In a U-turn decision, the World Equestrian Center (WEC) in Florida, USA, will not hold hunter/jumper competitions governed by US Equestrian (USEF), leaving the topic of unsanctioned shows up in the air again.
In November there was on a dispute between WEC and USEF around WEC’s decision to host competitions sanctioned by the National Snaffle Bit Association during the 12-week Ocala Winter Spectacular (6 January to 28 March) at the same time as national federation-sanctioned competitions at the venue. USEF withdrew the centre’s hunter/jumper competition licences and stated WEC combining the competitions was “confusing” and “jeopardised” horse and human safety and welfare.
At the time USEF notified the FEI that these events were unauthorised, meaning the FEI could decide whether it would apply the unsanctioned event rule. The rule states that any FEI official, registered athlete or horse who participates in an unsanctioned event faces up to six months of ineligibility to participate in FEI competitions and so also national competitions.In January 2021 an agreement was reached between WEC and USEF and the organisations said they would “work together in the best interest of the sport”, in order for the centre to host sanctioned competitions. In a joint statement, WEC and USEF said they were “formulating a plan” to consider how to operate under the rules that govern all USEF organisers. USEF withdrew its request to the FEI to declare the 2021 Ocala Winter Spectacular unsanctioned.
Three months on, the centre has done a U-turn, and in a statement on 23 April said “all 2021 competitions” at its venues in Wilmington, Ohio, and Ocala will be sanctioned by the National Snaffle Bit Association from 3 May.
Source Horse and Hound