Wednesday, February 10, 2010

from barnmice: Equine Canada requests clarification from FEI

February 9, 2010

Barbara Fogler

Following the FEI announcement on Rollkur today, I spoke with Akaash Maharaj, Chief Executive Officer of Equine Canada, and asked him about the implications for dressage in Canada now that the FEI roundtable group has redefined hyperflexion/Rollkur as “flexion of the horse’s neck achieved
through aggressive force, which is therefore unacceptable.”

Mr. Maharaj informed me that he has already written to the FEI requesting clarification and written guidelines, as there is currently no precise definition of what Rollkur is.

He noted that: “Until this afternoon Rollkur was not banned as a practice, but now the stewards will be required to act and I believe it will be in the best interest of the FEI and the sport itself to come out with a precise definition of Rollkur.”

“Assuming there were a precise definition and it was observed by our stewards, they would be required to immediately intervene. We will of course enforce this ruling vigorously and the more objective the guidelines and criteria, the better for everyone involved.”

“The FEI has acted correctly to protect the image of equestrian sport and to respond to the public condemnation. It would have been better had they also provided veterinary studies of the impact of Rollkur so that stewards would know better exactly what it is they are to be stopping.”

Mr. Maharaj added a personal observation that, while Dressage Canada itself had chosen not to take a position because they felt there was not enough veterinary information available to them, “my own personal opinion is that Rollkur is and always has been wholly unacceptable and I welcome this ruling.”

“I think it is telling that the FEI chose to hold the meeting in the IOC offices rather than the FEI offices. This was meant to emphasize to the panelists that this was no longer an internal matter for the FEI, but to say that whole world was watching and would judge them according to their decision.”


Anonymous said...

Excellent news. Good decision by FEI, and good position by Canada.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I like the position that Canada is taking on this. The FEI does have to come up with some definite criteria so the stewards know when to act.

billie said...

Anon, I totally agree.

billie said...

I'll try to keep track of when the committee charged with this task is meeting and report as best I can what they come up with!

Michelle said...

And the saga continues....

billie said...

As it likely will, for awhile.