Eventer Gemma Tattersall says she was devastated to be given a yellow card during the cross-country at the Millstreet Event Rider Masters (ERM) leg.
Gemma was given the sanction by FEI officials for “excessive use of the whip” on Quicklook V on Saturday (24 August).
The 14-year-old mare had already knocked a flag at one fence and Gemma told H&H she had been running through the bridle towards a corner, where she again knocked the flag, so she “tapped her on the shoulder” on landing.
“That’s what I got the card for,” Gemma said. “I didn’t hit her hard, I wasn’t cross, there was no malice in it and no mark on her.
“It was just a ‘come on, stay on your game, concentrate and don’t run through the flags’.
“I’d never, ever dream of hurting any of my horses in a million years; I adore her.”
Gemma said that she respects and accepts the rules, but was very upset to be given this sanction.
“I was correcting her,” she said. “I was trying to ride with sympathy; I felt she didn’t like the mud and didn’t want to gallop in it so I didn’t push her on to try to win some of the ERM prize money, I looked after her. I backed off, gave her a pat and said ‘we’ll go at this pace’. She had a lovely ride.
The draw has been done for this year’s Burghley Horse Trials, with Tim Price the pathfinder on Bango, as well
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Gemma said: “It’s the most horrendous feeling [to be given the yellow card]. I accept the rules and don’t want to break them and I’ll do my best in the future not to.”
FEI eventing rules state that the whip may not be used more than twice per “incident”.
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