Row over cob heights

A row has broken out among the British Show Hack, Cob and Riding Horse Association (BSHCRHA) hierarchy after a vote was taken in committee to increase the height limit for show cobs to 15.2hh (158cm) from the current maximum of 15.1hh (155cm). The new height limit is set to be introduced next year.

Committee member and show producer Jeff Osborne says: “The matter came out of the blue and I was one of several committee members who voted against it. It is particularly surprising because our members voted wholeheartedly against a change at our AGM.”

Robert Oliver, who was unable to attend the meeting due to ill health, is equally disconcerted.

“While 15.1hh may seem an odd height for a show horse and it has been a contentious issue for the past 25 years, I am worried that the true type of smart, short-legged cob will disappear as producers concentrate on larger horses.”

Jeff Osborne is also concerned that the change will make a mockery of efforts by the Joint Measurement Board to enforce height restrictions.

“Cobs which have previously measured out of these classes will now be allowed in, which seems ridiculous. It’s not as if we need to introduce this measure to boost numbers in cob classes – they have never been more popular,” he pointsout.

The matter has divided the BSHCRHA committee, with one member subsequently threatening to stand down if the resolution passes into the society’s rules on 1 January 2004.

Chairman Brian Williams says: “I would welcome the views ofthe members of the association on this change so that I can be satisfied that the members perceive it to be beneficial.”

Don’t miss Lynn Russell’s views on this controversial subject in this week’s Horse & Hound (24 July), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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