3 things the horse world is talking about right now: Thursday 28 October 2021

Horse & Hound’s daily debrief, brought to you every weekday morning

  • 1. Pau starting today

    Pau Horse Trials, correctly known as the Les 5 étoiles de Pau, kicks off today, with a fine British contingent in the running and Laura Collett looking to defend her 2020 win. Our reporter, Lucy Elder, will be updating our Pau microsite each day to keep you abreast of all the action, and you can simultaneously watch this five-star finale of the eventing season from the comfort of your sofa. Enjoy!

    How to watch Pau

    2. Changes at Keysoe

    I hear nothing but good things about Keysoe International since under new ownership – particularly about the food – so it’s unsurprising that riders are gutted the venue will no longer be hosting British Eventing (BE) competitions, having made the decision to focus on being a world-class training venue for eventing. BE are looking at alternative fixtures. The venue candidly explained: “Of all the events we run, eventing does not make any money, and food and drink sales are also poor, plus very high overheads. We often use food and drink sales to subsidise our costs to keep the equine community able to use this facility.” So that’s understandable.

    More on why this change is being made

    3. Marshmallow fluff

    The question over where to draw the line between treating – and by that I mean with sugar lumps, not physio – and cheating in dressage was sparked by the first-draft FEI rule suggestion to ban “any type of white substance” that could indicate foaming at the mouth and potentially cover lip injuries. National federations have had the chance to have their say on these drafts and voting on the final draft of proposals will take place at the FEI general assembly in Belgium (14–17 November). “Some horses foam when given a sugar cube or gum bits, which should not be penalised by this rule change,” noted the US federation. “If the intent is to prohibit “marshmallow fluff” or similar substances, it should be specifically noted, as to not potentially penalise a horse given a sugar cube/gum bits, etc.” The amendment states it would be “strictly forbidden to use any type of white substance (like “marshmallow fluff”, shaving cream, etc…) around the horse’s mouth to imitate foaming; this is considered cheating and against horse welfare as it can hide lip injuries. This will result in a warning or a yellow card.” I’ve had to Google “marshmallow fluff” in the past week to establish it is a delicious, low-fat breakfast option on toast.

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