International Dressage Officials Club Statement Regarding the Welfare of the Horse
Friday, December 4, 2009
It is in the International Dressage Officials Club’s opinion that those rules, applicable to all equestrian disciplines, should re-emphasize the fact that any type of abuse of the horse is strictly prohibited. With respect to hyper-flexion, it should be made clear that it is a tool that may only be used briefly and solely for corrective purposes, but not as a continuous training method. Further attention should be directed at observing that the horse’s chin should not touch the horse’s body as a result of a method of training. The International Dressage Officials Club recommends that judges be present in the warmup area whenever possible to support the Stewards in this difficult and delicate task.
The FEI rules are based on the philosophy of the horse as a happy athlete, which implies riding in harmony avoiding negative tensions and practices harmful to the horse. In this respect, the International Dressage Officials Club will remind all the dressage judges to strictly observe such an important aspect of dressage, first and foremost to preserve the welfare of the horse but also to give a proper positive image of our sport to the public and the media.
Last but not least, the International Dressage Officials Club would also like to point out that is it clearly in the best interests of our sport that the International Dressage Trainers Club and International Dressage Riders Club take responsibility for the actions of its members and are on hand at future competitions to ensure that their members are made fully aware of how to convey a correct impression to the public by treating their horses fairly and with respect.
International Dressage Officials Club
Kerkendijk 21, bus 2
2140 Antwerp (Belgium)
Email Secretariat : email@example.com