The rules are here..
Welcome markup version of 2018.
Well, scanning through the markup-version of the rules and regulations for next year it for sure is lots of changes and updates on the officials part of the story. Page up and down with something that in all honestly just feels like jada, jada jada.
But the one actual rule for competitors that I do like the most is the clarification of the blood rule. Especially after some kind of lost dressage reporter tried to blow up steam with an eventing related blood story during the European Championships in Strzegom.
526.4 Blood on Horses Blood on Horses
may be an indication of abuse of the Horse andmust be reviewed case by case by the Ground Jury. Not all cases of blood will lead to elimination. In minor cases of blood in the mouth, such as where a Horse appears to have bitten its tongue or lip, or minor bleeding on limbs, after investigation in consultation with the Veterinarian, the Ground Jury may authorise the Athlete to continue. The cases indicating Abuse of Horse will be dealt with according to the provision of Art. 526.2 (Abuse of Horse – Warnings and Penalties).
Other interesting updates are;
541.5 Athlete’s National Identification While present in the Competition area and during the prize-giving ceremonies the name or logo of the Athlete’s nation, its national symbol and/or its national flag, and/or the Athlete’s National Federation logo or name may appear on a surface area not exceeding: a) A reasonable size on each of the two (2) sides of jackets or top garment, at the height of breast pockets for Jumping and Dressage Tests of Eventing. b) Two hundred square centimetres (200 cm2) on each side of saddle cloth. c) Either two hundred square centimetres (200 cm2) on one arm of jackets or top garment or one hundred square centimetres (100 cm2) on each arm of jackets or top garment for the Cross-Country tests of Eventing Vertically in the middle part of the hard hat for the Jumping Events; Vertically in the middle part of the protective head gear of Dressage; Vertically in the middle part of the protective head gear of Eventing National colors may appear on the entire surface of such protective headgear. d) Seventy five square centimetres (75cm2) for the logo on ear hood in Dressage, Jumping and Cross Country Tests of Eventing. In any case, the Athlete’s national identification can be combined in the same surface area with the name and/or logo of the Athlete’s sponsor(s), his team sponsor(s) and/or the National Federation’s sponsor(s) as long as their presence and visibility are in compliance with the surface areas mentioned in art.135 2.2.1. and 2.3.1 of the General Regulations. For Championship and Official team competitions Cross Country test, members of the national teams are required to use national identification colours for equipment, dress and saddle pads to clearly identify and differentiate visually the competing countries. Colours and pattern are to be registered in advance with the FEI. Note: NFs may submit their colors/flags as from 1st January 2018, for all team competitions. These items may be used during 2018. By the end of September 2018, colors and patterns must be sent to FEI. Full implementation as from 1st January 2019.
The infamous “missing a flag rule” now with a new little twist..
549.2 Run out - missing a flag A Horse is considered to have run out if, having been presented at an element or obstacle on the course, it avoids it in such a way that either the head, neck or either shoulder of the Horse fail to pass between the extremities of the element or obstacle as flagged. In case the Horse has clearly attempted to jump the element or obstacle and may have missed CHAPTER 9 CROSS COUNTRY TEST 71 a flag, the athlete can choose: 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. Note: If the Athlete represents and was clear in his first attempt, the Athlete will not be penalized with 20 penalties but no time will be removed. A Horse will be considered to have cleared the fence when head, neck and both shoulders of the Horse pass between the extremities of the element or obstacles as flagged.
Regarding the introductory level I don’t see that doing any kind of difference for the sport as a whole. But instead just make it more difficult to handle for event organisers and volunteers. In the end of the day the riders that really don’t belong in this sport will still find a way to get in.