Proposed FEI Rule Changes for 2019 Address Blood on Horses, Whip Use

Photo by Eric Swinebroad

The FEI Eventing Committee has released a summary of proposed rule changes for 2019. The proposed changes will be discussed and voted on at the FEI General Assembly in Manama, Bahrain on Nov. 16-20, 2018. All approved rule changes will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

While there are rule changes impacting numerouus different sections of the FEI Eventing Rulebook, the proposed changes most notably address blood on horses and use of the whip, as well as yellow warning cards and recorded warnings in cases of blood on the horse and excessive use of the whip.

Key proposed rule changes addressing blood, whip use and yellow cards:

  • All cases of minor blood on the horse caused by the athlete, either in the mouth or on the flanks from spurs, will be given a recorded warning or stronger sanctions.
  • Should the same athlete receive more than one recorded warning for a case of athlete-induced blood on a horse within three years, the athlete will automatically receive a yellow warning card.
  • Two recorded warnings for the same offense will result in a yellow warning card.
  • Use of the whip has been limited to two times per use. The ground jury can deem multiple excessive uses of a whip between fences as abuse of the horse.
  • If a horse’s skin is broken or has visible marks, the use of the whip will always be considered excessive.
  • All cases of excessive use of the whip will automatically result in a yellow warning card or stronger sanction.

Read on for a detailed summary of FEI proposed rule changes for 2019 that address blood, whip use and yellow cards. For ease of reading we have listed all proposed wording changes in bold red for added language or struck through for deleted language.

You can view the full summary of proposed changes on the FEI website here

Blood on Horses

Multiple changes have been proposed for Article 526.4 Blood on Horses “to line up with Dressage and Jumping for the respective tests.” The FEI Eventing Committee is also adding a definition of “athlete induced blood” to “differentiate from minor brush injuries on Cross Country.”

New proposed wording: For Eventing, all blood on the horse if induced by athlete (spurs, bit, and whip), must be reviewed case by case by the Ground Jury. Not all cases of blood will lead to elimination.

Dressage Test: If the Ground Jury suspects bleeding, induced by the Athlete, on the Horse during the test, he will stop the Horse to check. If the Horse shows fresh blood, it will be eliminated. The elimination is final. If the Judge through examination clarifies that the Horse has no fresh blood, the Horse may resume and finish its test (refer to article 430 of the FEI Dressage Rules)

Cross Country Test: In minor cases of blood in the mouth, such as where a Horse appears to have bitten its tongue or lip, or minor bleeding, after investigation in consultation with the Veterinarian, the Ground Jury may authorise the Athlete to continue.

Jumping Test: Horses with blood on the flank(s) and/or bleeding in the mouth will be eliminated. In minor cases of blood, such as where a Horse appears to have bitten its tongue or lip, Officials may authorize the rinsing or wiping of the mouth and allow the Athlete to continue; any further evidence of blood in the mouth will result in Elimination (refer article 241).

For all minor cases (*) of blood induced by the Athlete in the mouth or related to spurs a Recorded Warning will be issued by the Ground Jury after providing the Athlete the opportunity to have a hearing.

(*) The cases indicating Abuse of Horse will be dealt with according to the provision of Art. 526 (Abuse of Horse – Warnings and Penalties).

Blood on Horses must be reviewed case by case by the Ground Jury. Not all cases of blood will lead to elimination. In minor cases of blood in the mouth, such as where a Horse appears to have bitten its tongue or lip, or minor bleeding, after investigation in consultation with the Veterinarian, the Ground Jury may authorise the Athlete to continue. 

Use of Whip

Multiple changes have been proposed for Article 526.3 Use of whip “to allow stricter options for Ground Jury decision on Cross Country.”

New proposed wording: Excessive and/or misuse of the whip may be considered Abuse of Horse and will be reviewed on a case by case basis 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’s head.

f) The whip is not to be used more than three two times for any one incident.

g) Multiple excessive uses of a whip between fences.

h) If a Horse’s skin is broken the use of the whip is always excessive

i) If a Horse’s skin is broken or has visible marks the use of whip will always be deemed to be excessive.

Yellow Warnings Cards and Recording Warnings

The FEI Eventing Committee is proposing changes to the yellow card system and added a new sanction called a Recorded Warning.

Proposed wording changes: The following actions will automatically result in the following sanction for the Athlete:

– All cases of minor Blood on Horse caused by the Athlete either in the mouth or on flanks from spurs shall be sanctioned by a Recorded Warning as a minimum or by stronger sanction(s) (as provided for under Art. 525.2)

– All cases of excessive use of whip, as defined above, shall automatically be sanctioned with a Yellow Warning Card or by stronger sanction(s) (as provided for under Art. 525.2)

– A Yellow Warning Card will be systematically awarded if the Athlete continues after 3 refusals

– Should the same Athlete receive more than one Recorded Warning for a case of Athlete induced Blood on a Horse within three years, he will automatically be issued a Yellow Warning Card.”

– Two Recorded Warnings for the same offence will result in a Yellow Warning Card

You can view the full summary of proposed changes on the FEI website here. Check back to EN soon for more on other proposed rule changes for 2019.

What do you think of the proposed rule changes for blood, whip use and yellow cards, EN? Let us know in the comments below.

Comments