Rider weight, an emotional win, and other things the horse world is talking about

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

  • 1. The rider weight debate

    The topic of rider weight has arisen again after Equestrian Australia announced a new guide stating that the maximum load a horse is expected to carry should not exceed 20% of the horse’s weight. The “horse welfare move” has been adopted by dressage and eventing in Australia, and other disciplines are considering following suit. EA said the guide will “provide education and clarity” and highlight awareness of EA’s expectations to athletes, coaches, owners, parents, judges, officials and the public on the aspect of a horse’s welfare and capacity to carry weight.

    Find out more about the guide and why the federation brought it in

    2. Carl Hester joins the FEI voting discussion

    In Carl’s exclusive column this week he shares his view on the FEI voting system. The topic of decision-making in international horse sport has been in the spotlight in recent weeks with the FEI’s “one nation, one vote” democratic system coming under debate. The argument on one side is that it gives equal representation and has the benefit of including impartial views from federations either not directly affected by decisions, or that are developing in the sport. On the other is the question of proportional representation, federations making decisions on a sport at a level they are not participating in, and whether some experience of senior championships should be needed to have a say on decisions affecting equestrian sport in the Olympics. Carl believes that while countries that are more active in the sport should have a “more strongly weighted vote” when it comes to significant decisions, it is important to also find ways to encourage diversity and participation.

    Read Carl’s full column

    3. Colin Tizzard’s grandson wins his first race under Rules

    WINCANTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03: Freddie Gingell riding West Approach clear the last to win The Colin Lewis Memorial Open Hunters' Chase at Wincanton Racecourse on February 03, 2022 in Wincanton, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

    Freddie Gingell, who turned 16 in December, soared to victory by 21 lengths beating the odds-on favourite, in only his second ever race under Rules. The win was an emotional moment for Freddie after his mother Kim, Colin’s daughter, died from cancer in 2020 and the young jockey said he was “sure she was up there looking down on him”. Freddie has been quickly making a name for himself; last month he won his first point-to-point on his second ride between the flags.

    Read the full story

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