So.... at first, I thought the notion of "might have nicked him during the trot extension" was a little ridiculous. Really? he tripped and you cut him with the spur? I'm not buying that at all.
By the second article, I had to admit that the letter of the rule had left some room for error. But isn't that what the post ride check is for? To check for problems???
The FEI is standing their ground. And really, if the steward found blood on the horse at the bit check, then that IS a problem, I don't care what the specific wording is of the rule.
Maybe the steward should use a white cloth that will show the blood so they have physical evidence? Dunno, just guessing on a possible better series of events.
I can say from personal experience, I have been witness to some hinkiness at spur checks....... I once had an official hold me aside while a groom swiped the horses mouth off before I could check the bit.
Also, I have seen folks try to cover up spur marks on a grey horse with a generous application of baby powder....
Parzival was eliminated last year. The only difference I can see is that with Parzival everyone could see the pink foam, and with Calecto they are going on the Steward's report with no other visual evidence. Hence my thought that a bloody rag in hand, or such, could have been a good idea.
Wellington, FL – January 26, 2013 – Upon review of the process and after consultation with the FEI, it has been confirmed that the current rules regarding the elimination process were followed to the letter.
Before she left the official equipment check area ringside, the rider was informed by the FEI Chief Steward that the Judge at C had made the decision based on Article 428.8 and Article 430.7.6 that the horse must be eliminated due to the evidence of fresh blood.
On behalf of Wellington Classic Dressage and the official Ground Jury of the WDM/Palm Beach."
I was involved in a rather heated discussion during the Olympics regarding the post-test bit inspection. You could clearly see a TD checking the bit, checking for the presence of cotton in the ears, and wiping the horses' sides with a gloved hand. That was pre-new rule. So if they had found blood before the rule, what would have been the consequence? It seems like the new rule was a response to the outcry over Parzival and the pink tongue incident. But if this new blood rule is only being applied now, why have FEI horses always been inspected for blood? In other words, wouldn't Calecto have been eliminated even without invoking the new blood rule? Because it seems like apples and oranges to me. The rule seems designed to enable a judge to stop a test and demand an examination.
Last edited by Bristol Bay; Jan. 30, 2013 at 10:08 AM.
A helmet saved my life.
2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!
During the test, the judge at C can stop, check and eliminate the horse and rider for the "Blood Rule". After the test is over, during the post check ride by the ring steward, if anything seems wrong", the TD is called. Neither can eliminate the horse and rider, only (at that level) the FEI vet can make a determination on whether the horse can continue in successive classes. Not to eliminate the pair, only to see if the horse is ok to complete in later classes.
So, I think that it was unfair to eliminate Tina because the procedure wasn't followed. The judge at C can only make that determination while the rider and horse are in his jurisdiction, not after they've left the competition areana. Then it's up to the FEI vet.
In the class she was in, if the vet had determined she couldn't compete in the freestyle, her score still should have been valid, though she couldn't have completed the championship.
With no skin breakage from blood to emanate from, I vote a DNA test be done on the blood. They'd probably find out it was a mosquito, horse/deer fly - which might have been the reason he 'unfocused' at the extended trot?
I don't know if there was or wasn't blood/a wound/whatever, but going on the idea that there was... even with a big trip and awkward "hang on!" moment, how are most spurs pointy enough to draw blood?
I know that I put a really impressive gouge in my saddle with a spur once in the process of falling off - had that contact been on skin, I'm sure it would have torn up. That was with normal spurs. I'd imagine that on a thin-skinned horse with just the right stumble, it could happen.
I have had a couple horses over the years that have had such thin skin that a spur would leave a mark/scrape if they tripped and I gripped hard etc. Heck the one mare could get raw marks just from tack!
The Blood Rule...verbatim: “Bleeding: If the Judge at C suspects fresh blood anywhere on the horse during the test, he will stop the horse to check for blood. If the horse shows fresh blood, it will be eliminated. The elimination is final. If the Judge through examination clarifies that the horse has no fresh blood, the horse may resume and finish its test. If the horse is eliminated pursuant to the above, or if the horse is injured during the test and starts bleeding after finishing the test, it should be examined by an FEI Veterinarian prior to the next Competition to determine if it is fit to continue in the Event the following day(s). The decision of the FEI Veterinarian is not subject to appeal.”
Interesting quote from Tina, "The show organizers are being attacked by the international Riders and Trainers club because they did not follow the proper procedure on the blood rule."
And the IDRC says they are not attacking, but instead are working with the show to learn what happened.
Tina claims that "International Riders Club and International Trainers club are taking action against the show organizers."
And the IDRC says they are not taking any action against show management.
Tinya says that "no one ever looked at my horse, just one lady steward".
I'm not against Tina, and she certainly has a right to question the FEI's decision.
But those kinds of remarks don't help her, nor those who are trying to sort it out on her behalf.
I don't disagree with this rule but I dislike that it causes a great many people to jump straight on the abuse bandwagon. I don't know Tina and haven't ridden with her but I've seen her ride and warm up several times. I have never seen her behave in a way that could be construed as abusive. Quite the opposite in fact... She is a lovely rider with a wonderful way with her horses from what I've seen. There are just so many ways for blood to appear... As others have said mosquitos and horseflies can do nasty things. My now retired horse would get bloody noses fairly regularly when conditions were hot or dry. I see the necessity of the rule, I just hate what it implies for riders like Tina who are the antithesis of abusive.