FEI Rules for Dressage Article 401 states:

Object and general principles: The object of dressage is the development of the horse into a happy athlete through harmonious education. As a result, it makes the horse calm, supple, loose and flexible, but also confident, attentive and keen, thus achieving perfect understanding with the athlete.

the complete rules of dressage are here

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Anky Van Grunsven: Expert in LDR says Richard Davison / Kittle video does not show "excessive Force" reports Times Online

Rollkur, which the FEI has defined as “flexion of the horse’s neck achieved through aggressive force” (ie, the horse’s head is pulled in tight so that its nose is close to its chest) came under scrutiny after YouTube footage of Patrick Kittell, the Sweden rider, riding his stallion Watermill Scandic for a lengthy period in an extreme overbent position at the Odense Show last October. Although the FEI concluded that there was no reliable evidence that the warm-up techniques used by Kittel “were excessive” the footage created such an outcry from the public with regard to horse welfare that the FEI launched a significant review of warm-up techniques.

The decision to ban the practice of rollkur followed a meeting at the International Olympic Committee’s headquarters in Lausanne yesterday chaired by Princess Haya, the president of the FEI and involving key equestrian riders, judges and officials of World Horse Welfare. Before the meeting Princess Haya was given a petition of 41,000 signatories against rollkur.

Richard Davison, the captain of the British dressage team, said yesterday that the ban would not affect any of the present members of the team because none of them uses the system in their training. But Davison, a triple Olympian and the manager of the British team at the Beijing Olympic Games two years ago, had some sympathy with the users of this system — when it is done correctly.

“It’s the ultimate in a whole body workout for the horse — and when it’s practiced by experts such as Anky Van Grunsven [the triple olympic gold medal-winner] and not overdone I think it’s acceptable”, he said.


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