send two Athletes, they must be entered as a team. An entry from a nation able to send only one entry shall be classified as an individual entry.
Article 927 Additional Entries for Championships and CAIOs 1. At the discretion of the OC all NFs who have submitted a Nominated Entry for a team may be invited to enter Additional Entries for Championships.
This tradition provided significant encouragement to keep the pipeline full of up and coming competitors.  I for one fully expected this tradition to continue at this year’s WEG being held at Tryon, North Carolina and was incredibly disappointed to hear it will not.  Even if it had, as was seen in Kentucky, it would only add more U.S. competitors but no more from Europe.
This year FEI put up money to encourage competitors to attend Tryon.   
Some have speculated that the FEI has decided to limit each country to only the team members (or individuals from countries only able to send one competitor in each discipline) to the World Equestrian Games since other disciplines have experienced incredible growth over the past several games. This growth may be true for the other disciplines but this is not the case for Driving.  Four-In-Hand drivers have been on the decline and there are only a few young contenders in the world in the pipeline.  Driving a four-in-hand is incredibly expensive, and only the wealthy or those lucky enough to have wealthy sponsors can afford to compete. We all fully understand the glamour of the four-in-hands but they represent just a small part of our sport and is mainly Euro-centric. As many four-in-hand drivers miss going to a WEG, especially when held outside Europe, due to the Expense, it means they have a four-year gap between championships at which they can compete.
Richard Nicoll, current Chairman of the USEF Driving Sport Committee, has been trying for many years, to convince the driving world to allow the single drivers to compete at the WEG.  This would allow our sport to experience the same growth as other disciplines. Single drivers are a growth area and reach far more individuals. It would expand the pipeline of outstanding single drivers by providing the possibility to excel and compete at the WEG’s.  More countries and drivers could afford to come to compete at the WEG’s no matter where the location.  Spectators would have a full day of single drivers to cheer on, rather than 12 to 20 four-in-hands (at best) at this WEG.  It is the right solution to keep our sport thriving into the future.
Tryon International Equestrian Center hosted a test event the week after the Southern Pines CDE in April.  Once again, we had the incredible opportunity to be at the event.  The facility is impressive and will be the premier show venue in the U.S. if not the world, once completed. 
Although this was a test event, it is important to remember it was also a full combined driving event to all the competitors who participated, as well as a selection trial for the teams.  The schedule had the time, and it was a shame all the winners were not pinned in the ring especially having come all that way.
Let every person who loves our sport find a way spread the word and support Richard Nicoll’s efforts to incorporate the single drivers at the future WEG’s. As our friend Kelly Valdes says, find a way to “support your sport”!

60 DRIVING DIGEST                                                            http://www.drivingdigest.com                          July/August 2018 Issue 214