Eventer given yellow card for ‘abuse of the horse’ at WEG

Norwegian event rider Heidi Bratlie Larsen has been given a yellow card by the FEI for “abuse of the horse/riding an obviously lame horse” during the eventing World Championships in Tryon.

Heidi was riding her own 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood, Euforian, on the cross-country at the World Equestrian Games on Saturday 15 September, when the ground jury pulled her up after fence 21.

Euforian, who appeared lame in walk upon being pulled up, was taken by horse ambulance to the onsite veterinary treatment centre where he was diagnosed with a soft tissue injury.

When approached by Horse & Hound about the incident, Heidi said: “He is the most special horse I have ever had and I would never do anything to hurt him on purpose.”

In a statement posted on Heidi’s Facebook page after the cross-country, she said: “At the last water jump, I suspected something didn’t feel right and thought to stop, but I could not do it until I was stopped right after. That I was stopped was absolutely right, and I would have done it myself. That the World Championship did not end as planned now means little. ‘Grålle’ is the most important thing to me.”

The pair have since returned home and Heidi posted on 20 September: “Grålle is doing fine and we are back in Europe.”

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Heidi, 33, and Grålle finished 39th at last year’s European Eventing Championships in Strzegom. They also finished fifth in the CCI3* at Saumur, France in May 2018 and were 18th in the CIC3* at Gatcombe prior to travelling to Tryon. Euforian has seven CIC3* and four CCI3* completions to his name.

The grey, who Heidi started competing internationally in 2014, is the only horse she has campaigned to three-star level.

For indepth reports and analysis from the World Eequestrian Games, make sure you pick up your copy of Horse & Hound magazine, issues dated 20 and 27 September.