Fewer reports to the Equestrian Sport Misconduct Hotline as event monitoring increases


The increased monitoring of major FEI championships is part of the remit of the Equestrian Community Integrity Unit. © FEI/Liz Gregg

The Equestrian Sport Integrity Unit reported fewer phone calls and the addition of CCTV surveillance at major FEI championships to provide a new level of security for the sport.

Described by Equestrian Community Integrity Unit (ECIU) Chairman Lord John Stevens as “a key tool in the fight against wrongdoing in our sport”, the unit’s reporting hotline received 11 unique reports for the period from October 2021 to September 2022.

In a report to the FEI General Assembly in South Africa this week, Stevens said hotline reports are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, with much filed and stored in the FEI’s data management system. unit, CLUE, pending further information. advance an investigation.

“The assistance of the wider equestrian community to provide information, whether deemed important or not, greatly assists our investigations. Without the support of the equestrian community, we cannot go so far as to ensure that those responsible for their negative impact on our sport be held accountable,” Stevens said.

He noted that horse welfare issues had increased slightly, which could be attributed to successful reporting to the ECIU in recent years, which has led to FEI Tribunal sanctions against individuals.

“While these allegations continue to be below average for what we have seen over the past 12 years, we encourage the continued identification and reporting of incidents of concern.

“There have been no allegations of misconduct in the past 12 months compared to the previous 12 months, which is a welcome change from the highest reported area since the hotline began “, said Stevens.

While noting that the lower number of reports was good news, he continued to urge any member of the equestrian community concerned about the behavior and practices of individuals to contact the ECIU. “When reporting, your identity will remain anonymous if you wish, as the welfare of the equestrian community, horse and human, is of the utmost importance.”

A CCTV surveillance system during major championships is one of the ECIU’s duties. He was in place at the FEI World Championships in Herning, Denmark, and Pratoni (Italy), as well as the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final in Barcelona, ​​Spain.

“We’ve seen a significant improvement in the quality of the images we capture, which has resulted in additional support being provided at events,” Stevens said.

“The system captures all activity in the stable area and brings a new level of security and peace of mind to athletes, grooms and owners. No matter what time of day there is monitoring of people, horses, equipment and personal effects All original footage is securely stored by the ECIU for twelve months after the event and is then destroyed.

Stevens said an essential part of transparency for any organization is an independent oversight body. Since the inception of the ECIU, the FEI has been at the forefront of best practice.

Stevens noted that in the fourth governance review by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), the FEI scored in the top bracket alongside the BWF (badminton), ITF (taekwon- do), FIFA (football), UCI (cycling), World Athletics and World Rugby.

“The scope of the scoring system was broad and covered many aspects; Mechanisms of transparency, integrity, democracy, development and control. It is clear that by ranking among the best, the FEI is at the forefront of best practices in governance.

» ECIU report


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