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Lynn Russell slams mid-season measuring of horses

SHOWING producer and British Show Horse Association (BSHA) board member Lynn Russell is making a stand against what she considers to be the injustice of having an annual height certificate questioned mid-season.

Lynn obtained a certificate in January for her five-year-old lightweight cob, Deimos, who measured 154.8cm — the height limit is 155cm.

But on 8 June, the Joint Measurement Board (JMB) said an objection to his height had been made by Ponies (UK).

She was given 21 days to get him remeasured before he would become ineligible to compete in lightweight cob classes.

She said: “I refuse to go along with this. A young horse which ‘measures in’ in January could well be taller by mid-season, because it’s in peak show condition and it is reasonable to expect it to have grown.

“I am happy to have him remeasured once he has been let down and, if he has grown, I will show him in maxi cob classes next year.”

Deimos qualified for the Horse of the Year Show at Three Counties (report, 9 July issue), but may be ineligible for the final as a result of the objection.

Howard Robinson, secretary of the JMB, said: “JMB rules allow stewards and member societies to request the remeasurement of animals holding annual certificates, but objections to annual certificates by competitors and show executives are not allowed.

“The owners of young horses want the annual certificate to last till the end of the year, but when they realise their horse has grown, do they withdraw from the class? They should if they embrace fair competition.”

Davina Whiteman, chairman of Ponies (UK), told H&H: “An animal should not exceed the conditions of a class on that day. Those are the rules.”

Lynn Russell’s case is not connected to the ongoing JMB investigation into alleged measuring anomalies centred on an Essex vet (news, 18 June).

Thirty-one horses and ponies have been recalled for measurement by the JMB during June. An average month would involve three or four.

To join the debate online, go to www.horseandhound.co.uk/measurement

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (2 July, ’09)

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