A video of Penelope Leprevost appearing to use excessive force while warming up for a class in Gothenburg, where the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping final took place, has sparked heated debate online.
Footage recorded at the weekend from the showjumping collecting ring has been widely shared online, with many comments condemning the rider.
The film shows Vagabond de la Pomme stumble badly while working in trot on a long rein. He falls on to his knees, nose touching the ground, but staggers back to his feet.
Penelope stops the horse and leans to her right, seemingly checking for injuries.
Apparently finding none, she kicks the horse, which moves forward quickly in response, then catches its mouth hard to pull up.
The film then shows Penelope pulling the horse up abruptly from trot, in another area of the collecting ring. The clip cuts to a different view just as it appears she is starting to repeat the move.
Facebook user Laura Jones shared the clip, writing: “Why do you feel this is an acceptable way to treat a horse?”
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Amanda Kirtland-Page wrote: “People need to speak up and take action in these cases.
Jennifer Calamos Smith added: “Demand an investigation. Or politely check to see how the investigation is going on that horse and rider combo… then if there is none, demand one. Petition the association holding the show. That’s all I can think of to do but something should be done, I think.”
But Elizabeth Bailey countered with: “I am only speaking about what I see in this video, I do not know this person, but I wish these things didn’t turn into witch hunts and that we could be understanding and respectful of each other while sharing knowledge, instead of burning the house down in anger. the anger solves nothing.”
Gothenburg Horse Show event manager Tomas Torgerson told H&H he was aware of the video, had been contacting the FEI, judges and stewards and would make a statement once he “had the full picture”.
Penelope issued an apology about the incident via her facebook page on Monday 30 March, while the FEI has announced it will be investigating the incident, describing Penelope’s reaction as “very rough”.