Thursday, Jun. 20, 2024

FEI Plans New Reining Rules To Protect Horse Welfare

The Fédération Equestre Internationale had already begun a full review of the sport of reining and its existing rules and regulations before the March 2011 events at the World Reining Finals in Bökeberg, Malmö, Sweden.

At the event, U.S. rider Craig Schmersal was involved in a dispute during the warm-up phase of the competition. Schmersal was seen, on a clip from Epona TV, jerking the reins on an over-bent Lil Miss Addy Tude, repeatedly during the walk and sliding stop portion of their warm-up.

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The Fédération Equestre Internationale had already begun a full review of the sport of reining and its existing rules and regulations before the March 2011 events at the World Reining Finals in Bökeberg, Malmö, Sweden.

At the event, U.S. rider Craig Schmersal was involved in a dispute during the warm-up phase of the competition. Schmersal was seen, on a clip from Epona TV, jerking the reins on an over-bent Lil Miss Addy Tude, repeatedly during the walk and sliding stop portion of their warm-up.

The FEI plans to implement new rules to better manage and punish this type of behavior. While no yellow cards were issued at the event, Chief Steward Eric Straus has since informed the FEI that verbal warnings were given out. These warnings were given out over issues of riding for too long, over-aggressive use of reins and spurs, and training after the conclusion of competition.

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Ian Williams, FEI Director of Non-Olympic Sports, said on the FEI website, “We absolutely understand the importance of learning from this alleged incident. Our work over the last seven months has been to ensure that we put new Reining Rules in place that protect the welfare of the horse, as well as systems to empower our Stewards to enforce those rules.”

The new rulings, which will be reviewed by National Federations before the FEI General Assembly meets in Rio de Janeiro this fall, will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2012, if approved.

The FEI states that the new rules subject to review include the types of bits and spurs used, education of officials and the minimum number of stewards required at FEI events.

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