Some (international) showjumping riders have gathered on social media to express their displeasure with the FEI and her decisions. "We as riders are good to pay, but not good enough to listen to." The riders blame the FEI not having any connection any longer with our sport. "Instead of promoting horse welfare we feed critics.
The new time rul is effective since the beginning of this year. The new rule makes count every second over the time allowed count as a penalty. "The FEI should make an effort of promoting our sport. It should promote the fact we take care of the horses and put an effort in horse welfare, but with this new rule they feed critic minds that are against our sport with new arguments against it."
The time rule ... our sport has different levels
"The FEI forgets our sport has different levels. Competing at a regional level or in youngster classes is not the same as topsport. Emphasizing the time rule, this puts a huge pressure on for example young horses. Training youngsters it is often more important to perform a clear round with exceeding the time allowed instead of rushing the horse to the finish and jumping a rail down. The new system punishes a good training of horses..."
In practice, four seconds over the time allowed amounts to the same as having a fence down; four faults. That puts a great deal of pressure on young horses and riders starting out on top-level courses.
"Riders are now forced to push the horses to the limit. This is not what we want! Further the rule is in general NOT protested for the top level of our sport. Most combinations are fit for this rule at that level, however it is unnecessary at the lower levels or with young horses.
The FEI; an ivory tower ready to welcome our money
In the Facebook Group the showjumping riders (counting several 100 by now) express their complaints and say they feel abused. The FEI is an old fashioned institute that is ready to welcome our money but not ready to listen to our voice. They don't live in our sport and stand far away from us, and why should they ... we have to pay eventually.