“I’ve had hate mail” says dressage rider at centre of blue tongue row

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The Swedish team dressage rider at the centre of the “blue tongue” rollkur row has spoken exclusively to Horse & Hound.

In our 5 November issue, Patrik Kittel says he has received hate mail after a video of him warming up his horse Watermill Scandic in Odense, Denmark was posted on YouTube.

At one point, the horse hangs his tongue out of the side of his mouth and it appears to go blue.

Patrik Kittel accuses the Danish journalist who posted the video footage of misrepresentation, and warns other riders to beware.

He told H&H: Scandic was a little hot at Odense, so I rode him for longer than usual. Throughout every training session, including this one, I give my horses walk breaks. I did not ride Scandic in this depicted frame for the entire duration of the training as implied [by Epona].

“Scandic sometimes plays with his tongue. During the filmed period of my training, he caught his tongue over or between the bits. I stopped when I noticed and put it back in the right place.”

Kittel says he has received threats, as have his sponsors and owners, saying: “It is scary that a small piece of footage can be portrayed in such a way.”

• Read the full story in Horse & Hound, 5 November issue — out now.