IRELAND’s Joanne Jarden, James Rooney and Vanda Stewart are now listed among an elite group of 21 FEI eventing officials worldwide, who can judge at World Championships and Olympic Games, having successfully come through the new Level 4 process.

“When the International Olympic Committee asked for recommendations for eventing officials to attend Rio in 2016, they couldn’t understand why the sport’s ‘top’ names had a Level 3 label attached, while in dressage and show jumping the levels ran up to five,” explained Stewart. “Thus the Level 4 process started and, in September, the FEI released the results for technical delegates and course designers.

“After the submission at the beginning of June of three written papers on trouble-shooting scenarios (with a minimum pass rate of 70%) and a further online interview with FEI experts in late July, we were eventually informed of our judges’ results earlier this month,” continued Stewart. “I’m delighted with the Level 4 appointment, which comes as the culmination of 30+ years as a judge and continuous education and training.”