The Federation Equestre Internationale has this evening confirmed that equestrian sport will remain part of the Olympics until at least 2024.

The International Olympic Committee has given its approval to the FEI’s proposed new team format which will be adopted for Tokyo 2020, which reduces team members from four to three, with a reserve rider allowed.

“The IOC’s confirmation of equestrian on the Olympic programme for the 2024 Games and approval of the new formats for Tokyo 2020 is a direct acknowledgment of our willingness to adapt and modernise our sport, so all the work to drive change and increase universality has been worthwhile”, said FEI President Ingmar De Vos.

The three-team format was seen as opening the door for more countries to participate thereby increasing viewer numbers for equestrian sport. The changes were approved by FEI delegates at its General Assembly in Tokyo last year, but were opposed by several of the world’s leading equestrian nations including Germany and France. There was also opposition from the International Jumping Riders Club, which proposed its own format to address the issue of increasing participation across nationalities.

“It wasn’t easy for our community to make such drastic changes to our Olympic formats, but the National Federations knew the importance of this decision and ultimately supported the proposed changes”, De Vos stated. “Their willingness to embrace this change is without any doubt the reason we have got this fantastic news from the IOC today.”

Mike Dunne