Letter to Roly Owers from Sylvia Loch 2009
Roly Owers Esq CEO
World Horse Welfare
Anne Colvin House Ada Cole Avenue Snetterton,
Norfolk NR16 2LR
Friday 4th December 2009
It has been some time since we were in correspondence, but I am always very mindful of the wonderful work you all do at World Horse Welfare.
You may have noticed some interaction from The Classical Riding Club over the Rollkur issue, although we have strenuously tried not to become either militant or over-emotional about it. Please see our official statement on the BHS Website. As a matter of fact CRC has spoken about the use of draw-reins and other gadgets which “fix” the horse’s head into position for the past 15 years…so Rollkur is nothing new to us, except by name.
I note the FEI are very much looking for scientific reasons to empower them to speak out against this practice. To my mind, this would be very hard to prove but it has always been the aim of CRC to re-educate judges in the principles of Classical Dressage which is already well defined in the FEI Rules.
Since I have been lecturing and writing on this subject for over 2 decades, I wonder if it would be constructive for WHW to invite a public debate on the subject? This would show open mindedness and a real attempt to bring other viewpoints to bear. I have just returned from a lecture tour of Canada and the USA, where with slides and a projector, I was able to demonstrate the pros and cons of a forced head and neck position in the sport horse – backed up with biomechanical data. This went down very well, particularly at the State University of Michigan and I would be happy to do a similar lecture with questions and answers on behalf of the WHW at a venue of your choice.
Please feel free to give me a ring any morning on 07977 926156 to discuss this and any other ideas which might appeal to you and your Committee. As you may recall, Bunny Maitland-Carew lives just up the road from us at Mellerstain and I am sure he would endorse such a move.