Equestrian IT workshop held in Lausanne

  • 23 January 2015, 17:01
EQUESTRIAN IT experts, show secretaries and event organisers from around the world flew into the Olympic capital of Lausanne this week for a high-tech work-out with the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).

Last year alone, 3,557 equestrian events were held globally, representing over 150% growth since 2003. As the rapid expansion of equestrian sport continues, the FEI has developed cutting edge IT systems to manage competition entries, results, produce athlete rankings and biographies, and is delivering this content across a variety of IT and digital platforms.

Central to the organisation of equestrian events is the FEI Online Entry System, which was launched in 2013 and gives access to over 100,000 competing athletes through a single online platform. This system links to the publicly accessible FEI Database and feeds the free FEI SportApp, which allows fans to access the FEI’s entire sports calendar, event programmes and athlete biographies, and has specific functionalities for event organisers, officials, athletes and grooms.

Joining over 35 specialists from 12 countries at the FEI’s two-day “Hands-On” IT workshop was Andreas Steidle, founder of the online event management system HippoBase which simplifies advanced data exchange between National equestrian Federations and Organisers. “Technology is playing an increasingly central role in equestrian sport,” he explained. “We need to respond quickly to practical needs of event organisers, specific requests from media and to information-hungry fans. To do this, we must have the capability to collect and supply fast flowing information to traditional platforms and mobile devices. These are exciting times for equestrian sport, and it is impressive to see the promising and sensible approaches being taken by the IT team at FEI headquarters.”

Gaspard Dufour, the FEI’s Head of IT, underlined the central role of technology in equestrian sport and running events. “Managing and accessing data is just one aspect of our work. As well as the huge increase in the number of events globally, we now have over 36,000 human and almost 70,000 equine athletes competing internationally for instance. The FEI is helping organisers to access vital data in the run up to events, and grasp the full potential of technology to improve efficiency on the ground as our events take place.”

FEI President Ingmar De Vos welcomed the equestrian experts from all corners of the world to the HM King Hussein I Building, the FEI’s state-of-the-art headquarters in Lausanne (SUI): “The teams behind the organisation of our events are key to the growth of equestrian sport and they fully understand the impact of embracing new and exciting technology.

“As our sport grows and changes, the FEI is keeping one step ahead by dedicating its technological expertise to creating innovative platforms and systems to advance and modernise our sport and the way it is managed.

“Our interactive workshop this week was the first of a series to take place in 2015, as we look ahead to our major events this year including the joint Finals in Las Vegas of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping and Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage in April, the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping series, our European Championships this summer, and of course the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”