What is Abuse?
Yanking a horse in the mouth.
Hitting, and whipping.
Depriving a horse of food or water.
Riding a horse whilst it is in pain.
Forcing a tired horse to continue.
Over severe or ill-fitting tack.
These are just a few examples of the sort of abuse we have all seen at endurance competitions.
Anyone can report abuse seen at an FEI ride, there is no time limit to respect for an abuse protest. It does not cost any money to submit an abuse protest.
The FEI defines abuse in its General Regulations.
GRs Article 142.1:
No person may abuse a Horse during an Event or at any other time. “Abuse” means an action or omission which causes or is likely to cause pain or unnecessary discomfort to a Horse, including but not limited to:
- To whip or beat a Horse excessively;
- To subject a Horse to any kind of electric shock device;
- To use spurs excessively or persistently;
- To jab the Horse in the mouth with the bit or any other device;
- To compete using an exhausted, lame or injured Horse;
- To “rap” a Horse.
- To abnormally sensitise or desensitise any part of the Horse;
- To leave a Horse without adequate food, drink or exercise;
- To use any device or equipment which causes excessive pain to the Horse upon knocking down an obstacle.
Examples of success abuse protests can be found here.
There is also an interesting article on an abuse case from 2019 here. This case used video evidence taken from the live stream of the ride and the person who filed the abuse protest was not present at the ride.
What to do if you see abuse at a ride
Try to take photos or film the incident. Do not put yourself in danger. Try to include the rider's face and bib number to help with identification. Try to get witness statements from other people who saw the incident. Report it to an FEI steward or the FEI ground Jury.
You can report abuse directly to the FEI through the Equestrian Community Integrity Unit. Their confidential service information is here.
Or, if you are worried about repercussions, you can report it to us here or via our contact form and we will take your information forward to the FEI. We will not reveal your identity without your permission.