Hind boots have been banned in young performance horse classes at this year’s Fáilte Ireland Dublin Horse Show.
No hind boots will be allowed in any three-, four-, five- and six-year-old categories — following research that showed the use of hind boots may prejudice the interest of buyers of young show jumpers.
The new ban is an extension of the existing rule where no hind boots may be used in the three and four-year-old performance horse classes. It also applies to any qualifiers.
Scientific reports on the use of performance enhancing boots within show jumping have been published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science and The Veterinary Journal and were summerised by Dr Jack Murphy at a recent RDS (Royal Dublin Society) Equestrian Committee meeting.
In the discussion of his paper “Weighted boots: Training aids for show jumping horses?” Dr Murphy outlined how show jumping has been associated with a number of gadgets and training techniques to help horses jump more “cleanly”.
He noted that in recent times the use of performance enhancing boots has become increasingly popular and that such items are now used almost routinely on horses’ hind legs to alter jump strides.
The research by Dr Murphy also warned the use of weighted boots on show jumpers and young horses could lead to long-term musculoskeletal problems (news, 5 March).
FEI recently changed rules to state that weighted boots must not exceed 500g in international competition.
For more information visit www.dublinhorseshow.com