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Message from the Chairman of the Driving Committee
As the 2004 competition driving season draws to a close, we can look back on a very active season, with our sport thriving both in Europe and the rest of the world. What binds us together is not only our love of horses and driving them to carriages, but the common rules that we all organize, Officiate or compete under. Whether it is at the lower levels or at the World Championship level, the FEI rules are the basis of our sport. This coming year the new FEI rule book will be coming out, with several major changes. These changes were developed from the input of many involved in our sport and from the National Federations of those countries involved in our sport.
This must be how our sport develops, with input and communication from the grass roots through the Driving committees in each nation, and passed through the National Federations to the FEI Driving Committee. This helps us guide the sport with the input of ideas from those involved in it, and thus allowing the majority opinion to influence future changes in the direction of our sport.
This years Single Horse Championships in ?torp, Sweden , and the Four in Hand Championships in Kecskemet ,Hungary both had record numbers of Nations competing, showing the continuing strength of participation from so many nations, and the strength and enthusiasm of all divisions. The growth of single horse competitors is perhaps the strongest, and also fits within the economies of many more competitors.
The challenge ahead of us, where ever we live in the world lies in keeping our sport, safe for the horses, fun and challenging for the competitors, exciting and interesting for spectators, and thus enticing for sponsors to help finance the cost of putting on these events. Competitors cannot expect organizers to do all the work, but to help them as much as possible in promoting our sport and thus help finance our sport.
Finally I would like to thank all those organizers, throughout the World, who organized FEI events this year, and in particular the organizing committees of the Single Horse Championships in ?torp Sweden, and the Four in Hand Championships in Kecskemet ,Hungary, for two highly successful Championships, despite weather conditions that were not ideal, that highlighted our sport in such a marvellous way. All your efforts, trials and tribulations are much appreciated, and our sport would not be were it is without your willingness to hold these high level events.
Also, our congratulations to all those who have competed and in particular the medal winners.
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