Cloned horses and their progeny will not be barred from competition at FEI events, the world governing body for horse sport says.
Some breed organisations will not register clones or their progeny. The first foals of two cloned showjumping geldings, ET and Gem Twist, were born earlier this year.
Equine cloning was discussed at the FEI Bureau’s recent spring meeting on June 8-9 at FEI Headquarters in Lausanne in Switzerland, after the latest research had been presented and debated at the FEI Sports Forum.
As a result, the FEI Bureau is changing its position in regard to cloned horses, saying it would not forbid clones or their progeny, from participating in FEI competitions.
“The FEI will continue to monitor further research, especially with regard to equine welfare,” the Bureau said at the meeting.
On the advice of the FEI Eventing Committee, the FEI Bureau has postponed the implementation of the industrial standards for frangible/deformable cross-country fence devices at FEI Events, which were presented at the General Assembly 2011 – and which had initially been planned for March 2012 – to allow more time for the manufacturers to meet the required standards.
As a result, the current rule of automatically allocating 21 penalties for the activation of a frangible device has been changed, leaving the decision to penalise the rider with the Ground Jury on a case-by-case basis until the standards are enforced and the devices comply.
Rules changes will be voted on at the General Assembly in November, before implementation on January 1, 2013.
The FEI Bureau accepted the conclusion of the FEI Veterinary Committee on the ‘elimination if unfit to compete’ processes across the disciplines. The Veterinary Committee stated that the current approach works well with respect to protecting horse welfare, but within some disciplines the structure does not practically allow a horse to be stopped to check for a problem, and then restarted. Feedback will be provided individually to each discipline.
The Veterinary Director presented the 2011 figures for the Medication Control Programme, showing a further decrease in positive cases. He outlined the next stages of the Clean Sport campaign, which centres around the production of a “toolkit” of resources that could be translated into several languages in order to give greater international reach.
• The FEI Bureau agreed to sign the charter in favour of road safety, upon the invitation received from the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), and approved the FEI becoming a member of the International Fair Play Committee, which counts the IOC and UNESCO amongst its partners.