An ongoing investigation into the testing of new equipment by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has raised grave concerns regarding issues of non-transparency, dishonesty and unethical misconduct by several of its members.
A committee responsible for safeguarding the best interests of horses, the mishandled testing of new equipment, designed for their benefit and welfare, not only jeopardises commercial interests, but places the welfare of horses at risk.
Mr Adrian Morgante of the WTP Bit Company, owner and developer of the WTP NP Bit, has encountered repeated resistance by the FEI in the public release of testing panel reports from 2014 and 2016 for the past 12 months.
“Under the FEI Constitution and rules of procedure when applying for new equipment to be tested for FEI approval, two to three members of the authorised testing panel must test the equipment under riding.”
“These authorised testing panel members must then fill out and sign a specific testing document, which outlines their comments and confirms whether the equipment has been approved or not approved.
“The FEI then notify the National Federations on the equipment that has been approved. However, based on the evidence and correspondence between the FEI and the WTP Bit Company in the case of the WTP NP Bit, we believe the National Federations and equestrian community have been lied to.
“It has become apparent the WTP NP Bit was approved by the 2014 testing panel. Further, the WTP NP Bit has been thoroughly tested by many experts, including high profile Dressage and Olympic riders, instructors, coaches, professors and lecturers in equine science, veterinarians, dental technicians and National Federation leaders. The WTP NP Bit contributes towards the welfare and happiness of the horse, as indicated in their attached expert reports.”
Enclosed is correspondence from many experts who’ve personally tested the WTP NP Bit over the years and many more can be provided upon request:
1) Judy Fasher, Chairman of Equestrian Australia
2) Angela McLeod; Equine Veterinarian
3) Dr Andrew McLean; Australian Equine Behaviour Centre
4) Caroline Wagner; Grand Prix Dressage Rider
5) Norm Glenn; Advanced Equine Muscle Therapy
6) Dr Lesley Hawson; BSc, BVSc, PhD, Associate of the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre and Lecturer in Equine Studies
7) Debbie Warne; FEI Dressage Rider, Equestrian Australia Dressage Judge, NCAS Level 1 General and Pony Club
8) Professor Paul McGreevy; University of Sydney
9) Bo Hehna; Dressage International 4* Judge and Coach for Swedish Dressage Team
10) Julia Lundh; Member of Swedish Equestrian Vaulting Team
11) Kerstin Andre; Dressage A Trainer, Sweden
12) Paulinda Friberg; Member of Swedish Dressage A Team
13) Malin Feldt; Competitor
14) Megan Williams; NQV Level 1, 2 and 3 Equine Management
15) Bernie Traurig; Show Jumping, Hunter, Equitation, Dressage, Eventing and Team Representative for the United States of America
16) Deb McKay, DVM
17) Jose Mendez, International Grand Prix Competitor, Accredited NCAS Dressage Level 2 Coach and FISRB Level 3 Official Coach
18) Julianna Matthews; NCAS Level 1 Coach
19) Kathy Ordynski; Competitor
20) Lea Bierman; NCAS Level 3 Dressage Specialist Coach, Educator and Judge
21) Grant Stuart; Competitor, New Zealand
22) Genevieve Denize; Competitor, New Zealand
23) Peter Jenkins; Equine Dental Technician
24) Chad Cunningham; Accredited FEI Level 1 and Level 2 Coach
25) Helena Hugoson Feldt; Veterinarian and Breeder of Show Jumping Horses
26) Anita Burke Equine Veterinarian BSc BVMS (Hons)
“The WTP NP Bit was tested in 2014, and the WTP Bit Company was informed by the FEI the WTP NP Bit was not approved because the centre piece was too large. However, the FEI did not provide the testing reports confirming their claim. That objection was also proven to be false and incorrect, and later withdrawn by the FEI.
“Further, to our knowledge, this objection was not mentioned in the 2014 testing panel reports, and we allege it was a personal view and agenda of Ms Carina Mayer to not approve the WTP NP Bit.
“Following this, Ms Carina Mayer, former FEI Dressage Director, claimed the WTP NP Bit could not be approved because the arms of the bit were blocked and this objection had previously been communicated to the WTP Bit Company.
“However, when requested by the WTP Bit Company, Ms Mayer was unable to provide any evidence of correspondence indicating this objection to be true and previously communicated to the WTP Bit Company.
“Although the WTP Bit Company provided indisputable evidence to the FEI of other Myler bits with the same function, Ms Mayer stated she was going to have the testing panel re-test the WTP NP Bit in 2016. But, subsequently, her personal objection was withdrawn when her claim was proven to be false and incorrect, which is why the FEI relies on a qualified testing panel.
“However, despite this, Ms Mayer stated the 2016 testing panel re-tested the WTP NP Bit and said it could not be approved because of the function of the bit. The WTP Bit Company again provided indisputable evidence proving this claim to be false and incorrect.
“In response to this, Ms Mayer stated the decision was final, and she would not correspond with the WTP Bit Company any further. Later, Ms Mayer changed her position, stating we could appeal but when asked to provide the evidence the WTP NP bit 2014 and 2016 testing panel reports, she ignored our requests.
“Furthermore, it has since become apparent no testing was conducted in 2016 and, therefore, any fabricated decision was invalid, and Ms Mayer’s false claims were based on lies and deception.”
Despite numerous requests by the WTP Bit Company over the past 12 months to receive copies of the 2014 and 2016 testing panel reports in an effort to resolve this matter, the FEI has continued to breach its own code of ethics by failing to provide them. The FEI Code of Ethics states all members provide information that is accurate, complete, objective and in a timely fashion. As such, the 2014 and 2016 testing panel reports should be provided upon request.
“After our correspondence with Ms Mayer, the WTP Bit Company and members of the equestrian community and media contacted FEI President Mr Ingmar De Vos and other FEI officials requesting copies of the 2014 and 2016 testing panel reports as a matter of transparency, which were also ignored.
“We have reason to believe the WTP NP Bit was approved by the 2014 testing panel, and the 2014 testing panel reports would indicate that and therefore, all following correspondence from the FEI has been based on false claims, and deception.
“It has also become obvious the WTP NP Bit was not re-tested in 2016 and based on the evidence we allege FEI officials, such as Ms Carina Mayer and Ms Anna Milne, abused their position — and it was their personal agenda and unqualified claims which gave rise to outside commercial influence and corruption. Both were given the opportunity to deny these claims, but they could not. Therefore, be omitting the claims to be true. Further we have emailed correspondence confirming it was their personal view and not that of the FEI authorized testing panel.
“How many other pieces of equipment have been approved or not approved, based on personal interests? How many other individual FEI officials have abused their position to lie to equipment companies, national federations and the equestrian community? Following further investigations, we are now aware of other equipment companies who have encountered similar problems regarding testing or non-testing of their equipment. These companies were not aware of the FEI testing rules of procedures. Therefore, they were easily misled by FEI members who abused their position and breached the FEI constitution and their rules of procedure for testing of new equipment.
“The WTP Bit Company and the media who has supported the WTP Bit company remain frustrated by continuous delays and lack of transparency imposed by the FEI. The FEI have yet to provide the crucial evidence — namely the 2014 and the alleged 2016 testing panel reports — which will prove the WTP NP Bit was indeed approved in 2014 by the FEI testing panel.”
Further we refer to the FEI letter, dated 14 December 2016, whereby the FEI stated:
“The rationale behind the decision of the Dressage working group for equipment and their decision on the 5th July 2016.”
However, this statement is considered a false claim as the FEI failed to provide the 2014 testing reports and the alleged 2016 testing reports to the WTP Bit company in an alleged attempt to cover up what has transpired. Further, we will refer to media comments in support of the WTP NP bit case, which state:
“That all of the FEI claims regarding the WTP NP Bit were based on deception and lies to mislead the National Federations and the Equestrian community, which challenges the ethics, integrity and reputation of the FEI. The alleged FEI testing of the WTP NP Bit was not conducted in 2016 and members of the Dressage Department Carina Mayer, Anna Milne, Bettina De Rhams, President Mr Ingmar De Vos, Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez, Director of the Dressage Committee Mr Frank Kemperman and Legal Director Mikael Rentsch were aware of this, and that all FEI claims were false and misleading and, therefore, the WTP NP Bit should have been approved in 2014.” – Equine News
As a result of this ongoing investigation, the WTP Bit Company is calling for changes following the testing procedures, whereby all National Federations and equipment companies should be supplied with copies of the testing panel reports immediately after testing is finalised to prevent further scandals and possible corruption within the FEI. During this case, the FEI was asked several times to provide a reason why they have not supplied our testing reports, and they could not supply a reason. Therefore, as a matter of transparency, these testing procedure changes should be raised, discussed and considered at the November 2017 FEI general assembly by the National Federation members. Further this is also an opportunity to ask the FEI to provide you with the 2014 and 2016 WTP NP bit reports, which will support the reason for changes. In addition, it will corroborate the media comments that the FEI offer for re-testing was farcical and an attempt to cover up what had transpired. Further the handling of this case could give rise to National Federations questioning the FEI’s decisions in previous and pending negotiations and complaints.
Further we refer to the FEI 2008 case and scandal whereby the Dressage Committee were forced to resign immediately. Princess Haya who was President at the time was applauded for her strong stance against her colleagues the FEI Dressage Committee members demanding their immediate resignation. President Haya took this action to uphold and honour the FEI constitution as she would not tolerate any unethical conduct, arrogance, lies, deception and attempted cover-up.
Following this scandal, the FEI stated transparency was paramount and could not be compromised. However, the FEI has refused to provide crucial evidence for the WTP bit case and therefore, admitting there is still a serious transparency problem within the FEI and clear violations of FEI Constitutional standards, ethics, transparency and integrity.
Attached is a letter, dated June 21st, 2017, which outlines the alleged cover up by leading FEI officials.
“National Federations and the equestrian community are bound by strict rules and transparency standards, and we should expect no less from the FEI. The FEI must now provide the 2014 and 2016 testing panel reports, which will expose the truth in this matter.”
In the interest of horse welfare and transparency, please forward this to your club members, friends and media contacts and add it to your Facebook. We urge you and the media to call on the FEI to be transparent and provide the 2014 and the alleged 2016 testing reports which will disprove their unfounded claims and reveal the truth that the WTP NP bit was indeed approved by the 2014 FEI testing panel.
Media and other Enquiries
Contact Mr Adrian Morgante
WTP Bit Company
Notes: The following information and documents can be provided on request.
The WTP NP Bit has been thoroughly tested by many experts, including high profile Dressage and Olympic riders, instructors, coaches, professors and lecturers in equine science, veterinarians, dental technicians and National Federation leaders. Their full expert reports can be provided on request.
The following media has contacted the FEI in support of the WTP Bit Company and this ongoing investigation, and to request copies of the 2014 and 2016 testing panel reports, which have continued to be ignored. As the media stated, the FEI has been given many opportunities to supply the requested documents, which would have resolved this matter.
- Equine News
- Australian Performance Horse Magazine
Their letters to the FEI are included in this documentation.
In response to the media contacting them, the FEI offered the WTP Bit Company to submit the WTP NP Bit for re-testing. However, had the WTP Bit Company agreed to this; it would nullify all previous testing panel reports, and further prevent the WTP Bit Company and the media from receiving the 2014 and 2016 testing panel reports, which will confirm there is no need for additional testing. Further the WTP bit company asked the FEI several times to supply a reason for further testing. However, the FEI could not give a reason. Furthermore, based on email correspondence if we agreed to their offer, the FEI had no intentions to supply any re-testing reports.
As mentioned by the media, this was a farcical attempt by the FEI to cover up the false claims, lies and deception. Attached is a letter, dated June 21st, 2017, which gave the FEI another opportunity to resolve this matter. However, they have not been able to deny their false claims.
Further, to our letter, dated August 22nd, 2016, and addressed to Mr Frank Kemperman, Director of the FEI Dressage Committee, which gave the FEI another opportunity to review all the documentation and supply the evidence. The letter mentioned:
“Should there still be objections to the continuation of the approval procedure, the WTP Bit Company asks the FEI to provide the reason why the WTP NP Bit cannot be approved in response to the content in our letter dated July 19th, 2016.”
However, the FEI were not able to provide further objections to the WTP NP Bit. Therefore, no further testing is required. It has become apparent the FEI testing panel reports of 2014 recommended the WTP NP Bit for approval and the FEI has not provided any evidence to prove otherwise.
Therefore, all following claims, such as the large centre piece, blocked arms and function of the WTP NP Bit, were false and misleading, and we can only conclude the invitation for re-testing, made by the FEI, had no reasoning but to conceal what has transpired.
Attached Letters: The following documents can be provided on request.
- Media – Equine News comments and letters sent to the FEI.
- Media – APH Australian Performance Horse comments and letters sent to the FEI.
- International Expert Reports
- WTP Bit Company letter to the FEI, dated June 21st, 2017 which outlines the alleged cover up by leading FEI officials.