Show jumper Michael Morrissey has been fined and suspended by the U.S. Equestrian Federation as punishment for a whipping incident that took place earlier this year in the USEF Show Jumping Selection Trials for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Morrissey has been suspended for three months, ending on Aug. 4, for striking his mount, Crelido, 13 times in a row at the $75,000 CSI** Grand Prix in Wellington, Fla., on Feb. 27, after the horse refused an open water jump. In addition to his suspension, Morrissey also must pay a $3,000 fine.
A video of Morrissey’s actions subsequently surfaced on YouTube, sparking outrage throughout the hunter/jumper community.
According to the USEF, Committee members accepted a plea agreement on May 6. Furthermore, the USEF stated that Morrissey’s actions, described by the Federation as “excessively striking, with a crop, the horse Crelido, during Class 101, the USEF WEG Selection Trial #2,” constituted a breach of the USEF Code of Conduct, Chapter 7, GR702.1d. This rule states that a violation is considered “acting or inciting or permitting any other to act in a manner contrary to the rules of the Federation, or in a manner deemed improper, unethical, dishonest, unsportsmanlike or intemperate, or prejudicial to the best interests of the sport and the Federation.”
During his suspension, Morrissey is forbidden from attending any shows, as a competitor or spectator, or participating in any USEF-sanctioned activities. Additionally, any horses owned by Morrissey, in whole or in part, are suspended from competition.