The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the devastating effect it is having on the world is unprecedented in our lifetimes. While human health and safety must of course be put before everything, the impact the virus has already had on the FEI Calendar is a huge concern and we are all too aware of the consequences on you as Organisers.
These are difficult and uncertain times for us all and, for those of you that have already been forced to cancel your Events and those of you who may need to cancel in the near future, the financial and personal implications are huge. We want to assure all of you that we are looking at all the ways in which we can help and, as a starting point, have already agreed that Calendar fees for Events that have had to be cancelled because of Covid-19 will be waived. Clearly where an Event is cancelled, no organising dues or MCP contributions will be applicable.
But obviously that’s only part of the story. Even after the pandemic is over and we have done everything in our power to agree new dates for those of you that request them, we are also conscious of the fact that the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the necessity to find new dates in 2021 adds to the level of concern.
Clearly there will be FEI Events affected by the rescheduling of the Games, but we have been assured by the IOC that they will work together with all the International Federations to find the best solutions, and that will include looking at the international fixture list to try and minimise the impact.
As you are probably aware, the FEI yesterday announced the creation of a series of discipline-specific task forces whose remit will be to evaluate the overall impact on the FEI Calendar, both of the Covid-19 pandemic and the postponement of Tokyo 2020.
As Secretary General, I have overall responsibility for the FEI Calendar, so I will be chairing each of the task forces as we seek ways to help our Organisers, National Federations, Athletes, Officials and everyone else caught up in this desperately difficult situation.
It will not be an easy task, but please understand that the President of the International Equestrian Organisers Association Peter Bollen will be a member of each of the eight single-discipline task forces, so your interests will be well represented.
None of us has a crystal ball and nor do we know what the world will look like on the other side of Covid-19. But what I can tell you is that we are working hard to make the best of a very challenging situation so please give us the time to come up with solutions. Not everyone is going to be happy, and there will need to be compromises, but we will do our best to reach consensus on a way forward that works for everyone.
I cannot thank you enough for your incredible support, your dedication and your determination. Without you, our Organisers, we literally would have no sport. So we will do everything in our power to help you through these challenging times and look forward to being able to turn the spotlight – both literally and figuratively – back onto our wonderful sport in the near future.
FEI Secretary General