Ta ta to top hats on January 1st 2021 | An Eventful Life

Ta ta to top hats on January 1st 2021

   William Fox-Pitt rides Little Fire at Badminton 2019 in the traditional top hat



William Fox-Pitt will be disappointed but it has been confirmed that top hats will no longer be allowed to be worn during FEI competition

The first meeting of the FEI Board, taking place ahead of the online General Assembly on 23rd November has voted unanimously to ‘maintain the implementation of amendments to dressage headgear on 1st January 2021’

The rule requiring Dressage athletes to wear protective headgear at all times at FEI events as of 1st January 2021 was voted in at the 2019 FEI General Assembly but an athletes’ petition, sent to the FEI by the President of the International Dressage Riders’ Club (IDRC), requested to maintain the option to use top hats in senior international competitions and urged the FEI to table it for discussion at the FEI General Assembly 2020

However, a second petition from a group of physicians calls for the Rule to be implemented as planned at the start of 2021 and the FEI has also received unsolicited support for the Protective Headgear Rule from a number of other athletes.

The FEI Board discussed the issue and, although this rule has already been approved at last year’s General Assembly and is not an FEI Board decision, voted unanimously to maintain implementation on 1 January 2021.

The FEI Board meeting notes say that the ‘General Assembly decision was based on safety grounds, the fact that a full consultation process had been conducted prior to the vote at the 2019 General Assembly, and that there is a clear and transparent process for Rules revision’

More to come from the FEI General Assembly soon ...