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.

Stocking fillers: topics that deserve a longer blog, but it’s nearly Christmas and I want some time off!

Global Champions Tour: On September 29th, GCT sent out a promotional video of Scott Brash and Ludger Beerbaum effusing about a new GCT teams concept set to “revolutionize” their sport. I have to say I felt they were busking it…

Is Welfare ‘Paramount’ – or Just a Pain in the Neck?

On Saturday, I went National Hunt racing to support a friend’s horse. He was caught on the line for third place, but connections were thrilled as he has come back from a couple of niggles last year and runs and…

Hiding in Plain Sight

Here is another “doppelganger” allegation reported to the FEI early in 2012 and investigated, until apparently fizzling out by the end of that year. The “paper trail” is still hiding in plain sight on the FEI database today. A chestnut…

‘Systemic Ineptitude’ Has Put All Sports Horses at Risk

One of my all-time favourite films is All The President’s Men, about the Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, who unravelled the Watergate scandal and ultimately forced the resignation of Richard Nixon. Woodward had a source known as…

Marmoog Watch: The Final Insult

Sheikh Hamdan, Crown Prince of Dubai, will face no action over the “Marmoog” horse swap allegations after the FEI announced today that “no legal action can be taken for procedural reasons and due to a lack of conclusive evidence.” However, the…

I Wanna Hold Your Hand…

Candidates for the FEI presidency have now published their manifestos, but even with this belated opportunity to widen debate into issues rather than personalities, Ingmar de Vos is still getting flak. The current FEI secretary general has controversial ambitions to…

How to Make Up a Presidential Campaign as You Go Along

I recently heard a fantastic put-down in a trailer for a TV show. A new boss introduces himself: “Hello, I am replacing Professor Dalton.” A waspish underling retorts: “No, you are not replacing him. You are merely getting his job.”…

Marmoog Watch Continued and Democracy at Work

It’s seven months and 11 days since The Daily Telegraph gave the FEI photographic evidence of Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum (Crown Prince of Dubai, new world champion and stepson of outgoing FEI president Princess Haya) riding two different horses under…

2,000 Penalty Points? Step Up to the Podium, Please!

I have keenly read debate on social media and elsewhere as to whether the all-sports-in-one-basket formula has reached its sell-by date, in the wake of the shambolic WEG at Normandy. I don’t know Bromont, but from what one can deduce…

A Small Step on the Road of Rule Enforcement

I was unexpectedly in the news myself this week when the FEI Tribunal upheld the protest I lodged with fellow journalist Lucy Higginson over the Bahrain endurance “video nasty” that caused such public anger back in February. Horse-Canada and others…

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