Bertram Allen Disqualification at Olympia

www.chronofhorse.com/article/bertram-allen-disqualified-olympia-grand-prix-win

What’s your opinion on this matter???

Unfortunate as I doubt very seriously BA meant to harm his horse, but it is the rules and the horse’s welfare is paramount. If we have washy officials who let this slide, they will let other things slide… I am glad that the stewards stood their ground in what was obviously a very important and divisive decision.

I think throwing a fit about it is ridiculous. Yes, it is a shame for him when it was such a small amount and clearly not from abuse on his part. However, how and where you would draw a line if you allowed any amount of blood would open it up for abuse and mistreatment.

I have a horse who regularly bites his tongue at play and has a resulting bloody mouth. He has done it once when ridden. He also has super thin skin and has bled from the fold in a boot (I threw out that pair of boots!) or the reinforced edge of a saddle pad. If I start showing him again, I am almost guaranteed to have blood get us eliminated sometime because he bleeds so easily. But I still fully support blood rules for the implications to the overall wellbeing of horses.

It is a shame as I am sure there was no intent to hurt his horse, but the rules must be enforced for everyone.

Yes, I think that making it a “judgement call” opens up a whole can of worms and sets a dangerous precedent. Blood = Disqualified, cut and dry, is the only way for it to be fair.

I’m with most here, you can’t gauge intent and everyone should abide by the same rules no matter how good the ride or how big the prize. On most horses, it would take a pretty strong aid to draw blood and you can see a line on the horse’s side too.

it is a bit bad to see the sarcastic tweets etc from the groom and other riders

it is bad PR, it is bad sportsmanship

[QUOTE=hoopoe;8451145]it is a bit bad to see the sarcastic tweets etc from the groom and other riders

it is bad PR, it is bad sportsmanship[/QUOTE]

Definitely bad sportsmanship. :no:

[QUOTE=hoopoe;8451145]it is a bit bad to see the sarcastic tweets etc from the groom and other riders

it is bad PR, it is bad sportsmanship[/QUOTE]

Agreed - seeing him disqualified was an “ah well, $hit happens - know he’s a good guy” reaction… but then seeing the tweets made me feel perhaps not so sympathetic for him and connections… Whether or not he feels he deserved it, he DID inadvertently cause harm to his horse… would rather seem him (read: connections) own up to it and apologize publicly for the horse than complain on social media.

This (and several others). Having to decide intent or if X or Y amount of blood is too much would create all sort of subjective decisions that would lead to more problems. This is a bright line rule meant to protect the horse’s welfare. I agree that the tweets are bad PR. I would have much rather have him say this was unfortunate, but the rule is there for the horse’s well being and our team will review if any changes need to be made…or something along those lines.

I also agree with this. While it sucks big time when it happens to you, and while I’m sure there have already been and will always be some that are caught by this rule in cases of true accidents, as long as there are loopholes in the rules, the rulebreakers will find them and exploit them. Unfortunately, tighter rules largely affect those that were following the rules in the first place, since the cheaters are always going to be looking for a loophole in any rule presented.

Also agree that the social media posts were in pretty bad taste. Would have been a much better PR picture for them to just apologize that this grievous “accident” caused any (even if miniscule) harm for the horse, and they understand the rules are there for a reason. I myself have given my thin skinned chestnut (also VERY lazy and VERY large) a spur mark that bled and I felt awful about it, even thought it was totally accidental and has never happened since. Sh*t happens, and it sucks when it happens in an international competition. I know this is probably easy for me to say on the sidelines, not just having lost all of that prize money that likely could have made a large difference for BA’s career, but the larger good is more important here.

Like when Steffen Peters and Legolas were disqualified at the World Cup Finals for this very same thing - there was the initial “UGH, this sucks so much!” but then it was basically “I’d never do anything to intentionally hurt my horse, but rules is rules so we accept our disqualification.”

I wish these officials had been at the Boekelo and Fair Hill events last fall, when Marilyn Little’s horses had obvious blood coming out of their mouths due to chains being used on their nosebands instead of leather straps.

http://the900facebookpony.com/2015/10/23/when-does-control-become-abuse/

It’s inconsistency of rule application that bothers me. I think it’s cut and dry: if blood is present, you get disqualified. I agree the groom’s response, as well as some of the other responses, showed poor sportsmanship. In today’s media world, equestrian sports always need to put their best foot forward.

Thank God they didn’t have social media back when I was the groom. I would be in jail for murder, too. Go review Marlen’s blog posts on World of Showjumping and see how meticulous, driven and hardworking she is. She puts in an enormous effort for her charges’ welfare. Throw in the ages of tradition and prestige that go with Olympia and its no wonder she was embittered. Perhaps she should not have hit “send.” But to see a dream go up in smoke, and having full support from every rider beaten that day, its not surprising she had to vent.

[QUOTE=KellyS;8451219]I wish these officials had been at the Boekelo and Fair Hill events last fall, when Marilyn Little’s horses had obvious blood coming out of their mouths due to chains being used on their nosebands instead of leather straps.

http://the900facebookpony.com/2015/10/23/when-does-control-become-abuse/

It’s inconsistency of rule application that bothers me. I think it’s cut and dry: if blood is present, you get disqualified. I agree the groom’s response, as well as some of the other responses, showed poor sportsmanship. In today’s media world, equestrian sports always need to put their best foot forward.[/QUOTE]

I made the same comment on Chronicle’s Facebook post about this.

My immediate reaction was shouting SERIOUSLY!?

But it is because of Marilyn Little I had this reaction. She gets supporters in her sport, and in BA’s case, the skin was taken off the hide and he gets disqualified? Talk about a double standard…

I would say overall, ML has way more detractors than BA - by a long shot. So I’m not sure it is such a double standard. BA and the team would probably be met with near universal sympathy if not for their reaction afterwords. No matter HOW disappointed that team is, I suspect it pales in comparison to Steffan Peters and Legolas’ team at WEG, and yet they handled this same issue with grace and class.

Now if ML got a free pass when blood was clearly visible at the time of inspection, that’s a double standard in application of the rules, and reprehensible. But I do not think anyone has any evidence to support that? (That’s truly a question, I’ve only seen pics that were posted after the event, so I could not say that the blood was evident at inspection or seen while the horse was on course).

The stewards at Fair Hill pulled her aside to examine her horse after she finished cross country. There is a picture somewhere that shows just how much blood was present. She told them it was due to her bit pinching the horse’s mouth and they did not do anything. That disgusts me. When you use chains on lever nosebands combined with leverage and/or twisted wire bits, and the horse’s mouth is bleeding profusely, that should be cause for disqualification.

Here is her horse’s mouth immediately after cross country at Fair Hill:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10207223995012409&l=bba808792a

You can also see it (especially if you enlarge the photo) here, while she is on course (it was also clearly visible to spectators):
https://www.flickr.com/photos/furlong47/22185943809/in/dateposted-public/

I feel terrible for Bertram Allen because I do not think he had any intention of harming his horse–spur rubs happen. But it does make me upset to see him disqualified when the incident above did not elicit the same result.

I agree that the rule is the rule and was applied appropriately. It is unfortunate that a “good guy” got bit by it - but it will help when a “bad guy” also gets caught with the same strict application of the rule and hopefully prevents actually poor horsemanship.

So that all said - anyone know FEI tack rules well? I’ve never looked them up - but this makes me wonder if it is allowable to ride with something like the Equifit Belly Band to prevent such spur rubs in the future if you know you have a thin skinned horse?

I school my horse in one all winter while he’s clipped because his hair just rubs right off (never bleeds) but I hate the look of spur rubs and it can’t be comfortable for him. But I’ve never considered showing him in it. I wonder if there are any rules against it?

Here are the FEI Jumping Rules for 2016.