Message from ESNZ CEO

Dear officials of all kinds in equestrian sports.  Firstly, thank you once again for the incredible effort you make to ensure our sport runs well and is available for all our members to participate in. We definitely could not do it without you.  However, we have certainly found ourselves in unprecedented times in 2020 and face a completely unknown few months when it comes to Covid-19 and how we cope with that.

As you will know by now, we have cancelled all remaining events in Jumping, Dressage/Para, Eventing and Endurance for three months.  This includes practice days and any competition that has prize money or results.  The media release for this can be found at

The main reason for cancelling our events is to keep our equestrian community safe, we value the health and safety of our members including all of you as officials and volunteers in whatever capacity that might be. We want to ensure you do not feel compelled to officiate at any events for the next three months. It will be a great time to get those refresher courses done online and any CES requirements fulfilled.

Unfortunately, as a result of the cancellation, any events that might be held are not insured by ESNZ and therefore you just need to be aware of this if you are asked to perform any duties.  We have held off formally “unsanctioning events” as outlined in Article 105 of the General Regulation as that has widespread and long-lasting effects for officials and riders. This can be reviewed if need be in the future.

The ESNZ board will review the situation in April and will continually monitor any issues that arise. So please feel free to contact us if there is anything you want to address personally.

Please stay safe and look after yourselves, you are extremely valuable to our sport and we want to ensure we do the best for you all.

Dana Kirkpatrick


FEI Update on FEI Officials

Given the current circumstances brought about by Coronavirus (Covid-19), the FEI would like to provide an update on the education and officiating of FEI Officials. Please be assured, the interruption to normal business caused by Covid-19 will not affect the current status of Officials.

The information provided below remains subject to change, with the aim of keeping a degree of flexibility in such an extraordinary situation and to ensure that FEI Officials can continue their education and work in the best possible manner without compromising their health.


All Officials from Group A who have attended an in-person course in 2017, 2018 or 2019 have the opportunity to complete the Competency Evaluation System (CES) assessment online prior to officiating.

All Officials from Group B who attended their last in-person course in 2016 or earlier, are allowed to officiate throughout the year and have until mid-December 2020 to complete an in-person course. This deadline will remain in place until further notice.

The situation is being continuously assessed and any necessary changes will be communicated.

For further information on the FEI CES –

While there are no events happening for the next couple of months, at least, now would be a good time to do the online CES exam, if you have not done this already, and especially those Eventing Officials from Group A who may have been expecting to do the exam during the (now postponed) course.

The FEI currently recommends that all Organisers of FEI Officials’ courses postpone their courses to the second half of the year rather than cancelling them.


In light of the global concerns about the spread of the virus as well as the increasing number of travel restrictions being enforced by national governments, the FEI has strongly recommended that all international events should be cancelled. However, if an OC decides to maintain its Event, the following applies:

FEI Officials appointed to FEI Events have the option not to travel or may be unable to travel. If the Official has been appointed by the FEI, they are required to inform the FEI that they are cancelling their appointment, following which the relevant sport Department will, where possible, seek a replacement.

If the Official is appointed by the Organising Committee or National Federation, in the first instance it is up to the OC/NF to find a replacement, but you can contact the FEI in case you need support.

If you have any questions, please contact the Education & Officials Department. As you are aware, the FEI staff are currently working from home, however we will maintain all services to the equestrian community and stakeholders with each department fully operational and all members of staff available by phone and email.

Keep up to date by following:

List of NZ Seminars that have been cancelled or postponed

  • FEI Refresher Seminar for Jumping Stewards. This course will no longer go ahead on 2-3 April 2020, but is likely to be held 25-26 October 2020, still in Wellington.  Please do not re-book flights or accommodation until this is confirmed.
  • FEI Level 1 for Promotion Seminar for Jumping Stewards. This course will no longer go ahead on 4-6 April 2020, but we are looking at 22-24 October 2020, in Hastings.  Please do not re-book flights or accommodation until this is confirmed.
  • Also – Equestrian Australia have cancelled their FEI Refresher Seminar for Jumping Course Designers, which was calendared for 31 March – 1 April 2020, Sydney. A new date will be advised asap.
  • Promotion, transfer and maintenance courses for FEI Eventing Officials. These courses will no longer go ahead on 7-10 May, in Taupo but we are looking to run them in early December.  Please do not re-book flights or accommodation until we have confirmed the new dates.

List of NZ Seminars under review

  • Promotion and transfer courses for Endurance Official Veterinarians and Veterinary Treatment Officials, 23-24 May 2020, Wellington. This course is still under review but will likely be postponed until later in the year.  Please do not book any flights or accommodation until this is confirmed, or if you do, make sure they are flexible.
  • National Officials’ seminars and courses. Check your discipline website pages for these in the coming months as to whether they will differ from normal.

ESNZ Insurance for cancellation of flights and accommodation

For those officials that have booked travel and accommodation for the above courses, please note the following.

If the course has been postponed, please contact your airline and accommodation provider to see about moving your booking to an alternative date. 

If the course has been cancelled indefinitely or changed to different location and you are unable to get a refund, then ESNZ may be able to assist you by putting in a claim with our insurers.  Flights and accommodation must have been booked prior to the 2 March 2020 and confirmation of booking is required to make a claim.  Please email Emma for more information or to make a claim [email protected]

Some tips for keeping safe

Managing your risk of exposure to the Coronavirus is essential to maintaining good health. At this time, please be aware of good hygiene and using common sense in your everyday activities in order to prevent the spread of this virus.

We recommend regularly washing your hands with soap and water or an alcohol based hand sanitiser; practice safe sneeze and cough hygiene; avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands; avoid close contact with people who are sick; and disinfect and clean “often touched” objects and surfaces to help reduce your risk of exposure.

New Zealanders should carefully consider their need to travel overseas at this time and defer any non-essential travel. This advice applies to all overseas destinations.


Keep an eye on our website for these – – and let us know if you have any questions which were not addressed.