Monday, February 15, 2010

kudos to astrid appels and her eurodressage editorial on the FEI's recent announcement

Go to EURODRESSAGE to read the entire editorial, which ends with the following paragraph:

9th February 2010 - Redefinition

More than 40,000 people signed a petition against rollkur which was presented by Dr. Gerd Heuschmann to FEI president Princess Haya. This voice of a majority, no matter if they are experts or amateurs, should be seen in the big picture: as an outcry against abuse in the warm up ring no matter what training system. The huge amount of signatures reflects that the global image of the sport appears to be a bad one, in spite of the positive publicity a Totilas brings.

-- Astrid Appels


Grey Horse Matters said...

She's absolutely right. The majority of riders are against rollkur. They must listen to us eventually.

I've said this before, if the majority of riders are against abusive practices, why don't they simply outlaw them. It is giving the sport of dressage a black eye. Even to the untrained onlooker it is easy to see it is torturous to the horse. How can anyone condone any practice that doesn't put the horses welfare above the riders ego.

Janet Roper said...

Thanks for keeping us updated on this important issue, billie. Love the spring pic, gives me hope. ;-)

billie said...

Arlene, I've come to the conclusion that the way the system is set up it's easy for the FEI to step aside somewhat when it comes to the welfare of horses.

If I understand the FEI's role correctly, it doesn't have the power to do anything except dictate the rules for competitions it sponsors.

Horse welfare is technically under the jurisdiction of the legal system.

So it's fairly murky when it comes to disciplining a rider abusing a horse at a competition. The FEI can certainly disqualify the rider and impose sanctions, but it has no ability to address the issues of what that horse experiences at home.

I think at some point this will need to change. The FEI should do all it is empowered to do to protect horses, but at the same time, there should be animal welfare officers on site to deal with the legal side.

That's just my own rambling - I've not seen it addressed by anyone else.

billie said...

You're welcome, Janet. That photo brings me hope too and that's precisely why I searched it out over the weekend! :)

jme said...

thanks for the updates. i've been super busy so i haven't been able to keep up. but i'm really heartened by all the attention and response this issue has been drawing, and how many people have been willing to speak out against it. even those who don't yet have a strong feeling about it are bound to take notice of it more than before, so i think the pressure will really be on for those riders who use it because all eyes will be on them now.

billie said...

Thanks for reposting your comment - I totally agree - it's been wonderful seeing so many folks get involved in this issue.