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FEI international driving judges' seminar
24 October 2006

On 21 and 22 October, the Mari?waerdt Estate in Beesd, the Netherlands, the venue of the 2008 FEI World four-in-hand driving Championship, opened its gates for an FEI seminar for driving judges.

The Seminar for Senior Judges was an opportunity for all these FEI Officials to share their thoughts and ideas and to formulate possible future developments within the sport and 27 representatives from 12 nations attended.

The forum was led by Diana Brownlie (GBR), Richard James (GBR) and Klaus Christ (GER).

During the first day, the emphasis was put on dressage. Dutch single driver Jan van den Broek, who recently came second in the dressage at the World Championships in Pratoni, was invited to drive the new FEI dressage test number 9.

International judge Tjeerd Velstra commented: ?It is a difficult but fun test to drive. The figures follow each other quite fast and there is a lot of one-hand driving included. The test contains several new parts, such as gallop. Taking only eight minutes to drive, it is a rather short test as well.?

Dutch driver Harry de Ruyter drove FEI test number 8a with a team of Friesian horses. The only change compared to the existing test 8 is that the shoulder in movements are now executed towards the judges. Both tests are expected to be confirmed on January 1st, 2007.

The second day was used for interesting discussions about possible new items in the international combined driving sport. There was a proposal to split the protocols of FEI test nr. 6 and 7 into more items in order to obtain more full scores.

The much spoken of 'turntable brake' system of the dressage carriage will most probably be taken out of the FEI Driving rules per 1 January 2007.

All participants were pleased to have attended and agreed it had been a great success. Details of the findings and proposals arising from the Seminar will be published shortly.

News report from FEI and  www.hoefnet.com Photo by Mark Wentein