The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has unanimously approved new guidelines on warm-up techniques at competitions, to stop rollkur and other abuse of the horse.
The new guidelines for stewards, which will be implemented from 15 May, are:
* Movements which involve having the horse’s head and neck carriage in a fixed position can only be performed for periods not exceeding 10 minutes. Diagrams defining the head and neck positions will be provided to the stewards.
* No single neck position should be maintained which may lead to tiredness or stress
* The rider is not permitted to use rough, or abrupt aidsor apply constant unyielding pressure on the horse’s mouth through a fixed arm and hand position
Stewards will also intervene if they see:
* Neck stretching achieved through forced or aggressive riding
* The use of extreme flexion if it does not comply with the above
* A rider deliberately maintaining a sustained fixed head and neck carriage longer than ten minutes
* If the horse is in a state of general stress or fatigue
The rules also say that all training should take place in the official warm-up arena, under the supervision of stewards.
Pre- competition training sessions should not exceed an hour and there should be at least an hour’s break between training or warm-up periods.
And post-competition training may not exceed a period of 10 minutes.
The FEI is considering introducing CCTV in the warm-up rings at some competitions.
National federations, including the British Equestrian Federation, have been asked to send the new guidelines to all their Stewards immediately to prepare for implementation on 15 May.