The FEI, in consultation with the Fédération Française d’Équitation (FFE), has announced the cancellation of the CDI Deauville event, which was scheduled to take place from July 11-14. This decision was made on the evening of Tuesday, July 9 due to the Organising Committee’s failure to secure the veterinary service for the event as required by the FEI Veterinary Regulations, despite several weeks of discussions and assurances.

In the weeks leading up to the event, the Organising Committee repeatedly provided misleading information to the FEI regarding the appointment of veterinarians for the Event. The veterinarians who the Organisers claimed were appointed, reported that they had never been contacted by the Organising Committee and therefore could not accept the role.

The FEI issued a warning to the Organiser of a potential cancellation on July 5, prompting the Organisers to assure that they would secure the necessary veterinarians to meet the requirements for hosting a CDI.

However, on receiving the Organisers’ update on Tuesday late afternoon that indicated a treating veterinarian might only be available after the arrival of the first horses, the FEI Secretary General made the decision to cancel the event the same evening.

Additionally, the FEI discovered that the stables were open and receiving horses one day ahead of schedule without a veterinarian team on site. The stables were scheduled to open on Wednesday, 10 July, with the Horse Inspection set to commence the following day.

Under these circumstances, the FEI concluded that cancelling the event was the necessary course of action so as not to jeopardise the safety of the horses. The FEI informed the French National Federation and notified all affected National Federations accordingly.

“The FEI acknowledges the significant inconvenience the last-minute cancellation has caused, particularly for teams that were already en route to Deauville last night,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said.

“There were over 120 horses who were scheduled to attend the Event, and the potential health risks arising from this situation were too high, especially so close to the Olympic Games. With the lessons from our 2021 experience still fresh in our minds, we are acutely aware of how quickly and severely a disease outbreak can impact both local and international horse populations and the health and safety of the horses is a primary concern.

“This was not a decision that was taken lightly by the FEI, and we regret that the various assurances provided by the Organising Committee were not reliable. Our previous experience with this Organiser raised trust concerns, and despite reservations, they were given an opportunity to rebuild this trust.

“We appreciate everyone’s understanding and, moving forward, we are committed to thoroughly reviewing the matter with the FFE to prevent similar occurrences in the future.”

Affected national federations are advised to contact the organisers directly for reimbursement of incurred costs.