Petition to the FEI
PETITION TO THE FEI Asking for the application of the rules for dressage competitions. After seeing the pictures of the pony \" Power and Paint \" shot during the European dressage Championships at Freudenberg : Knowing that the hyper flexion (or Rollkur) practiced that way is condemned nowadays by many veterinarians, body therapists and osteopaths due to the restriction of the horse\'s field of vision and to the pains it imposes to their (nuchal ligament, sacro-lumbar spine and tongue) also from a Neuro-Biology point of view due to the stress pathologies it triggers in the horses enduring repeatedly such pains (syndrome of \"conditioned powerlessness\" and \"acquired resignation\") While article 401 of the rules of dressage events stipulates that \"The object of dressage is the development of the horse into a happy athlete through harmonious education\" Being known that horse protection leagues in many countries are concerned about these abuses and that the European Parliament is in the process of tightening its guidelines on animal well-being. Being known that the code of conduct of the rules of dressage events expects the following from all the concerned persons: \"1/ At all stages during the preparation and training of competition horses welfare must take precedence over all other demands. 3/ Events must not prejudice horse welfare.\" Being known that hyper flexion (or Rollkur) practiced that way alters the horse\'s motion through perverting his natural gaits and leads to horses performing over bent, on the shoulders, most of them unable to piaffe on the spot or to hold a stand due to a lack of balance, and whose walk becomes too often lateral, an indication that their back may not be functional. The key recommendations of the regulation are all transgressed (s. 401.2, 401.3, 402, 403, 415.1 / 2, 417.5, 418.) Noting the bad faith of certain professionals using hyper flexion (or Rollkur), who are able to conceal the distress signs of horses or to interpret them in their favor. For example, regarding the regulation that stipulates in Article 416.2 / 1: \"grinding the teeth and swishing the tail are mostly signs of nervousness, tension or resistance on the part of the horse and must be taken into account by the judges in their marks\". Noting the failure of judgings that silently changes the fault into a standard practice and rewards the cheaters. Aware that the dressage discipline is greatly at risk by the drifting away from the expressed intent of the present rules, which represent classical equitation, whether it applies to the training of horses or to their judging in competition. Being worried that the young generations adopt this perversion as their model and being anxious to preserve the educational virtues of equitation. And, to remain faithful to the \" object of dressage events \" enacted as high point of the rules in article 419: \"The FEI has the goal... to preserve the Equestrian Art from the abuses to which it can be exposed and to preserve it in the purity of its principles, so that it could be handed on intact to generations of riders to come\". WE DEMAND that the 2008 rules be completed by including the interdiction to practice hyper flexion (or Rollkur) at show grounds, in addition to the interdiction to use reining devices stipulated in the 2007 rules. WE DEMAND that the rules be retroactively applied to the case of the pony \"Power and Paint \" ranked 4th at the 2007 European championships. WE DEMAND that the concerned organizations get the means to enforce the respect of rules related to concerns about the physical and mental integrity of horses, meant to preserve our equestrian culture and the legacy of the great Masters.