Organisers of FEI competitions are required to provide certain veterinary facilities and services to safeguard the welfare of all Horses taking part at their event. These requirements are detailed in the FEI Veterinary Regulations (FEI VRs) which can be downloaded here.
Organising Committees should appoint a Veterinary Services Manager (VSM) who will be responsible for planning and delivering the veterinary services and facilities as well as liaising with the appointed FEI Official Veterinarians (eg. Veterinary Delegate - see below). The role of a VSM is outlined in FEI VRs Art. 1103. The VSM will appoint, as required, FEI Permitted Treating Veterinarians (PTVs) to provide veterinary support for the event. Veterinary practitioners are necessarily professional service providers and should therefore be paid accordingly.
Organising Committees also need to appoint an FEI Official Veterinarian as Veterinary Delegate (VD) for the event. VDs are responsible for ensuring FEI Veterinary and associated Discipline regulations are followed by all parties throughout an event. They will also check planning for veterinary services and facilities and support and advise the VSM. The VD must be present at the event from the day before the first Horse Inspection until the end of the event. VDs are professional veterinarians and should be remunerated in accordance with FEI VRs Art. 1117.4.
The roles and responsibilities of Permitted Treating Veterinarians and FEI Official Veterinarians are detailed in FEI VRs Arts. 1103-1115.
The following core services, as outlined in FEI VRs Art. 1007, must be available for all Horses throughout the period of an FEI event:
a) effective communication between Veterinary Delegates, the VSM and PTVs (eg. radios, mobile phones etc);
b) an equine referral clinic with diagnostic imaging and surgical facilities prenotified and on standby to receive sick or injured Horses;
c) at least one PTV available 24 hours a day;
d) at least one PTV adjacent to the Competition area during all competitions and prize giving ceremonies;
e) at least one PTV present during all training times;
f) a qualified and experienced farrier;
g) veterinary equipment (e.g. medication and euthanasia agents, intravenous fluids, consumables and limb stabilisation equipment);
h) additional personnel to support PTVs with certain emergency procedures (e.g. erecting screens around injured Horses and operating Horse ambulances);
i) arrangements made in advance with a veterinary pathology facility to carry out a post mortem examination in the event of a Horse fatality.
FEI VRs Articles 1005 to 1018 of the regulations outline other aspects that Organisers are responsible for considering including:
- Stabling (Art. 1008)
- Treatment Stables/Boxes (Art. 1008)
- Isolation Stables/Boxes (Art. 1008)
- Stable security (Art. 1008)
- Horse Inspection Area (Art. 1011)
- Equine Anti-Doping & Controlled Medication (EADCM) sampling facilities (Arts. 1008 & 1012)
- Biosecurity/disease prevention measures (Arts. 1016-1018)
If you have any questions regarding organising FEI competitions or would like further advice not available through this guide please contact your National Federation or the relevant FEI department here.