Oliver Townend Fence 4 (Shallow Springs)

linka

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Well I assume that’s why the rule and penalty exist (and why tack checks happen in the first place), but that brief description just makes it sound like he undid it before the usual end of round tack check by the stewards. If that’s what happened in the aftermath of the fall, that’s bonkers.
it was after the dressage, so a different set of problems...
 

greenbean10

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The list of warnings is so interesting - not for Badminton but one is ‘riding fences too slow, too deep to the foot of fences’. I would assume that’s in a showjumping warm up perhaps to make the horse more careful? Doesn’t seem any point doing that out on the cross country course or in the SJ?!

ETA: or does this not necessarily have to be on purpose?
 

teapot

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The list of warnings is so interesting - not for Badminton but one is ‘riding fences too slow, too deep to the foot of fences’. I would assume that’s in a showjumping warm up perhaps to make the horse more careful? Doesn’t seem any point doing that out on the cross country course or in the SJ?!
Could be xc - riding too slow over fixed fences can be dangereous!
 

Tiddlypom

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The rules quite clearly state 2 times.
Hence Mollie carded and Pippa not
It's not just the number of times that the whip was used. Both riders used it for punishment for horses that had stopped, when the horses could not possibly clear the jump.

Is it not in the FEI rules that the whip should not be used to punish the horse? I can't find the whip rules.

I'm not an anti whip fanatic, I always carry one when riding, but to reinforce the leg if necessary, not to punish the horse. That is what I thought that eventing permits, too?
 
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Michen

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It's not just the number of times that the whip was used. Both riders used it for punishment for horses that had stopped, when the horses could not possibly clear the jump.

Is it not in the FEI rules that the whip should not be used to punish the horse? I can't find the whip rules.

I'm not an anti whip fanatic, I always carry one when riding, but to reinforce the leg if necessary, not to punish the horse. That is what I thought that eventing permits, too?
I totally agree with this. I have never ever hit a horse for refusing a jump. A snack down the shoulder to keep the horse straight yes. It seems totally counter intuitive to me, especially at that level when you surely want the horse to be full of confidence and enthusiasm not being beaten for not understanding a question or not having the right stride or confidence.


But then I’m not Pippa funnel and she must know what she’s doing so what do I know.

That list was saddening. So many cards for abuse of the horse.
 

paisley

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Is it really so ‘obscene’ to wonder how a horse managed to trot-up sound after such an awful fall? I'm not "Oli-bashing" - my opinion would stand regardless of the rider. Rather, I’m very surprised that there isn’t a drug test between the XC and SJ. There’s certainly incentive to slip some bute in a horse’s feed if you think you’ve got a chance at winning. Let’s not pretend that all professional riders prioritise the horse’s welfare above the competition.
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Its very unlikely any horse will go round a top level event and not have some element of muscle stiffness afterwards. If you or I competed in a triathlon, we wouldn't expect to skip freely round the house the next day.

There is a meticulous level of effort on the XC evening by grooms/vets/physios to check and help a horse recover as best they can. Ice, massage and short bouts of exercise can turn things around in a way you might not expect.

Sometimes the aim is to get through a trot up (this affects the horses qualifications for the next year) and consider the feasibility of show jumping. Its not being heartless, the amount of physical effort for a top event for an older horse and then you have to drop down and repeat it all over again? What if its an over-reach, something that will be right as anything in a week? You can see in previous years maybe the occasional horse that had to be kept moving to prevent stiffness, by a rider cantering into the show-jumping.

And no, no-one is stupid enough to administer anything banned, especially bute! The irony is, all the non-drug approaches evolved after bute was banned. Go figure.
 

Annagain

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Interesting! So just a warning for continuing to jump an exhausted horse, but a yellow card for undoing a noseband? 🙃
I wonder if it's more a case of cumulative effect - although I imagine they'd be recorded the other way round if that was the case?
 

MagicMelon

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I dont think buting is out of the question, as we know some riders are occassionally pulled up on it (although they always claim they dont know HOW it got into their horses feed). Oli should have checked his horse, he didnt even glance down at the legs - couldnt care less if he was a professional or not, I actually think an amateur certainly would have checked horse was ok before carrying on. If anything I think pro's are far more likely to put their horses at risk for the win. We all know how competitive Oliver is.

Im glad riders are being carded more often for whipping etc. At least rules are going the right way but clearly the "card" system isnt tough enough as so many are still breaking the rules.

Personally I was pretty shocked by Badminton this year, so many horse falls. I believe the XC is simply too technical these days. We need to sort something otherwise eventing as a whole will get more pressure from animal activists and to be honest I can see why :( I adore eventing but nowadays I do question the higher levels difficulty level - horse falls arent acceptable. I personally never intend to compete at the level I used to and am more than happy to play around gently at the lower levels.
 

RHM

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I dont think buting is out of the question, as we know some riders are occassionally pulled up on it (although they always claim they dont know HOW it got into their horses feed). Oli should have checked his horse, he didnt even glance down at the legs - couldnt care less if he was a professional or not, I actually think an amateur certainly would have checked horse was ok before carrying on. If anything I think pro's are far more likely to put their horses at risk for the win. We all know how competitive Oliver is.

Im glad riders are being carded more often for whipping etc. At least rules are going the right way but clearly the "card" system isnt tough enough as so many are still breaking the rules.

Personally I was pretty shocked by Badminton this year, so many horse falls. I believe the XC is simply too technical these days. We need to sort something otherwise eventing as a whole will get more pressure from animal activists and to be honest I can see why :( I adore eventing but nowadays I do question the higher levels difficulty level - horse falls arent acceptable. I personally never intend to compete at the level I used to and am more than happy to play around gently at the lower levels.
He did check its legs. As soon as swallow springs was back on his feet Oli looked under him at the leg. I do know what you mean about how competitive he is and it certainly has come before his horses welfare in the past. I think in this case though what he did was perfectly reasonable.

I’ve been watching reruns of XC days in times gone by and there are loads of falls. Surprisingly so, I can’t remember them looking back! Love how people used to be able to get back on! The problem 5* Eventing is facing as they don’t go up to the max height horses can feasibly jump as that is a welfare issue so they make the courses more technical to make it more challenging. In the future I think they need to make fences more collapsible perhaps 🤔

What are the consequences of a yellow card? I honestly have no idea but agree it doesn’t seem to put people off!!
 

milliepops

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collapsible fences could also cause issues, they have to collapse in a way that doesn't cause the horse a greater problem. i would imagine the engineering and analysis of the forces involved is quite complex. but just imagine if a horse goes to bank a big table for example - it could walk away from that if it was solid, but if the thing that appeared solid disappeared beneath their feet unexpectedly then that could also cause a fall. i don't think there's a way to remove all the risks.. horses still fall when SJing after all :/
 

Tiddlypom

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'Under the new system, an Athlete who obtains:
- 3 Eventing Recorded Warnings (for any offence)during a rolling period of
two years; or
- 2 Yellow Warning Cards (for any offence) during a rolling period of twelve
months,
will be suspended for two months.'
 

RHM

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collapsible fences could also cause issues, they have to collapse in a way that doesn't cause the horse a greater problem. i would imagine the engineering and analysis of the forces involved is quite complex. but just imagine if a horse goes to bank a big table for example - it could walk away from that if it was solid, but if the thing that appeared solid disappeared beneath their feet unexpectedly then that could also cause a fall. i don't think there's a way to remove all the risks.. horses still fall when SJing after all :/
That’s a very good point! It might inadvertently make horses less careful too if they learn in training that it doesn’t hurt as much if they clatter through them!

I know I might be in a minority saying this but the risk is what makes high level Eventing so enjoyable to watch. It is incredible what the horses and riders are capable of. No one wants to see anyone hurt but the possibility that it might happen certainly makes it more exciting. It would be a shame to diminish the XC to a point where it’s basically combined training event!
 

horsimous

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On initially seeing the video, I thought wow, he didn’t check the horse’s legs. But on watching it back again he was actually thrown down the side of his horse with ample time to see the legs whether he wanted to or not while he righted himself. Amazing to be able to stay on!
 

RHM

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'Under the new system, an Athlete who obtains:
- 3 Eventing Recorded Warnings (for any offence)during a rolling period of
two years; or
- 2 Yellow Warning Cards (for any offence) during a rolling period of twelve
months,
will be suspended for two months.'
That would really scupper people’s seasons if happened at the beginning! Surprised riders aren’t more cautious!
 

Velcrobum

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Interesting! So just a warning for continuing to jump an exhausted horse, but a yellow card for undoing a noseband? 🙃
The yellow card would have been given immediately after the ground jury saw him loosening the noseband before the official tack inspection which happens after the dressage test has finished.
 

Indiangel

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I think that is what it's going to come down to. Those who love the risk and the thrill, and those who just can't watch anymore. Increasing levels of animal welfare legislation will, probably, one day severely alter the sport - some people will be happy about it, others won't be!

Personally, I'm not sure where I sit on it. But I do know that I find top level xc hard to watch sometimes and I find myself constantly battling with the ethics of what I ask my ridden horse to do - and how I react to her saying no.

It's all a very interesting topic of discussion, imo!
 

Tiddlypom

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I've found the FEI use of the whip rules. So yes, PF punishing her horse for stopping at fence 17 by using the whip just once does not count as a whip offence :rolleyes:. MS would maybe have got away with it if she had hit her horse twice only, unless she was considered to have lost her temper.

526.3 Use of the Whip
Excessive and/or misuse of the whip maybe considered abuse of Horse and will be reviewed case by case by the Ground Jury according to but not limited to the following principles:
a) The whip is not to be used to vent an Athlete temper.
b) The whip is not to be used after elimination.
c) The whip is not to be used after a Horse has jumped the last fence on a course.
d) The whip is not to be used overhand, (i.e. a whip in the right hand being used on the left flank).
e) The whip is not to be used on a Horse head.
f) The whip is not to be used more than two times for any one incident.
g) Multiple excessive uses of a whip between fences.
h) If a Horse’s skin is broken or has visible marks the use of whip will always be deemed to be excessive.
 

Rowreach

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I've found the FEI use of the whip rules. So yes, PF punishing her horse for stopping at fence 17 by using the whip just once does not count as a whip offence :rolleyes:. MS would maybe have got away with it if she had hit her horse twice only, unless she was considered to have lost her temper.

526.3 Use of the Whip
Excessive and/or misuse of the whip maybe considered abuse of Horse and will be reviewed case by case by the Ground Jury according to but not limited to the following principles:
a) The whip is not to be used to vent an Athlete temper.
b) The whip is not to be used after elimination.
c) The whip is not to be used after a Horse has jumped the last fence on a course.
d) The whip is not to be used overhand, (i.e. a whip in the right hand being used on the left flank).
e) The whip is not to be used on a Horse head.
f) The whip is not to be used more than two times for any one incident.
g) Multiple excessive uses of a whip between fences.
h) If a Horse’s skin is broken or has visible marks the use of whip will always be deemed to be excessive.

I really think they should add that the whip should not be used after a refusal while the horse is still facing the obstacle or being turned away from it.
 

ycbm

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The yellow card would have been given immediately after the ground jury saw him loosening the noseband before the official tack inspection which happens after the dressage test has finished.

Was he thrown out of the competition for being unable to present the horse for the tack inspection? He should have been if not. I can't think of one reason why anyone would do that than to hide the fact the noseband was done up too tight.
.
 

Tiddlypom

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Was he thrown out of the competition for being unable to present the horse for the tack inspection? He should have been if not. I can't think of one reason why anyone would do that than to hide the fact the noseband was done up too tight.
No he wasn't, but I agree that it should have meant an automatic removal from the competition. He meant to hide something. It's the same combination that went on to fall at the last XC fence in the main arena. The horse was down for a fair old while.
 

HashRouge

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I don't know why some posters seem so convinced that Oli was checking the horse's legs when he was face to the floor! He was quite clearly trying to stop himself falling off and get back in the saddle. I'm sure he could see the horse's legs, but I wouldn't put much faith in any "visual check" done at that point!
 

shortstuff99

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MagicMelon

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I think that is what it's going to come down to. Those who love the risk and the thrill, and those who just can't watch anymore. Increasing levels of animal welfare legislation will, probably, one day severely alter the sport - some people will be happy about it, others won't be!

Personally, I'm not sure where I sit on it. But I do know that I find top level xc hard to watch sometimes and I find myself constantly battling with the ethics of what I ask my ridden horse to do - and how I react to her saying no.

It's all a very interesting topic of discussion, imo!
Same. My OH questions me daily about why I feel its acceptable to ride my horse at all. I feel I am kind to my horses and I strive to give them a nice life, I never beat them up (in fact I dont carry a whip) etc. but yes I still have that pull towards eventing and show jumping. I dont wish to go up the levels eventing like I used to, Im happy to potter at lower levels where I feel its safer for the horses in general. If I hurt my horses going XC I dont think I could ever forgive myself to be honest. It is a hard one and the more equestrian sports are being targeted for animal abuse, the more I ponder its ethics. I do feel many people in the sport are still very traditional in their thoughts - that horses must be told who is boss to get their respect and they must do as their told and never step out of line. That doesnt work for me. Even on this forum, if someone posts an issue like napping or whatever then loads of people will basically say to "give it a wack" and if you suggest otherwise, youre branded some sort of bunny hugger which I find sad. People have to change their thoughts and ways of dealing with horses or we may well end up with no equestrian sports at this rate if we keep being deemed an abusive sport.
 
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