IJOC Collaboration with FEI on Exchange/Experience Programme for Officials.

The aim is for the Club to facilitate members in gaining relevant experience by offering placements at shows with officials who will assist the applicant in their development and provide a beneficial learning opportunity. Applications for these placements are open to judges, stewards and course designers and are always as an extra member of the officials team at no cost to the OC.
The FEI do offer funding for some applicants but they must meet specific criteria laid down by the FEI (see attached document) and some costs must be borne by the applicant themselves. If applicants wish to apply for funding then IJOC can assist with this although the decision on whether to award funding is entirely at the FEI’s discretion.
The application form has to be sent to FEI with copy to ijoc@ijoclub.com

Exchange of technical knowledge by sharing of knowledge and experience of the sport worldwide to strive for standardisation of officiating, of understanding and application of the rules.
The following three programmes are proposed, in decreasing order of priority:

  1. Opportunity for Officials from developing & less experienced countries to officiate in countries that organise a high number of international events, to gain experience.
  2. If requested, officials from more experienced countries to officiate in countries with less involvement in the sport at International Events, supporting OCs in the organisation of the event and officials of the host nation.
  3. Experienced officials, but with officiating history limited to international events organised in their home NFs, to be able to gain experience and exchange knowledge at events in another region.

Considering the limited funding, financial contribution for travel, and/or accommodation, will be reviewed on a case by case basis

  1. Applicant must be listed as FEI Official
  2. Applicant must understand and speak English
  3. Applicant must be already agreed, in principle, to be appointed at the event for which the application is being sent
  4. Applicant must have some experience at international events organised in her/his home NF, or substantial experience at National events in case no international events are organised at the home NF
  5. The event must not be in the FEI Official country of birth or residence
  6. The application form must be sent at least 1 month before the start date of the event
  7. The Official must not have any kind of offences/disciplinary issues registered in his FEI profile
  8. Experienced officials who have officiated at FEI international events applying for the program should mention in detail how the specific event, for which they are requesting funding support, will add to their experience and learning, what different responsibilities are they expecting to experience at the said event

For all applicants who fulfil the above mentioned minimum requirements, preference will be given to those:

  1. Who have not benefitted from the programme previously
  2. Who are from geographical regions with limited opportunity to gain experience
  3. Who have been suggested to further their experience at FEI international events outside their own regions, by the course director (s) at a recent course that the applicant attended and successfully passed
  4. Who have sufficient experience but only within their own country; or with the same event year on year
  1. A maximum of two applications will be considered for officiating opportunity at the same event
  2. The applicant must keep his/her NF in copy while sending the exchange programme application to the FEI Jumping Department. Before the decision is conveyed to the applicant, the FEI will check with the applicant’s NF whether they support the application
  3. The final decision on the outcome of the application, and the amount of financial contribution will be decided by the FEI Director Jumping
  4. The financial contribution will be paid after the event, on receipt of the following documents:
    • Scans of relevant invoices of the type of expense that were agreed to be reimbursed at the time of communication of the application decision
    • Completed expense claim form reflecting the exact amounts as appearing in the relevant invoices
    • Feedback report (detailed report with pictures and/or videos, comments, mentioning the different responsibilities the Official fulfilled, specific learning experiences and differences, if any, compared to past experiences)

Step 1 The applicant should contact the Organising Committee (OC) of the event she/he aspires to gain experience from, and check if she/he can be on the officials’ team for the particular event. On request IJOC can help you to the contact the OC.
Step 2 If the applicant gets a positive response about officiating in that particular event, the applicant should estimate the various expenses – airfare, meals, accommodation, etc. and list these costs in the application form.
Step 3 After consultation of the applicant’s NF, the FEI then decides on the application and on whether to cover costs in part or full or not at all, and communicates its decision to the applicant and her/his NF.
Step 4 The applicant should arrange for the travel and accommodation etc. and retain the invoices for the specific expenses that have been agreed to with the FEI in advance.
Step 5 After the event, the applicant should send invoices, expense claim form and feedback report to the FEI. The FEI reimburses the approved amount to the applicant.

My Experience.

Back in October 2015 I was able to take advantage of the programme by being added to the Ground Jury for the Oslo 5 * World Cup Show. Jane Pelly was instrumental in making the arrangements between the FEI and the Club as I had struggled to get any help from British Showjumping or the BEF. Without Jane it wouldn’t have happened. The FEI assisted with a small donation towards the flight costs etc. as the programme was mainly self-funded.

I was immediately made to feel welcome by the Foreign Judge Jan Friant and Carsten Sorlie, who was President of the Ground Jury.

I spent time with the stewards at the horse inspection and also during boot control for various classes. I was asked to participate in all of the classes with the other members of the Ground Jury. I spent time with Course Designer Frank Rothenberger and his team and walked the World Cup course with him as he explained what he was hoping to achieve. FEI TV were situated next to us in the Jury Box along with Eurosport TV and it was very interesting to see how everyone worked together as a team.

The experience gained was invaluable and I would recommend the programme to everyone. It was well worth the investment. Since then, I have officiated at over 65 FEI assignments and I’m sure that I would not have achieved this had I not been able to take advantage of the scheme.

I had the chance to use this Program to attend Bolesworth two years ago in 2016. I applied for it because in Portugal, beside the 2 and some 3 stars events in Vilamoura we only have the CSIO.
The chance to work with most experienced officials is none or almost none.
To improve the skills, to hear their huge experience as judges and to have the chance to work with them, to realise how all duties are organized with the team. To have the chance to see top riders, top classes and learn with and from the best. That is FEI EXCHANGE PROGRAM.
Hope to have other chances to grow and to improve performance. That also helps us to apply new things or new ways here among us in our shows.

As a young FEI judge building my career in the sport and developing my skills, I was lucky to be supported by the FEI exchange program in expanding my experience.

My passion for the sport has guided me for my whole life and in addition to my involvement in the national sports’ level and in the Israeli Equestrian Federation as a member of the show jumping committee, I have commenced in an international equestrian education process few years ago. Throughout the years I have been pursuing my professional development in becoming both a FEI judge and a FEI steward and investing time and efforts to become better one. Doing so, I have been looking for opportunities around the world to judge and get more experience in every kind of event possible.

Coming from a small country with no international competitions, I have to pursue this goal outside of Israel leaning on good people along the way that have opened doors for meeting and helped me to become a better official. Along these people, the FEI exchange program had an important place in helping me realise these opportunities. The Exchange program is an important tool for all officials to open new doors and possibilities around the world, in different level of events which results in improving our professionality as officials. In a sport’s world that is becoming more and more professional, we are obliged to keep the highest standards as official and keep thriving to develop our competences. The support of the program to gather with the IJOC club whether by offering financial support or opening doors to new events is a fundamental step in my sportive journey and I hope others can have the opportunity to enjoy it as well.