Sunday, August 12, 2012

2012 Olympics and rollkur: "You should not know what they are practicing."

Epona TV has done it again. After Patrick Kittel's denial that even photographic evidence of him riding Scandic in extreme rollkur did not show "how he rides his horse," we have been given some video footage that in fact shows what we all knew but had no way to prove.

Of course that's how he rides his horse. And that's how many of the Olympic riders ride their horses, at least when they are warming up, behind screens set up to shield them from anyone, from fans to horse advocates, seeing what they are doing.

A security guard's stern warning to a fan trying to get a glimpse - "You should not know what they are practicing" - pretty much says it all. When what are being considered the top riders in the world must be screened from public and press view because the training methods used should not be seen, common sense tells us something is not quite right.

But Epona TV found a way to show us more than a "moment in time."

GO HERE TO READ THEIR EDITORIAL with more photos and additional video footage.

For ease of viewing, I've embedded the footage they took from our 2012 Olympic's hidden warm-up area:

I've read critiques this weekend of almost all the Olympic dressage rides, and am saddened to learn that even some of the riders not using rollkur were seen digging in with spurs upon entering the arena for their tests and on through their rides. Rollkur was seen outside the arena proper, in flagrant violation of humane horsemanship.

It seems to me from what I've read and seen and heard that the British team rode well and were rewarded for that - which is good, and I hope it's true. But for me, as long as any abusive practices are allowed and given points in performance, I will not support by watching.

In my opinion, it's past time for clear guidelines and rules. Mistreatment of horses is not only not rewarded, it is not allowed. Period.


Grey Horse Matters said...

You already know what I think of the abusive practice of Rollkur.

The riders should not be allowed to compete if they can't take the time to learn how to treat their horses with respect. Or learn how to ride correctly. These "riders" are disgusting. Period.

Anonymous said...

This is why I don't give in to the Olympics craze.