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The final report of the FEI’s welfare workshop on the use of over-bending (“rollkür”) has been published on the FEI website. The practice of rollkür — riding the horse overbent from the wither along the poll — came under scrutiny at the workshop held in Lausanne, Switzerland last month. But research presented at the meeting by leading dressage riders and veterinary surgeons showed that the practice is not inherently abusive to horses.

However vets, scientists and equestrians agreed that more scientific research is needed to fully establish the impact of rollkür on a horse’s physical or psychological well-being. It was also suggested that the term “hyperflexion” should replace “rollkür”, as it does not have negative connotations.

Full details of the welfare workshop and the topics discussed in it have now been posted on the FEI website. Meanwhile, the FEI is working hard to develop a detailed definition of what forms of rollkür can be considered abuse. The Federation also aims to educate stewards to identify possible abuse within dressage and other sports, including show jumping and eventing, where the technique is also common practice.

The full report can be found here.

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