Thursday, 15 April 2021
The FEI has published the Return To Competition measures for a safe resumption of international sport in mainland Europe from 12 April following a six-week shutdown to control the spread of the neurological form of the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1).
The measures focus on six key areas: Pre-event venue preparation by Organisers; Athlete pre-event preparation; Examination on Arrival; Onsite at Event Venue; Departure from Events; and Jurisdiction.
The Return To Competition measures, which were comprehensively reviewed at a stakeholder consultation session last week and fine-tuned by both the FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group and the FEI Veterinary Committee, have now been approved by the FEI Board.
The measures include a series of temporary provisions, which will remain in place until 30 May 2021, providing a science-based safety margin to allow for monitoring of any further related outbreaks. This date can be extended if required and advance notice will be provided to the community. These temporary provisions will be formalised in legally binding Bylaws which will be published during the week commencing 5 April 2021.
The FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group has agreed that there is currently no evidence indicating that it was unsafe to return to international competition in mainland Europe as planned on 12 April, provided the mandated enhanced preventive measures are implemented and there are no further linked outbreaks. The Group will continue to monitor the evolution of the European outbreak on a daily basis.
The FEI has created a Return to Competition Factsheet for Athletes and Grooms outlining all the key requirements that need to be met for Horses entered in competitions in mainland Europe from 12 April to 30 May 2021. This Factsheet is available in seven languages and can be found in the Return to Competition section of the EHV-1 hub or below.
The FEI has added four new modules to the FEI HorseApp to monitor and facilitate key mandatory requirements in the Return to Competition Measures.
There are detailed guidelines and video tutorials for all the different stakeholder groups (Athletes, Organising Committees, Officials, Grooms, Owners, National Federations and Trainers) providing step-by-step instructions to use the new modules on the FEI HorseApp available here.
Note: For Grooms to use the FEI HorseApp, they must have an active FEI ID account.
As stipulated in the Return To Competition Measures, for any Event/Show with more than 400 Horses of any category, it is mandatory to provide proof of a negative PCR test for EHV-1 taken no earlier than 120 hours prior to arrival at the event. Click here to see the list of Events.
A specific module has been added to the FEI HorseApp to allow an FEI registered user to upload a copy of the relevant negative PCR test to a Horse’s profile. Athletes, Grooms, Owners, National Federations and Trainers can connect to the FEI HorseApp using their FEI ID number and provide the relevant document by taking a photo with their smartphone or tablet and uploading it directly to the Horse’s FEI profile in a few simple clicks.
Click here for the full details and guidelines.
The EHV Relief Fund, created by Jumping athletes Emile Hendrix, Peter Charles and Frederick Goltz to provide financial support to Athletes and Owners facing financial hardship due to the costs of emergency veterinary treatment for their horses as a result of the EHV-1 outbreak in Europe, has already received support from the FEI, European Equestrian Federation, International Jumping Riders Club, Jumping Owners Club and Equestrian Organisers. In addition, Riders Help Riders, the fundraising campaign set up by German event organiser and sports marketer Axel Milkau, has joined forces with the Fund.
Guidelines outlining eligibility criteria for reimbursement from the EHV Relief Fund are now available here, together with the application form. Details of how to donate to the Fund are also available on the EHV Relief Fund page.