Blood, toil,tears and sweat

28 Jan

FEIdropofblood

Dressage:  horses dancing, controlled by not much more than the rider’s thoughts and wishes, la la la — except when it is not, and someone decides that it is abuse.

Naturally, horse sport’s governing body, FEI, has laid down regulations, rules, principles, concerns, to govern horse welfare, all as clear as mud.

For dressage–and for dressage only, not show jumping, not eventing and certainly not endurance– there is a ‘blood rule’ which basically states that if blood is seen on a horse in competition, the judge at C upon seeing it and informing the rider, shall eliminate the pair from further competition.

Naturally, that rule has been amended. Should the judge(s) not see any blood, then the FEI Steward who performs the equipment check AFTER the ride can inform the judge(s) that blood has been found. This last confirmed by the FEI Vet, naturally standing close by,  rather than in the nearest bar with friends.

Neither decision–by judge or vet is subject to appeal and both decisions are final.

Once again, WDM in Florida was the source of excitement. Last year, after  publicizing the star riders that had been invited to the 5* event, it was discovered that two riders did no9t have enough qualifying scores. Late meetings went on into the night and finally, a solution was found: the event was downgraded to a 4*.

This year, a rider and horse finished their test, went out to the equipment check. An official score was announced.

Two hours later, the score disappeared and zeros appeared in the relevant boxes.

The facts are slow in being released. Apparently, the FEI Steward found a drop of what appeared to be blood on the horse. No blood was found on the rider’s spur and no open cut could be found on the horse. Nevertheless, the Steward reported the findings,such a they were, to the judge at C and the decision was made: elimination.

The now abolished  FEI associate members, International Riders and Trainers Clubs, have asked FEI for clarification of the decision to eliminate.

Just a reminder to all the  abolished member clubs: some time between now and the next Olympics, you all (except for show jumpers) might want to also ask FEI to re-visit the regulation wherein should a team member,horse or rider, be found guilty of banned substances, the entire team is disqualified from further competition.

Show jumpers,on the other hand, can continue to compete as individuals should a team member be found guilty as described.

FEI Regulations passed at last General Assembly, Nov 2011
http://www.fei.org/sites/default/files/media/GA11%20-%20wrap%20up.pdf
<< Furthermore, on the basis of guidance received from the IOC, it was clarified that if one member of a Dressage, Jumping, and Eventing team is disqualified for an anti-doping violation, the entire team would be disqualified. However, in Jumping the team members that did not commit the doping violation would still be able to keep their score for purposes of the individual placings.>>

I mean…as long as FEI is in discussion with its abolished associate members, might be a good time to ask about this,too.

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