In advance of the FEI’s General Assembly to be held November 18-21 in Montevideo, Uruguay, the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) has issued a reminder that their members voted unanimously in support of resolutions affecting world show jumping rankings. The proposal specifically addresses the FEI’s MoU with GCT/GCL which allows riders to earn world ranking points by paying to compete at a 5* GCT/GCL event.
Currently, the FEI’s rules require CSI5* events to invite a certain percentage of riders based on world rankings and a percentage of home riders – 60/40, 50/30, 40/40, or 30/50 respectively – with the remaining 20% chosen by the Organizing Committee. In a recent article by WorldOfShowJumping.com, however, Dutch rider Henk Nooren revealed that as part of the MoU, the GCL is exempt from the rules and are permitted to invite 60% of riders from their own GCL team (the entry fee for each teams is $2,000,000 per season), 30% from the world ranking list, and 10% are for home riders.
In their statement, the IJRC notes that they are the body responsible for the show jumping rankings rules, with the only exceptions being for the FEI Longines Nations Cups and the FEI Longines World Cup of show jumping, both events for which participants are selected by team chefs of the NF. They propose that the rules be as follows:
• Limit the possibility to earn points one time per day at each show (under discussion)
• Ranking points for 5* will be earned only in events that respect the following percentage of invitations:
– 60% of the riders entered in the show, in descending order of the rankings (including home riders)
– 20% to the Home federation (NF)
– 20% by the Organizing Committee (OC)
“The actual situation, with too many pay cards in some shows, could kill our sport and (the) best and most talented athletes and their Olympic future,” read the IJRC statement. “We have to consider that ranking points are important for the qualification to the Olympic Games, and we want that only the deserved riders can be qualified to Olympics.”
In the article, Nooren commented: “We must all be aware of the connection between the world ranking list and the invitations to all the different star-level shows, as well as the enormous importance of the ranking list in order to select riders for World Championships, Olympic Games and other major championships. My opinion is that at the highest level of the sport it should not be possible for an athlete to pay to compete among and against the best, and through such payment get the chance to climb on the world ranking. Either you are selected because you belong among the world’s best, or you are not – we are the only Olympic sport where you can pay to compete at top level.”
Below is the say#yes to equal changes for all at high level sport video: