As long as there are benefits to manipulating height, measuring will attract controversy. So how do we move forward? Here are five ideas to help the integrity of height measurements:

  • Remove potential for conflict of interest and ensure that measurements are only undertaken by independent measurers who are not familiar with the animal or its connections
  • Rigorous and regular inspection of measurers’ equipment and technique
  • For better accuracy, all sticks should be fitted with a second spirit level until such a time as self-levelling laser devices are the most viable option
  • Routine sampling for prohibited substances — as done at prepurchase examinations — would act as a deterrent to the use of tranquillisers or sedatives
  • Step up in-competition measuring. While there might be debate about tolerances, the FEI’s system has been successful

For the full veterinary article on measuring, see the current issue of Horse & Hound (14 April, 2011)