Cuckson Report

Hello from over the pond!

I’m Pippa Cuckson and have been part of the furniture in the UK equestrian media for over 35 years, associated mostly with Horse & Hound and more recently the Daily Telegraph. Some of you may recognize my name from my more recent campaigning for a clean-up of endurance in the Middle East, and for the "phantom rides" expose. Endurance ended up becoming something of a global cause celebre, for which media colleagues around the world have generously recognised me, with a couple of awards.

I would not presume to label myself as an "investigative journalist," though I would love to receive your suggestions about any other subjects you feel wants putting under the microscope. And when I am not doing any delving, I look forward to sharing with you my personal ruminations about the overall European scene.

Without officials to enforce the rules, how can we expect real improvements to the sport of endurance?

Weed out Weak Officials, If Endurance is to Have a Chance

It’s seven years since the inaugural FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne – April 2012. I remember it very well, for I was approached during a break by a senior vet who urged me to by-pass the eventing meeting I was…

What does Brexit mean for the horse industry?

Horsemen Want to Know How Brexit Will Affect the Horse Industry

A notice about the 25th successful season of the Sunshine Tour in Spain recently plopped into my mailbox. Twenty five years! I remember when these post-Christmas jumping shows began at Vejer de la Frontera, and how we were sceptical they…

In the run-up to many major FEI gatherings, we are often alerted there will be an update from its dressage judging working group.

The Dressage World Faces Collective(s) Angst

In the run-up to many major FEI gatherings, we are often alerted there will be an update from its dressage judging working group. It feels like this has been going on for a decade. In fact, the working group beavered…

A screenshot from footage of a horse being injected, allegedly in the final vet gate of the Kings Cup CEI in Bahrain.

It’s Time to Wind Endurance Back to Zero

Meetings of the FEI’s Endurance Temporary Committee – tasked with reviewing their sport for the umpteenth time – are always followed up with a press release. These missives include a quote about the new feeling of optimism and cooperation by…

Spanish Riding School members. (c) Stefan Seelig/

Spanish Riding School in New Turmoil Over ‘Political’ Appointment

I recently chanced upon this clip from “White Horses,” a kids TV show about the Lipizzaner stallions which was popular in the UK in the 1970. “White Horses” shaped a love of horses in most of my generation. My childhood…

Harry Charles must forfeit his two 2018 European young riders gold medals, with Great Britain demoted to team silver.

Don’t be a Dope – Read the Rules, Not Facebook!

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, especially on Facebook. How many millions of hours are wasted on social media by the uninformed just throwing something out there to be answered by people who don’t know either? Whatever happened to…

British Eventing has introduced a new rule requiring incompetent or dangerous riders to down-grade.

Not-so-Great Expectations for Reiners and Novice Eventers

Two recent news items about eventing and reining caught my eye. On the face of it nothing connects them. But to me there is a common factor. Both result from the unintended consequences of governing bodies deciding to broaden their…

Can This Latest Endurance Review Make a Difference?

The temporary committee charged with reinventing endurance (yet again) has been bombarded with ideas before its first face-to-face meeting with the FEI on December 12th. The committee’s new athlete representative, Tarek Taher, is also launching a long overdue riders group…

Fakery Revisited: How Sheikhs’ Mates Remain Immune from the Rules

We’ve had fake horse IDs, faked races and faked results in UAE endurance, so why not fake riders too? The FEI pledges again and again to clamp down on rule-breakers, but NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE because certain riders will always…

The Next Four Years: Random Thoughts on Ingmar’s Road Map

Since the FEI general assembly in Bahrain two weeks ago, the FEI website has featured a portrait of Ingmar de Vos, re-elected president unopposed. “The sky really is the limit” says the blurb, in a somewhat sweeping statement. Broad brush…

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