Showjumper fined £500 for excessive use of whip

  • A rider who used his whip excessively at a British Showjumping (BS) event has been fined £500.

    Luke Humphrey, of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, was also given a formal warning as to his “future conduct and behaviour” following the incident at Houghton Hall Equestrian Centre, Cambridge, on 30 April.

    BS said Luke’s use of the whip on his horse Back to Black II, a 13-year-old grade B gelding, broke a number of rules in the BS members’ handbook.

    BS chief executive Iain Graham said: “As a national governing body for the sport we have a strict code of conduct that we expect our members to adhere to particularly in relation to the welfare of the horse which is paramount.

    “Behaviour such as this will not be tolerated in any form and it would be totally unacceptable for any member to think otherwise.

    “Ensuring equine welfare is paramount to us and we applaud those that bring instances such as this to our attention so that they can be dealt with formally.”

    BS said Luke broke five handbook rules: conducting himself at a show in a manner offensive to the public (82.1), ill-treating in any way a horse or pony at a show, inside or outside the arena (82.3), and “misuse or use excessively a whip or spur” (82.4).

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    He also broke rule 82.5: “Deliberately use the action of the bit as a means of punishment and/or misuse any item of saddlery in a manner likely to cause pain or discomfort to the horse or pony’, and rule 82.11: “Conduct himself/herself in a manner which in the opinion of the stewards is detrimental to the character and/or prejudicial to the interests of British Showjumping”.

    Since the show, Back to Black II has been competed by another rider.

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