What price competition success?

How sad to see pictures on facebook of a horse ridden at Burghley Horse Trials in a hackamore which was fitted so low that it seemed to be restricting his nostrils. Was this a groom’s mistake or a deliberate misuse of equipment? Either way, it was allowed to compete. Where were the rigorous checks which we observed at the Olympics?

Now today, Horse and Hound leads with a story about drugs found in a leading endurance yard. Hats off to the magazine for persisting in their reports on health and welfare!

This is top level cometition we are talking about here, so ignorance of best practice (or the rules) can be no excuse. There has been much talk of the Olympic legacy and the fact that more riders are inspired to compete than ever before. So isn’t it the duty of those at the high end of equestrian sport, to set a good example?

I was made to suffer once, and as a result, I can’t work. I was tethered by my back leg and now that leg doesn’t work well enough for me to be ridden or driven. I was never quite an Olympic prospect (except in my own head of course), but the law treats me just the same as it does a four star horse.

I hope that horse with the sore nose will be OK and his owner will not try that method again. And I hope those brave endurance horses will be OK too – it’s not their fault that we have set them times they can’t achieve.

Cruelty to horses is cruelty to horses. You people have a duty to treat us right – especially when we are your ticket to success!

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