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.

Andrew Kocher himself wrote on Facebook on July 8th that he should have pulled up Carollo, in hindsight. Photo: facebook.com/andy.kocher.1

Kocher-Gate: Is There Really a Viable Case?

Debate is still raging, nearly two weeks on, about Andrew Kocher’s decision to jump Carollo in the onerous Spruce Meadows Derby the day after the same horse won another demanding class, the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (July 6-7.) As the…

Coroner Derek Lee will put the deaths of young eventers Caitlyn Fischer and Olivia Inglis under a magnifying glass.

Equestrians, Brace Yourselves for Tough Talk from the Coroner

Have you succumbed to Olympic qualifying fever yet? It may be a bit too soon unless you represent the Far East and are now facing up to the big difference between dreams and reality. The FEI recently issued a press…

Most riders rely on equestrian judges and officials to know the rules, but with so many discipline, general and veterinary regulations, it gets confusing.

It’s Time for Equestrians to Get Clearer Rules About Rules

No one reads a rule book from cover to cover until they fall foul of it; sometimes, not even then. By competing, you agree to abide by a sport’s rules but in reality, sitting down to immerse yourself in hundreds…

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/facebook.com/SpanischeHofreitschule

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…

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