Tuesday, September 28, 2010

WEG dramz, already!!!

Adelinde Cornelissen and her horse, Jerich Parzival,
earlier this week in Kentucky. Photo by Eventing Nation
Two Grand Prix dressage riders have already been dismissed from the ring (disqualified from the competition) for health or soundness issues of their horses. Dutch rider Adelinde Cornelissen and her horse, Jerich Parzival, were dinged for having blood in the horse's mouth. This is a picture of her warming up earlier this week in Kentucky, prompting many interested parties to jump on the abuse bandwagon and disagree with her riding/control methods. What do I think? I think it's unfortunate that it happened, as it seems to have occured between the mouth check at the entrance to the ring and the moment she was rung out for it. Could have been a bite on the tongue, which is not abuse in-and-of-itself. But, it does make me wonder -- in this particular situation -- what condition the horse's mouth/tongue was in for it to be so worked up it nicks the tongue or even bites the cheek. If this is what it takes to control and aid a GP level horse, I'm not sure I would or could do this. But, it's all conjecture at this point. Assumed abuse and horse injury is something eventers have to cringe over every day ("they don't want to jump those jumps....you FORCE them to, and then they break their necks and their legs....etc, etc."). I won't pass judgement on Adelinde's riding or style, but I am grateful to the British judge who removed them from the competition.

The second rider to be eliminated was Australian rider Hayley Beresford, who was rung out for her horse displaying irregular movement during the extended trot (which, to the non-horsey folks, means that he was showing lameness). Let's hope the Americans are ready and healthy and are keeping it together. I'd love to see them show well in honor of Courtney!

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