New names for top events and blood rule changes
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.