The high quality of footing (equine surfaces) of competîtion and training arenas is essential for both the welfare and performance of horses. With this in mind the FEI has been leading work to establish a scientific based approach to analysing and evaluating footing leading to the introduction of an FEI approved Footing Standard.
The research findings that form the basis for developing the FEI Footing Standard are summarised in the Equine Surfaces White Paper which can be downloaded here. This was presented to a forum of the world's leading equine surface suppliers and experts at a forum in 2015. A consensus emerged at this forum that standards and education should be developed around the three key components of correct material and design, proper installation and appropriate maintenance. A summary of the forum is available here.
The FEI Footing Standard has now been developed and is available here. Work is currently ongoing to finalise detailed testing analysis and evaluation protocols and to establish practical processes that will result in Organisers, venue owners and footing suppliers being able to request testing with the aim of having their arenas/footing awarded the 'FEI Footing Standard'.
Other relevant resources are available here:
- FEI Footing Project History
- FEI Footing Forum 2015 - Meeting Summary
- FEI Footing Project Update - Dec 2016
- Equestrian Surfaces - A Guide
- Racing Surfaces Research and Testing - racingsurfaces.org
- Scientific Paper - Equestrian Surface Sand Specifications
For the Olympic Games, FEI World Equestrian Games and other Games, major Championships and Finals a Footing Advisor (independent of the footing supplier) is appointed to oversee and advise on footing design, testing, installation and maintenance. The job description of the FEI Footing Advisor is available to download here.
Attached files: Footing Project History.pdf, FEI Standard for Arena Surfaces - Meeting Summary.pdf, Footing Update 12_2016.pdf, ArenaBulletin1.pdf, Ridunderlag_guide_eng_2021_november.pdf, Job Description - FEI Championship Footing Advisor_Jan 22.pdf, FEI Footing Standard - Jan 2022.pdf