New names for top events and blood rule changes

Horse & Hound - - News -

THE FEI is propos­ing to har­monise its rules on blood on a horse — to some ex­tent — for all dis­ci­plines.

“The rule changes are dis­ci­pline-spe­cific blood rules, due to the dif­fer­ent re­quire­ments of each dis­ci­pline,” an FEI spokesman told

H&H. “They have been har­monised to the ex­tent that blood on a horse will re­sult in elim­i­na­tion in all dis­ci­plines.”

An early draft of the jump­ing rules stated that mi­nor cases of blood on the flank “as de­scribed in the jump­ing stew­ards man­ual” would not in­cur elim­i­na­tion. Af­ter op­po­si­tion, this has been al­tered.

The Span­ish fed­er­a­tion warned it could lead to “many dif­fer­ent pos­si­ble prob­lems be­cause there is no clear guide­line”.

The In­ter­na­tional Jump­ing Of­fi­cials Club warned it could al­low riders to chal­lenge de­ci­sions and bring civil law­suits against of­fi­cials.

This early draft also re­worded part of the rule, to state that com­bi­na­tions would be dis­qual­i­fied for marks and/or blood on the flanks as a re­sult of ex­ces­sive use of spurs; or marks and/or blood any­where on the horse as a re­sult of ex­ces­sive use of the whip. The cur­rent rule reads “in­di­cat­ing”, rather than “as a re­sult of”.

The Ger­man fed­er­a­tion said it “can­not vote for a wishy-washy rule”, stat­ing: “It has to be clear ath­letes must be elim­i­nated when­ever there is blood.”

The Ir­ish fed­er­a­tion con­sid­ers the changed word­ing “am­bigu­ous and sub­jec­tive”, while Nor­way added “any re­lax­ing of the rule would be dan­ger­ous and po­ten­tially dis­as­trous to­wards the pub­lic”.

The Bel­gian and Swiss fed­er­a­tions sug­gested stew­ards check horses prior to com­pet­ing, oth­ers sug­gested the FEI fo­cus on spurs as the cause of blood on flanks, as “pre­ven­tion rather than sanc­tion”.

The FEI jump­ing com­mit­tee said all cases of blood on flank(s) will in­cur elim­i­na­tion and the text re­lat­ing to marks “in­di­cat­ing ex­ces­sive use” of spurs or whip has been re­in­stated.

“As the pro­posal [on] spurs is new, it will be con­sid­ered for the 2019 rules,” it added.

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