Horses competing under FEI rules are no longer allowed to have their legs clipped while on site at a competition.
The change is an update to the FEI’s policy to help combat “hypersensitive” or “hyposensitive” areas of the body of equine athletes.
The rule change came into effect on 1 January and applies to all FEI disciplines. It comes under Article 1004, prohibited methods, of the FEI veterinary regulations 2019.
The rule states that horses are not permitted to compete in FEI events “if the hair on their limbs has been clipped/and or shaven at any point during their presence at an FEI event site”.
An FEI spokesman told H&H the rule has been updated to stop the practice of shaving and clipping legs to make them hypersensitive or hyposensitive.
“According to FEI regulations horses with altered sensitivity are not eligible to compete, ie horses are not eligible to compete when a limb, or part of a limb, is hyposensitive or hypersensitive,” said the spokesman.
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The spokesman added that shaving or clipping legs shortly before a jumping competition is considered a “method that in itself may increase the sensitivity of the horse” and that it could also be a “preparation for the application of substances that are intended to cause hypersensitivity”.
The rules also states that if clipping or shaving is required for veterinary purposes at an event, prior permission must be granted by the veterinary commission or veterinary delegate to the permitted treating veterinarian before any investigation or treatment takes place.
Clipping of legs that takes place before a horse arrives on site for an FEI competition is still acceptable.
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