Thursday, October 29, 2009

update on RollKur and Blue Tongue video


Heather Moffitt just wrote on the RollKur Blue Tongue Facebook page, which now boasts 2100+ members:

I emailed BHS chairman, Patrick Print FBHS to alert him of the video when it first appeared last week. Patrick assured me that he would act on it, and has sent a very well worded letter to Princess Haya on behalf of the BHS. Chief Exec, Graham Cory has emailed me a copy. I have just emailed Graham back,... to ask if it is ok to reproduce it here and on forums so awaiting a reply. But I am truly proud of the BHS- what a difference to certain other organisations, who bury their heads well and truly in the sand!!

Great news and kudos to BHS for responding.

There are now 4000+ signatures on the following petition sites. If you haven't signed, please consider doing so. At some point very soon the list of signees will be forwarded to the FEI. It would be wonderful if this initial response could go over 5000.



I have been given permission by Patrick Print to reproduce here and on other forums:

HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein
PresidentFederation Equestre Internationale
Avenue Mon-Repos 24PO
Box 1571005 Lausanne Switzerland

29th October 2009

Your Royal Highness, You cannot be unaware of the disquiet ˆ not to say anger ˆ which has arisen following the depiction on Epona TV of Patrik Kittel's horse in apparent distress as it competed in Odense on 18th October. As you are doubtless aware, in terms both of membership and breadth of interest, The British Horse Society (BHS) is the largest single equestrian organisation in the UK. Our examinations system, and the training and education which underpin it, have earned for the Society international recognition.

No less important is our work to promote the highest standards of equine welfare, which suffuses every facet of our work. I am pleased to report that our commitment to equine welfare is shared by all our colleagues within the British Equestrian Federation, although on this occasion I am writing solely on behalf of the BHS. Let me acknowledge straight away that no representative of the BHS was present in Denmark to witness the horse's apparent distress, nor do we have the benefit of a contemporaneous veterinary report. Moreover, we do not for one minute suggest that Patrik Kittel at any time sought to treat his horse other than with proper care and respect.

Nevertheless, in matters of equine welfare, the precautionary principle must always apply: if, despite the absence of conclusive proof, the wellbeing of a horse is called into question, there will exist a strong moral obligation on the FEI to respond immediately. In our view, the concerns so widely expressed are reasonable and therefore deserving of an urgent two-part investigation: first, an inquiry into the treatment of this particular horse on this particular occasion; and, second, a broader inquiry into the ethics and consequences of hyperflexion. In this second aspect The British Horse Society stands ready to assist the FEI in any way it can. Please note that we pass no comment on the aesthetics of seeing a competition horse contorted in a way it never appears to choose for itself when in its natural state.

Our concern is only to speak out when we believe that the welfare of horses demands it.

Yours sincerely,

Patrick Print FBHS Chairman,

The British Horse Society


Michelle said...

Great news that someone is acting on this already! Let's hope that the push continues and someone really makes some forward progress on this issue. This could be huge - and have a rippling effect to questionable practices in other disciplines. One can only hope..

Grey Horse Matters said...

It's wonderful that the BHS has decided to get involved in this. I hope more organizations will also make their feelings known and question/condemn anyone using Rollkur. If there is enough world wide reaction maybe the FEI will consider banning hyperflexion once and for all and start programs to educate riders properly. Maybe they should all be made to sit and watch the old master ride for hours until they 'get it'. This includes the judges.

billie said...

I checked the USDF website and their page on Facebook and there is ZERO mention of this issue. None.

Which I find appalling.

jme said...

this is encouraging! i know firsthand just how useless the USDF and USEF are with regard to this and other similar matters, because the people who use these method are their bread and butter (and on all their committees!) which is why i went to the UK to train with the BHS in the first place! i can't say i haven't seen BHS trainers using hyperflexion, but they were more weak-minded copycats emulating their heroes than people following the larger BHS philosophy, which is sound. it is nice to see them take a position on this. i'd love to see them make it official and begin to crack down on it now.

Greta said...

Just letting you know that I've signed both petitions.

billie said...

Greta, thanks for letting me know - I'm glad people are continuing to sign!

billie said...

jme, it IS nice seeing someone take a stand. It's a start, hopefully more will follow.

ponymaid said...

Thank goodness one part of the world is still able to say the emperor has no clothes...abuse is abuse is abuse. Unfortunately money often seems to trump common sense. Base the monetary system on stud muffins and the world would be a far, far better place.

billie said...

Sheaffer, you may be on to something with the stud muffin currency idea... :)