Loose miniature pony results in yellow card

A tearaway 7hh pony has become the latest member of the eventing community to be the subject of a yellow card dispute with the FEI.

Spartacus, who is the travelling companion of American rider Katie Frei’s four-star ride OTTB Houdini (pictured above), escaped at an event in Kalispell, Montana (27 July).

“I realise that minis can be frightening to some horses so we don’t intentionally take him out during the day or while the competition is running,” Katie told H&H. “But he escaped while my groom was doing morning chores and toured the grounds for about 15min.

“I was getting dressed while he was gallivanting so I didn’t personally witness his ‘reign of terror’. My groom says he ran around a little frightened, spooked some horses, that was it and I believe her.”

H&H has had reports that while loose Spartacus he tried to mount a horse who was tied to a lorry.

Spartacus’ rampage resulted in Katie being called in for a meeting with the ground jury and she has been given a yellow card for “incorrect behaviour and endangering other competitors.”

“It is partially deserved,” Katie said. “I didn’t go through the right processes to bring Spartacus on grounds. It was not closed FEI stabling so I didn’t think to bring his shot (vaccination) records.

“This is my mistake, I am sorry for it, and for that I should have some type of warning, fine or punishment.”

Despite his mischievous ways, Spartacus will continue to go to events with Houdini when needed.

“Houdini is a terrible traveller and Spartacus does a great job of keeping him at ease while on the road,” Katie added. “He is typically a big hit at the shows; he’s great at giving pony rides and loves a good competitors’ party.

“In the future, I will make sure to plan ahead better and have all of his documentation at the ready.”