2017 FEI Eventing rule changes

       Those flags on skinny fences are going to be expensive!


The new eventing rules issued by the FEI to come into effect on 1st January 2017 are now available and include several proposed changes including significant changes in the areas of new penalty points, stricter MERs, level of difficulty at World Championship level and new rules for Arena/Indoor Eventing


New penalties for jumping outside the flag on cross country

Riders will now incur 50 penalties for jumping outside the flag on cross country under Rule 548.1 Faults at Obstacles.

Rule 549.2 Run out - missing a flag advises that in the case where the horse has clearly attempted to jump the element or obstacle and may have missed a flag, the athlete can choose either


a) To represent (accepting automatically 20 penalties), or

b) To continue on course incurring 50 penalties (no elimination) in case the element or obstacle was not correctly cleared.


In line with this a change in the Exceptions for Unauthorised Assistance 540.1means that an Athlete may no longer ask for or receive clarification of jumping penalties from the Fence Judge


Technical level and Participation at World Championships

Rule 501.3.4 states that a maximum of 5 athletes are allowed to take part from any one nation with a maximum of 2 individuals from nations not represented by a team. This has changed from six athletes previously whilst the technical difficulty has been reduced in line with the proposed Olympic Games ruling

The Technical Level at World Championships will now be;

  1. 4 star level Dressage and Jumping Test,
  2. Cross -Country Test 3 star technicality (10min and maximum 45 efforts)


Indoor / Arena Cross Country Rules

Annex I is dedicated to new Indoor / Arena Cross Country Rules for Eventing Classes held within and FEI International Jumping/Dressage Indoor events, which will be designated in the FEI Calendar by the competition code CIX-Arena

These will be held at 2* level with a listed FEI Eventing Judge appointed and an FEI 3&4 Eventing Course Designer collaborating with the appointed Jumping Course Designer


Stricter Minimum Eligibility Requirement (MER)

New MER requirements under Rule 517 include changes in the dressage and cross country phase requirements whereby;

Dressage Test : not more than 67 penalty points or 55% (previously 75 penalty points)

Cross Country Test : A clear round at obstacles (activating a maximum of one frangible device will maintain the MER result on Cross Country) and not more than 75 seconds (previously 90) exceeding the optimum time in the Cross Country Test for one, two and three star level  Competitions and 100 seconds in the case of four star level Competitions


Other changes

  • Introduction of the new 4* dressage test from 1st January 2017
  • Body protectors must be worn when schooling over cross country fences (538.3)
  • Option for Horse Inspection at Short Competitions (CIC) whereby, in the Event that there is no First Horse Inspection, an FEI Official Veterinarian must assess the Horse’s fitness to compete including a brief trot within the Examination on Arrival (524.2.3)


For further changes and updates, view the full document here