The FEI, as the world governing body of the equestrian sport should provide standards for the regulation of major technical issues. National Federations cooperating, each with a large group of equestrian stakeholders might become an issue of mutual incompatibility. Furthermore in areas such as Welfare, it is expected that the FEI takes the lead with regard to determining the consensus among equestrian stakeholders.
The actual FEI Standards are listed below :
FEI CODE OF CONDUCT FOR THE WELFARE OF THE HORSE
The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) requires all those involved in international equestrian sport to adhere to the FEI’s Code of Conduct and to acknowledge and accept that at all times the welfare of the horse must be paramount and must never be subordinated to competitive or commercial influences.
1. At all stages during the preparation and training of competition horses, welfare must take precedence over all other demands. This includes good horse management, training methods, farriery and tack, and transportation.
2. Horses and competitors must be fit, competent and in good health before they are allowed to compete. This encompasses medication use, surgical procedures that threaten welfare or safety, pregnancy in mares and the misuse of aids.
3. Events must not prejudice horse welfare. This involves paying careful attention to the competition areas, ground surfaces, weather conditions, stabling, site safety and fitness of the horse for onward travel after the event.
4. Every effort must be made to ensure that horses receive proper attention after they have competed and that they are treated humanely when their competition careers are over. This covers proper veterinary care, competition injuries, euthanasia and retirement.
Being the only Olympic sport that involves an animal, and mainly performed in the countryside, equestrian sport is obviously linked to nature. The FEI is very much concerned with the conservation the environment and was one of the first international sports federation to establish a Code of Conduct toward Environment.
The equestrian disciplines, in common with other sports, depend heavily for their credibility, public acceptance and ultimate survival upon their adherence to the sportsman's code of fair play. Behind this precept lies the premise that the best man,woman or team should win fairly and squarely, having competed under even and
equitable conditions and under rules that are themselves fair, realistic, and applied with scrupulous competence and even-handedness. No result can be meaningful or valid if it has not achieved "on a level playing field.