Last week the FEI cancelled all Hubside Jumping Events from the Calendar 2022.
According to the media reports the decision of the FEI Secretary General was taken following the non-payment of prize money by the Organizing Committee at previous CSI’s held in St Tropez and Valence.
No matter how the matter will further evolve, the distribution of prize money is one of the most essential obligations of the organizing committee of an equestrian event. Failure to do so may constitute a justified circumstance for the FEI Secretary General to remove the event from the FEI Calendar in accordance with Article 112.3 of the FEI General Regulations. This is apparently what has happened in relation to the Hubside Jumping Events.
The obligation of the organizing committee to distribute the prize money follows directly from the FEI General Rules and is laid down in article:
Article 128 – Distribution of Prizes
- The total amount of prize money shown for each Competition in the schedule must be distributed.
- Prize money must be distributed to the Chefs d’Equipe or to the winning Owners, lessees or Athletes within ten (10) days after the last Competition of the Event provided they have met all their financial and other obligations to the OC.
As far as showjumping is concerned there has been no case law so far clarifying how the distribution of prize money (other than the obvious payment via wire or in natura) may be effectuated. Consider here for instance assignment of a claim related to the prize money etc. Another important issue concerns the applicable law that should determine validity of the distribution of prize money. These issues have been raised before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the case CAS 2020/A/7232 Mathilda Karlsson & Sri Lanka Equestrian Association v. FEI, but in that case, CAS did not reflect on them. CAS considered that these issues were not relevant for the decision in that case.
Are you an equestrian or an organizing committee and you have questions in relation to prize money? Please contact our team. Schelstraete is at your disposal.