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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2000

    Default Why are FEI warnings for 'abuse of horse' completely toothless?

    Looking over the updated list for FEI Warning Cards in eventing, one entry stood out.

    At the Central American and Caribbean Games held in Puerto rico this past July, Mexican rider Erik Arambula was given a verbal warning (not a yellow card, not a 25-point penalty) for 'abuse of horse/pushing the horse clearly out of balance.'

    The first charge is a violation of the FEI's horse welfare principles, the second is clearly a form of dangerous riding. Dangerous enough, it would seem, to be considered 'abuse of horse.'

    But Mr. Arambula was awarded the individual silver medal for the competition.

    The FEI considers itself a world leader in promoting horse welfare. The FEI Code of Conduct for the Welfare of the Horse says:

    The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) requires all those involved in international equestrian sport to adhere to the FEI’s Code of Conduct and to acknowledge and accept that at all times the welfare of the horse must be paramount and must never be subordinated to competitive or commercial influences.

    1. At all stages during the preparation and training of competition horses, welfare must take precedence over all other demands.
    This rider was charged with 'abuse of horse' and 'pushing his horse clearly out of balance.' The latter charge amounts to endangering the horse through reckless riding.

    Given the FEI Code of Conduct, how is it that a rider can be charged with abuse and endangerment and still be allowed to stand on the podium?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2005


    Actually...(and you really answered your own question)...he was issued a "Verbal Warning with no penalties" not to be confused with being "Yellow Carded" that comes with penalty points and a yellow warning card.
    This would be like a police officer giving you a verbal warning for speeding instead of issuing you an actual ticket and points on your license.
    So maybe he was doing something that could be considered abuse so that is the catagory chosen but maybe it was not so severe as to cause them to issue a card therefore his score did not suffer so he remained in the placings and hopefully now knows for the future that he was bordering on receiving a yellow card for his actions.
    "A little less chit-chat a little more pitter-pat"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 20, 2009
    Raeford, North Carolina


    Being a relative nobody in this sport, I still don't understand how someone receives a 3 month suspension for abusive riding and then makes the very next Olympic team.

    Not privy to what goes on "behind the scenes", but I sure wonder what kind of message it sends . . .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 14, 2007


    The message is loud and clear. The horses are nothing more than tools for riders to chase team positions and medals. With the right "connections" you can get away with most anything!

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