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.

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…

Welfare or Public Perception? The Disconnect in FEI Rules

When the representatives of national federations approve new FEI sports rules for 2019 I wonder how many will ponder, even fleetingly, why there is no real holistic approach to the welfare elements? Hot topics are usually dealt with through the…

Doping: The Figures Behind the Headlines at Tryon

The FEI, quite understandably, has flagged up the nearly clean sheet achieved in the extensive sampling carried out at Tryon, save for two endurance horses. The Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Programme always goes into overdrive at WEGs and Olympic…

Will Less be More in Experimental Dressage Grand Prix?

“But we’ve always done it this way” is the reason often trotted out to oppose change, even when it might just be change for the better. This is the inevitable reaction to news that a shorter dressage Grand Prix will…

Brief Encounters – The New ‘Normal’ in Endurance

I haven’t spoken to, or read anything written by, any veterinarian that disagrees with abandoning the Tryon WEG endurance ride. Vets all seem emphatic that horses were not coping with the fast rising heat and humidity. One told me some…

Should Tryon Ever be Allowed to Try Again?

Over the past 12 years I have written six lengthy pieces for various publications asking “what is the point of the World Equestrian Games (WEG)?” Anyone over 50 will recall the kudos and success of single-discipline world championships that were…

Eventing Draws the Short Straw Yet Again

Who would bet against Tim or Jonelle Price being eventing world champion in two weeks’ time? What a superb Burghley for this hugely likeable pair. Tim may have been the winning jockey this time, but theirs is a true team…

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