Tuesday, November 24, 2009

USDF statement on rollkur

Released yesterday:

USDF Executive Board Statement on Animal Welfare

In response to a recent incident at an international competition, the USDF Executive Board has issued the following official statement:

The USDF does not approve of training techniques such as hyperflexion especially when taken to an extreme. While we recognize that we can not control how riders train at home, excessive techniques should not be tolerated at competitions. The USDF feels that it is very important that as a sport we police ourselves and encourage the USEF and FEI to call upon their licensed officials to ensure that cruel and abusive riding does not happen at our competitions.

The USDF agrees with and strongly supports the FEI position as stated in the November 17 press release and in particular the statement: "The FEI acknowledges and welcomes public opinion and will continue to ensure that the welfare of the horse, which has been central to this debate, will remain its absolute priority."


Anonymous said...

But the FEI statement is crap.

So the USDF agrees with an FEI statement that puts all the responsibility on stewards who don't necessarily have the training to know when they are seeing something evil and who really don't have the "cultural" authority to do anything about it!
My how authoritative and bold this statement is. ;-P

Steward to Anky: "Um, Miss Van Grusven, you must leave the arena. You have tortured your horse."

Anky to Steward: "Oh, is there someone speaking to me? I thought I heard a noise, but it could have been a mouse"

Grey Horse Matters said...

So what exactly did the USDF actually say. On one hand they don't approve of hyperflexion but then again they agree with and support the FEI position? The FEI has no intention of stopping the practice of rollkur in my opinion. I think all this double talk is making me dizzy.

billie said...

I know - it's clearly an effort to take a stance against rollkur while at the same time not alienating the FEI.

However, I also feel it could have been even MORE nebulous, so I'm grateful for that one line -

The USDF does not approve of training techniques such as hyperflexion especially when taken to an extreme.

I think that's the line that needs to be quoted over and over again.

I wish they had said "will not tolerate" but perhaps that is what we have to work toward.

It's not a quick battle but at least people are making statements now.

billie said...

I guess this is one of those half glass full, half glass empty things.

It's probably best to look at it both ways and then do what we can to try and fill the glass all the way to full.