Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The FEI's conclusion on Patrik Kittel and Scandic

Watch the video again. Then read the FEI's finding regarding this case. If you disagree with their finding, please follow up your grumbling to self with a LETTER or EMAIL to the FEI, letting them know your feelings.

Swedish Dressage News

Patrik Kittel Exonerated by FEI in Blue Tongue Scandal

January 27, 2010

The FEI investigation into the training methods used by Patrick Kittel on his horse Scandic in Odense, Denmark on 18 October 2009 has been concluded. Witness statements and video evidence have been thoroughly reviewed and the investigation finds are that there is no reliable evidence that the warm-up techniques used by Mr Kittel were excessive.

As a result, the FEI Legal Department has ruled that no formal claim against Mr Kittel will be submitted to the FEI Tribunal, however Mr Kittel has received a warning letter regarding the appropriate and inappropriate use of warm-up techniques and has been made aware that his actions will be watched very carefully going forward to ensure that there are no subsequent violations of FEI rules relating to horse welfare.

The FEI is conducting a major review and analysis of its current policy on pre-competition warm-up activities, with an emphasis on hyperflexion. A working group has been set up with a specific brief to define the term “prolonged and excessive” in order to provide more precise guidelines for stewards.

This issue relates to the welfare of the horse in general and not just to dressage and will be discussed in detail at a round table, taking place on 9 February, where all stakeholders will be represented.


ponymaid said...

Hmmmm, just a tetch contradictory me thinks. There was no violation but he will be watched very carefully so he doesn't do it to excess - whatever it is. They have taken the route of all cowards and formed a committee to "study" the issue. In donkeys we trust - humans not so much (with a few stellar exceptions). Carry on Billie, somewhere someone may be listening.

Jenn said...

Rollkur is rollkur is rollkur...and it's not in the best interest of the horse.

Why the heck can't the FEI LISTEN to the dressage community as a whole and use a little common sense instead of just deferring to a few of the big names? Normal people don't think this kind of "training" or "Warming up" is okay.

billie said...

There are many many people googling it, so I know people are following this issue.

Listening and acting - I don't know.

I just learned that Gerd Heuschmann will be at the FEI round table discussion on rollkur in Feb. which is good news. I'll share ways to get behind him when I have more info.

billie said...

I don't know enough about the internal workings of the FEI to understand why they are so in the pockets of the few big names using rollkur.

I do believe that for some people, watching the flash of some of these horses and their slightly garish (imo) non-classical movement is exciting - and so more people going to more shows and exhibitions, etc. is bringing more money to the sport.

Sadly it is costing the horses dearly in terms of being treated humanely and being kept sound and healthy and happy.

I will never again support any venue or product that invites/endorses these riders/trainers.

I'm also beginning to qualify my use of the word dressage when I talk to people who aren't aware of all these issues.

I'm interested in classical dressage, NOT competition dressage.

We all have to do what we can.

Ask questions. Speak up.

As an aside, Jenn, I love your description of your children - Wild and Unruly - LOL!!

Grey Horse Matters said...

It seems ridiculous to me that they are doing nothing about this but watching him in the future. Do you think he cares, he just got away with the most abusive behavior and has in effect gotten the go ahead to continue in any way he chooses!

The FEI is a committee of gutless useless people who either don't know what they are seeing or don't care either. I only hope Dr. G
Heuschmann can lend some of his expertise and make them see how absolutely wrong they are to condone this sort of behavior.

Is it any wonder I get along better with animals than people?

jme said...

arrrgggg! strongly worded letters in my future - to the FEI, his sponsors and whoever else i can think of. i'm disappointed but, of course, not surprised to find them completely spineless on this issue. i can't imagine what kind of political hold he has over them, except that there are so many other influential riders with wealthy and powerful sponsors (anky, etc.) who might also be offended by an official criticism of the practice.

any rider who continues to do this to his horse after the kind of scrutiny it has gotten and all the evidence available to discredit it needs a psych evaluation in addition to being banned from competition. imagine what he does to horses when no one's watching? i think he's a sick bastard and the FEI is being completely irresponsible.

i too feel the need to qualify the word 'dressage' so that people don't confuse what i try to do with this poor imitation promoted by the FEI and in glossy magazines. but then, all people ever care about when you're giving your opinion is, 'well, what have YOU won?' so maybe it's a vicious circle. no one will listen to you unless you win at big shows, and you can't win at big shows unless you are willing to abuse your horse to please the judges and the crowds... and then you're not worth listening to.

billie said...

Arlene, I know. I think a few horses should be at the round table discussion. One who has been rollkured, one who hasn't. Let them reveal the true story.

billie said...

j, it's so weird when people counter this with "you're just jealous, you're not an upper level rider," etc.

They don't seem to get it that there is disgust involved, and horror, not jealousy.

I could give a hoot about showing OR winning. As far as I'm concerned I'm a winner every day b/c I get to live with happy, healthy horses who LIKE ME and WORK FOR ME even when they are free to say NO.

jme said...

same here! i'll measure my success as a rider and trainer by my horses' well being, thank you! :-)

Michelle said...

Nice. Doesn't do much to encourage someone (ie. me) new to the sport to get more involved. Very, VERY disappointing.

Like many others, I find it intriguing that while Kittel did "nothing wrong" his actions warrant a warning letter. Interesting.

billie said...

j, no surprise there! still wish you lived close by so we could ride with you. :)

billie said...

michelle, it's illogical for sure. I don't have a long hx of following the FEI, but it appears this is very much business as usual for them.

stay tuned for ways to support gerd heuschmann at the round table.