2013 The Year of NOPS

23 Dec


So many watersheds.

We have, this year, seen “1984” come to pass, courtesy of Snowden.

We have seen “2001” and many of the ideas and artifacts embodied in that film come to pass–all except The Big One. On the other hand, 2013 alone is enough to make me wonder if truly intelligent life Out There does not look at our turning-less-than-green/blue planet and think–well, no intelligent life there!

In horse sport, we have had an FEI General Assembly that was bizarre for so many many reasons, it is difficult to decide where to start.

— Endurance came up with a nifty acronym ,ESPG (Endurance Strategic Planning Group) and a nifty slogan–“failure is not an option”–and hardly any substantive improvements of the abysmal horse welfare situation in the sport ever since the concept/word ‘racing’ was appended to its name.

Horses will continue to die of drug induced heart attacks, break and fracture legs with abandon, etc., ridden as they are by people who may or may not have ever seen them before swinging a leg over the saddle.

Such a noble and enduring sport, made into something that can only leave a sick taste in the mouth.

— It looks as though the outgoing FEI President will also be the incoming one, despite the self-ordained statute of term limits to two terms. I must agree with the current president: it is time for new ideas, new platforms, new visions.

As it will prove impossible for anyone else to gain votes for so long as the much-admired current President does not rule out any possibility of a third term, it will be interesting to see what happens over the next several months. Say, April, when the Sports Forum and endurance will bring out their shiny-new solutions.

— The following quote from a blog on Horse Hero pretty much sums up the ‘advances’ in horse sport:

<< I am also very aware of issues on the feeding side as FEI rules mean no banned substances including NOPS (natural occurring prohibitive substances).  It is always a good idea to check the labels on the products you are using and even call up the companies to check they are doing all they can do to provide you with products that are legal to compete on….it is the rider’s responsibility to ensure they can prove evidence they are doing everything in their power to minimise the risks. … With the unfortunate news of eventer Jock Paget’s positive test results, it really strikes home that you can never be too careful. On that note, my New Year’s resolution is to ensure every horse has not just a medicine log book, but also a feed and supplement log book! >>

(I might add here that ‘unfortunate news’ extends to Isabell Werth, currently battling a possible suspension for cimetidine, an anti-acid banned by her own federation).

So 2013 will be my year that NOPS entered the vocabulary.

Cannot wait to see what 2014 holds for us all.


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