Baughman, Davidson Receive FEI Yellow Cards At Mars Maryland 5 Star

Oct 21, 2022 - 12:45 PM

Two riders—Woods Baughman, who was leading the CCI5*-L after dressage, and Buck Davidson, who finished 12th and 14th in the same division—received Fédération Equestre Internationale yellow card warnings from the ground jury at the Mars Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill, held Oct. 12-16 in Elkton, Maryland.

Baughman was given a yellow card with C’est La Vie 135 for “abuse of horse/serious case of dangerous riding” on cross-country by the ground jury of Christian Landolt, Gretchen Butts and Judy Hancock.

The pair finished the course with 20 jumping penalties and 0.8 time faults. Before cross-country, Baughman told the media he had been working on a new bitting set-up after having control issues at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials (England) in September, where he was eliminated on cross-country. He changed bits for Maryland from a mullen mouth pelham with a shank, which was allowing “Contendro” to cross his jaw and shake his head on course, to a hackabit with a softer mouthpiece.

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Woods Baughman and C’est La Vie 135. Lindsay Berreth Photos

Baughman agreed with the ground jury’s decision, saying Contrendo started getting very strong at about the halfway mark on the course.

“It was definitely really rough towards the end,” he said. “The horse just runs really hard, and I did what I could to hold him back, but at the end of the day with where we are with the general perception of the sport and of the public, it’s not the ideal thing to have people watching. They didn’t really have much of a choice at the end [to give the yellow card].”

Baughman considered pulling up, he said, but “by the time it was getting rough, we were close enough to the end of the course that I might as well let him run home.”

Baughman said he thinks he’s on the right track with his bitting setup, saying they made it farther through course than they had in the past before the gelding started getting strong, but that he still has work to do.

Baughman also received a recorded warning for “abuse of horse/misuse of whip.”

His whip warning stemmed from a corner jump where he circled and used it three times instead of twice, which is the limit under the rules. “It was more of a general reflex than an active option,” he said.

The Mars Maryland 5 Star’s cross-country day highlight reel begins with some of Baughman’s cross-country ride:

Davidson received a yellow card after cross-country on Carlevo, who finished 12th with a clear cross-country jumping round. His warning was for “abuse of horse/blood on the horse—severe bit rubs on both sides of mouth.”

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Buck Davidson and Carlevo.

Davidson did use rubber bit guards on the gelding for both jumping phases.

“As a competitor I have to accept it, and thankfully my horse is fine,” he said. “I love my horses, and it’s an unfortunate situation. My horse was checked after the show jumping [too], and they said it looks great.”

The FEI uses yellow card warnings to penalize riders for serious rule violations, improper behavior and abuse of horse. Riders who receive two yellow card warnings in the same year are suspended from competition for two months.

The FEI uses “eventing recorded warnings” for less serious offenses in competition. Riders who receive three such warnings within a two-year period are suspended for two months.

Along with Baughman’s recorded warning for overuse of the whip, the ground jury gave out two other recorded warnings at Fair Hill.

Five-star winner Tim Price received “abuse of horse/misuse of whip” on Coup De Coeur Dudevin, and CCI3*-L rider Rachel Lawson received a warning for “dangerous riding/riding out of control, standing off fences too far” with High Tide.

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