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FEI rider suspension for 'irregular use of bit' via a hayball contraption

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  • FEI rider suspension for 'irregular use of bit' via a hayball contraption

    At Pau this year, a Canadian rider was eliminated for having a large ball of hay tied to her horse's bit to act as some kind of tongue management device.

    I read about this last night in a recent issue of Eventing, and since I was unfamiliar with this means of horse-control, I looked up the FEI hearing notes.

    The FEI officials at Pau looked at the horse after dressage and observed the following:

    the bit was found with a ball of hay the size of a big plum attached round the middle joint of the bit, seen as an intricate device which clearly was man-made showing various knots to hold it all in place.
    The rider was eliminated.

    The rider appealed her elimination, claiming it was just food, but the FEI maintained that the hayball was clearly man-made and deliberately attached to the bit. They also stated that 'hay is not a permitted material for bits.'

    I admit to having found large clumps of hay/grass in my horses' mouths at times, but never have I seen any evidence that they can perform knot-tying tricks or clever macrame with their tongues. It all sounds too Twin Peaks-y for me.

    Is this a common practice? I've never heard of it before. Or was the rider somehow treated unfairly? I admit I know nothing about this case other than what was cited in the report.

  • #2
    How odd, I would love to see a picture.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't think the rider in question was Canadian.... She does share a last name and initials with a former Canadian eventer turned dressage rider/freestyle developer/ writer but its not the same person...
      "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

      Comment


      • #4
        At Bit Check there should be nothing in your horses mouth but his teeth tongue and Legal Bit.....

        Comment


        • #5
          I wonder what was achieved by using that contraption? Kept the tongue in maybe??
          "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

          Comment


          • #6
            Does she drive this car?
            http://www.pressherald.com/news/hay_...012-07-31.html
            "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes, she's Canadian. She currently resides in Europe. Her top horse is Let It Bee.

              Results.

              I wonder about the part of the report that says that she admitted that she gained an advantage from the hay ball. If that's the case, then it seems clear that she did it on purpose.

              Having said that, I have certainly seen horses with large hay balls around their bits - not put there by the rider. The horses were just pigs
              Blugal

              You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Ibex View Post
                I don't think the rider in question was Canadian....
                The Eventing report said she's Canadian, and noted that 'Equine Canada declined to comment'.

                Her FEI profile, in which she is Canadian, is here.

                The FEI hearing report -- apparently mistakenly -- gives her the designation (USA) but the case listing calls her (CAN).

                But I understand the confusion. A real Canadian would have used a rock-hard lump of maple syrup to depress her horse's tongue.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wow, what?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wow, what a sneaky yet brilliant ploy. Too bad it didn't quite pan out for her.
                    Boss Mare Eventing Blog
                    https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If she truly did this on purpose to get an advantage, I wonder:

                      1. what advantage?

                      2. she obviously must have tried it before, successfully

                      3. if the above is true, why did nobody else notice before she was at a 4* event

                      4. what a way to jeopardize your first 4* event, and get on the FEI blacklist
                      Blugal

                      You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JER View Post
                        The Eventing report said she's Canadian, and noted that 'Equine Canada declined to comment'.

                        Her FEI profile, in which she is Canadian, is here.

                        The FEI hearing report -- apparently mistakenly -- gives her the designation (USA) but the case listing calls her (CAN).

                        But I understand the confusion. A real Canadian would have used a rock-hard lump of maple syrup to depress her horse's tongue.
                        With the added benefit that the maple syrup ball, if done properly, will dissolve leaving no evidence.
                        "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                        Courtesy my cousin Tim

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Had I known all along that my hay nets could have been used as art, I would have sold them off to the highest bidder.!!


                          Originally posted by BEARCAT View Post
                          www.facebook.com/doggonegoodgoodies
                          http://doggonebakedgoods.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BEARCAT View Post
                            Bwahahaha!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hmmmm....JER, you find the most delicious stuff.
                              Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                              Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Some further thoughts...

                                1. After much consideration, I realize that I was wrong about the maple syrup ball. A real Canadian would have used a Timbit. But quel dommage, the French have yet to experience the glories of the Timbit. You cannot deny that it would have been the perfect device for this purpose.

                                2. It is possible that the rider in question is a Breyer horse enthusiast and enjoys fashioning tiny haynets for her plastic herd? If so, is it possible that one of these intricately-designed accessories got inadvertently wrapped around her bit just before dressage at her first CCI****?

                                3. On a more serious note, this incident was cited on Eventing Nation here.

                                4. For those wondering what dressage looks like with a hayball tied to the bit, you can see photos of the ride here. Given that Nicky Roncoroni -- who finished 16th after the second day of dressage -- tweeted that she'd moved up to 7th when a rider above her was E'd, then we know that the hayball-aided ride was at least in the top 7 on the first day. The score must have been pretty darn good.

                                5. The rider chose to appeal her elimination, claiming that it was "purely food" hay rather than cheat hay. Given the GJ's statement that the hayball was 'clearly man-made showing various knots to hold it in place', why would a rider choose to make this appeal? What could they possible expect to gain from this, other than a dodgy reputation?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My thoughts are you do not try something new like that at a 4* so my guess is that it has been tested before.
                                  Riders have often used various things in the past. The most common is to offer a mint before going in to try and keep the mouth accepting. The worst I have heard of is using saddle soap to try and stop the teeth grinding. I heard that it bought the horse out in ulcers.
                                  The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Her horse was quite enthusiatic in his test. I think that hay ball must have fermented.

                                    Clearly I will not be able to use a hay ball, as it looks like you have to use a figure-8 to keep the horses mouth semi-shut around it. My horse WILL NOT tolerate a figure 8.
                                    "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Hmmm, I usually give my horse a cookie when I put the bridle on. A long time ago I was working with a green horse and I would give her a cookie when she did something good. She kept taking the cookies so I kept giving them.

                                      After our session I realized that she had no idea how to eat a cookie with a bit in her mouth and had simply been storing them in her cheeks for later.

                                      I wonder if I would gain an advantage in dressage if I stuffed my horse's mouth full of cookies before we entered the ring.
                                      http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                                        Hmmm, I usually give my horse a cookie when I put the bridle on. A long time ago I was working with a green horse and I would give her a cookie when she did something good. She kept taking the cookies so I kept giving them.

                                        After our session I realized that she had no idea how to eat a cookie with a bit in her mouth and had simply been storing them in her cheeks for later.

                                        I wonder if I would gain an advantage in dressage if I stuffed my horse's mouth full of cookies before we entered the ring.
                                        Splorfle...

                                        When I was still using a flash on my mare, one way to make her mad was to let her get a big bite of long grass, which she couldn't eat. She'd practically turn her face inside out, trying to eat it. OTOH, this could be a good distraction techniques when she was nervous...
                                        You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                        1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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