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.

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…

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…

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