Letter published by Horse & Hound 28th Jan 2016
I was prompted to write this in repsonse to a small article called a Focus on Good Riding published by Horse & Hound on the 14th Jan.
The announcement by the board of directors for the German Equestrian Federation seems
somewhat late in the day (H&H 14 January).
For the past 20 odd years, organisations such as The Classical Riding
Club and many other groups, clubs and schools dedicated to the welfare of the riding horse
have been railing against the use of force throughout the disciplines.
Dressage has been particularly under attack for permitting -
even encouraging - through their mark system - a strenuously forced outline in the dressage horse.
It took a real outcry throughout the world finally to see 'rollkur' disdained and pilloried, but even
today it goes on behind closed doors because it seems to produce what certain judges wish to see.
Could it be that the German Equestrian Federation has finally come to admit there are more people
against the artificial outline of the horse so admired by top level judges. than there are for?
Might it have occurred that as we approach the 2016 Olympics a greater number of dressage seats might
be filled if the governing bodies made more of an effort to protect the horse?
The FEI principles have never been in question. What concerns the horse-loving public is
the fact that certain top-level judges have paid so little attention to them.
Founder of The Classical Riding Club