2019 FEI Eventing Rules



The 2019 FEI Eventing Rules are now online, with the latest modifications having been made on December 3rd 2018 following the FEI General Assembly in Bahrain

As discussed in our interview with Vicky Glynn, the FEI General Secretary for New Zealand, some proposed changes were amended following discussion during the General Assembly; of particular interest to organisers in Australia and New Zealand are the changes to the requirements for 5* level competition organisers outlined in Annexe E (listen to Vicky’s explanation of these changes here)

While riders need to familiarise themselves with all of the updates in the new FEI Rule Book (view the full 2019 Rules here), there are some changes of particular interest;


526.3 Use of the Whip

Excessive and/or misuse of the whip maybe considered abuse of Horse and will be reviewed case by case by the Ground Jury according to but not limited to the following principles:

f) The whip is not to be used more than two times for any one incident.

g) Multiple excessive uses of a whip between fences.

h) If a Horse’s skin is broken or has visible marks the use of whip will always be deemed to be excessive.



526.4 Blood on Horses

Blood on Horses must be reviewed case by case by the Ground Jury. Not all cases of blood will lead to elimination.

Dressage Test: If the Ground Jury suspects bleeding on the Horse during the test, he will stop the Horse to check. If the Horse shows fresh blood, it will be eliminated. The elimination is final. If the Judge through examination clarifies that the Horse has no fresh blood, the Horse may resume and finish its test (refer to article 430 of the FEI Dressage Rules).

Cross Country Test: For the Cross Country Test, all blood on the horse, if induced by athlete (spurs, bit, and whip), must be reviewed case by case by the Ground Jury. Non-minor cases of blood will result in Elimination. In minor cases of blood in the mouth, such as where a Horse appears to have bitten its tongue or lip, or fresh bleeding, after investigation in consultation with the Veterinarian, the Ground Jury may authorise the Athlete to continue.

Jumping Test: Horses with blood on the flank(s) and/or bleeding in the mouth will be eliminated. In minor cases of blood, such as where a Horse appears to have bitten its tongue or lip, Officials may authorize the rinsing or wiping of the mouth and allow the Athlete to continue; any further evidence of blood in the mouth will result in Elimination (refer article 241).

For all minor cases (*) of blood induced by the Athlete in the mouth or related to spurs a Recorded Warning will be issued by the Ground Jury after providing the Athlete the opportunity to have a hearing.

(*) The cases indicating Abuse of Horse will be dealt with according to the provision of Art. 526.2 (Abuse of Horse – Warnings and Penalties).


527 Yellow Warning Cards and Recorded Warning

The following actions will automatically result in the following sanction for the Athlete:

• All cases of minor Blood on Horse caused by the Athlete either in the mouth or on flanks from spurs shall be sanctioned by a Recorded Warning as a minimum or by stronger sanction(s) (as provided for under Art. 525.2).

• All cases of excessive use of whip, as defined above, shall automatically be sanctioned with a Yellow Warning Card or by stronger sanction(s) (as provided for under Art. 525.2).

• A Yellow Warning Card will be systematically awarded if the Athlete continues after clear 3 refusals, a fall, or any form of elimination.

• Should the same Athlete receive more than one Recorded Warning for a case of Athlete induced Blood on a Horse within three years, he will automatically be issued a Yellow Warning Card.”

• Two Recorded Warnings, within a 12 months period, for the same offence, will result in a Yellow Warning Card.

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the General Regulations, should the same Person Responsible receive one more Yellow Warning Card at the same or any other international Event within one year of the delivery of the first Yellow Warning Card for the same offence, the Person Responsible shall automatically be suspended for a period of four months after official notification from FEI Secretary General.


539.2 Forbidden tack in cross country and jumping tests

For Cross Country, any device which does not allow an immediate and unrestricted separation of the Athlete’s boot from the stirrup in case of a fall is forbidden.

Neck straps, if used on Cross Country, must be attached either to the breastplate or to the saddle.

For Cross Country, hackamores without bits are not allowed and the lower cheek (lever arm) may not exceed 10 cm on any bit.


544.1 Scoring


For 4* Championships and higher level Events, if the score only of the flying changes varies by 3 points or more from the average of the scores of the other judges for the same movement, the Ground Jury must review the official video after the Dressage test on the same day. Corrections must only be made to the flying change, based on the average of the other two scores.


549.2 Run out – missing a flag

a) Run-Out: A Horse is considered to have run out (20 penalties) if, having been presented at an element or obstacle on the course, it avoids it in such a way that the body of the Horse (head, neck, shoulders and pelvis – legs are not included) fail to pass between the extremities of the element or obstacle as originally flagged. Continuing on course without representing will incur elimination.

b) Missing a flag: A Horse is considered to have missed a flag (15 penalties) if the Horse jumps the dimension of the obstacle and the majority of the Horse’s body (as defined above) passes through the flags. This means that some part of the body is not inside the flags (e.g. one shoulder, or one shoulder and part of one hip).

c) The Horse will have successfully negotiated the fence, if the body of the Horse (as defined above) has passed the fence as originally flagged (i.e. the body but not all the legs are inside the flag is considered clear).


553.2 Time faults – Jumping Test

The length of the course and the speed demanded determine the time allowed.

Completing the course in less than the time allowed is not rewarded, but exceeding the time allowed, Athletes are penalized with 0.4 penalty per commenced second.

Exceeding the time limit involves elimination


Annexe A: Permitted bits for dressage

Note: For Eventing, the bits permitted for the Dressage test have been reformulated to take into account the wide use of snaffles in Eventing (different to the Dressage Rules) as well as defining the action.

Any approved mouthpiece may be combined with any approved cheek piece.