The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) General Assembly is meeting this week in Istanbul, Turkey. Their job is to review and approve (or not) the work of countless committees. Some of the changes will affect the conduct of sport, others how and when competitions are staged in different parts of the world.
Of particular interest to many will be a minor change to the rules for dressage.
Who doesn't remember the disqualification at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in 2010? World Cup champion Adelinde Cornelissen was stopped during her test and ultimately disqualified from the entire Games because a small cut on Parzival's tongue was bleeding.
Months later, it was discovered that specific language about blood in the mouth didn't exist in the dressage rules.?Since then, blood has been on the FEI's mind, and a change to the ruling has been in the works.
Almost a year after the controversy at Lexington, the FEI published a proposal for a complicated blood rule, which was described on The Jurga Report's coverage of that meeting.
The FEI's specific approved provision relates to under what circumstances a horse and ride will face elimination if blood shows anywhere?on the horse during competition.
Enter the FEI's new Article 430.7.6, developed in?close cooperation with the Veterinary Committee.
It reads: ?"Bleeding: If the Judge at C suspects fresh blood anywhere on the?horse during the test, he will stop the horse to check for blood. 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.?"If the horse is eliminated pursuant to the above, or if the horse is?injured during the test and starts bleeding after finishing the test, it'should be examined by an FEI Veterinarian prior to the next?Competition to determine if it ?is fit to continue in the Event the?following day(s).
"The decision of the FEI Veterinarian is not subject to appeal."
The information provided by the FEI does not specify how fresh the fresh blood would have to be, or perhaps how un-fresh the blood would have to be. It also does not specify any ruling on the appearance of blood on horses involved in any other FEI discipline.