The whole pic­ture

Horse & Hound - - News Insider - Sarah Jenk­ins Ed­i­tor-in-Chief

AS eques­trian jour­nal­ists, we’re for­tu­nate that the vast ma­jor­ity of the time we are cel­e­brat­ing horses and hors­es­port. Then there are the sto­ries we’d rather hadn’t hap­pened, like FEI sanc­tions. If they hadn’t hap­pened, we would have been de­lighted not to write about them. But when they hap­pen and the pub­lic has a right to know about them, we wouldn’t be do­ing our job if we didn’t cover them. Our read­ers ex­pect noth­ing less. H&H is, af­ter all, a 135-year-old award-win­ning news ser­vice, not a parish mag­a­zine. But the thought of do­ing so does not fill us with glee — quite the op­po­site.

How we cover these sto­ries de­pends on how news­wor­thy they are and what in­for­ma­tion the rider shares with us — we al­ways give right of re­ply of course, which is the op­por­tu­nity for the per­son who has been sanc­tioned to give us their point of view. There are al­ways at least two sides to ev­ery story.

It’s been sug­gested that by run­ning such a story on our web­site or in our mag­a­zine, we bring the sport into dis­re­pute. I dis­agree. The per­son break­ing the rule may have done that — those giv­ing the sanc­tion and re­port­ing that sanc­tion are fol­low­ing the rules of their own pro­fes­sions.

There should be no witch-hunts and all must be fairly judged. Of­fi­cials, though, must feel em­pow­ered to act to pro­tect horse wel­fare and up­hold rules — it can be no easy task. When of­fi­cials are happy and the sanc­tions list is empty, that would be a great day. But given that hu­mans are just that, and ac­ci­dents hap­pen, we should get used to the fact warn­ings are part of sport, and part of the pic­ture we must cover.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.