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Sport Horse Breeding (GB) introduces new mobile phone rule

Most of us spend more than three weeks a year on our mobile phone, according to new figures from MobileInsurance.co.uk — and it appears showing competitors are as addicted as any.

But one showing society is determined to stamp out their use in the showring. Sport Horse Breeding (GB) (SHB(GB)) has introduced a new rule to tackle the problem (Katie Jerram showing comment, 11 April).

Anyone using a mobile phone in the ring will be asked to leave,” states its members’ handbook.

The society’s Catherine Burdock told H&H: “This was prompted by a combination of factors, which included safety and etiquette.

“It does not look very professional to have competitors standing in the line-up taking and making mobile phone calls.”

Top showing producer Katie Jerram agrees with the new ruling.

“I might be very old school, but I don’t think you need your phone in the ring — even if you are standing there for an hour,” she said.

“It is distracting for judges if it rings and very disrespectful.”

SHB(GB) follows the lead of the British Show Pony Society and the British Skewbald and Piebald Association (BSPA), which have also imposed a no phone rule.

“We became fed up with people’s phones — and with their extraordinary ring tones — going off and frightening the ponies,” said the BSPA’s Lynda Lodge. “It was totally inappropriate.”

But judge and H&H columnist Stuart Hollings said he was ambivalent about the situation.

“From an etiquette point of view, it’s a very good thing, but it’ll be interesting to see how they police it,” he said.

“As far as rules go, I wouldn’t see this as a priority.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (25 April 2013)

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