The issue of clipping foals caused controversy for the second year running at Solihull Foal Show (25 November).

It is clearly stated both in the rules — and on a sign prominently displayed in the collecting ring — that clipping of foals is not allowed.

In one Welsh foal class, all exhibitors bar one were asked to leave the ring following acomplaint, because their foals showed clear clip marks under their throats.

Honorary show secretary Barbara Ray said: “Many of these foals have been weaned and bought in to show.

“However, it is likely that they will be turned back out again once the shows have finished. We do not think that this is acceptable if these young and vulnerable animals have been clipped.”

One Welsh breeder and exhibitor said: “We have travelled over 100 miles to attend this show, only to be told that we can’t compete. It’s ridiculous because if we show our foals at Welsh shows we are at a disadvantage because our animals are not clipped. We won’t come here again.”

Ironically, an exhibit in another class appeared to have been fully clipped, but because no blade lines were visible, making it impossible to prove, the animal was allowed to compete.

Show organisers are adamant that the rule will not be amended for next year.