The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) yesterday officially announced the postponement of the Longines endurance world championships to May 2021. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on equestrian sports made it necessary to reschedule the championships, as travel and training restrictions are still in force in some countries. The best endurance riders of the world were originally planned to meet on September 5 in San Rossore, in the Pisa region. The FEI, the Italian national federation and the organizers now have reached an agreement and the championships are postponed until May 2021.
For endurance riders this postponement schedules a second championship in year 2021. The European championships in Ermelo (the Netherlands) take place from September 6th to 11th 2021 as well as the Pan American Endurance Games in Brazil (28th and 29th of July 2021). The organisation of two championships in one year was a major part of the discussion the FEI and the 51 national federations representing endurance riders had. The majority of the national federations agreed to the postponement and the realization of two championships in one year.
FEI general secretary, Sabrina Ibáñez, confirmed that the “endurance community has been clear to the FEI on its wish to compete in world championships, especially after the previous edition in Tryon in 2018 did not come to an end. The well-being of the horses and a quality plateau could not have been guaranteed if these Worlds were held in September. Postponing it to May next year is the best solution. We have reached a compromise that satisfies everyone, especially for the horses who will have the time necessary to train and qualify for this major event.”
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The qualification period has been extended so as not to penalize riders who were unable to compete due to the lack of competitions. These qualifications will be obtained under Article 836 of the new FEI Endurance Regulations, which will come into force on July 1st 2020.
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