Chairman's update:

   Proposed FEI driving rule changes

30 August 2021

The FEI is the world governing body overseeing equestrian sport. Specifically, it oversees the rules and regulations we use at international driving events.

There is only one body in each country that can work directly with the FEI; in the UK it is British Equestrian. British Carriagedriving is affiliated to British Equestrian, along with most other equestrian sports. To communicate with the FEI, we always go through British Equestrian.

Every year there are rule changes that come to BC from the FEI, to decide if we support them or not. I think over the last few years many of the changes to our sport have come this way and led not only to rule changes but structural changes as well.

An example would be the change and continued reduction in the number of sections and type of course we follow on the marathon. What was a five section competition (for those with good memories) is now a two section i.e. warm up and obstacles.

This year we have some more radical potential changes. My view is simple; we need to stop following the FEI changes that may suit other countries and ensure our sport and the rules reflect what we need nationally.

Of course this leaves the difficulties for our international competitors, who we should support to make sure they are aware of any rules they need to follow at international competitions. Indeed this year, in the 90 page document of potential rule changes, there is a radical new scoring system.

BC will not support this or change. We have discussed this with our scorers, who score at many of the events, who confirm they can score the advanced classes using both systems, if approved.

My point is that whilst a number of the changes are sensible and enhance the sport, many do not. It takes quite a while for the Rules Committee to trawl through the information. Over previous years many of the potential changes have been sanctioned by BC and rejected.

I can confirm this will continue to ensure our rules suit the sport we have at all levels.

Andrew Counsell,
Chairman, British Carriagedriving

Documents explaining the proposed new driving scoring and rule changes:

FEI Driving Rules Revision 2021 supporting document (PDF)

FEI new driving scoring concept (PDF)