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Former H&H deputy news editor

FEI outlaws rollkur when ridden using ‘aggressive force’

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Horse sport bosses have agreed that hyperflexion or “rollkur” is not acceptable in the warm-up at international events.

A round-table conference hosted by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) today (Tuesday 9 February) unanimously agreed that any form of aggressive riding must lead to punishment under FEI rules.

The group — which included vets, welfare experts and eventing, dressage and show jumping officials — redefined rollkur or hyperflexion as “flexion of the horse’s neck achieved through aggressive force”.

And they made a differentiation between rollkur and the technique of riding a horse in a low, deep and round outline, which is not achieved through force and therefore is not outlawed.

Now a working group will be set up, headed by FEI dressage committee chairman Frank Kempermann, to expand guidelines for stewards to enable them to spot rollkur in the collecting ring.

They are also considering installing CCTV in warm-up areas at selected shows.

FEI president Princess Haya also accepted a 41,000-name petition against rollkur that was presented by veterinary representative Dr Gerd Heuschman.

Has the FEI gone far enough with this ruling? Join the debate on the H&H forum

Originally published on horseandhound.co.uk