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.

ascending spread/triple bar at Chateaubriant where Maxime Debost was killed, which the FEI says could not be pinned.

Frangibles 2

A quirky series of adverts currently on British TV is certainly making an impact. Folks in everyday situations, like the grocery store are faffing around, trying to decide between one can and another when the disembodied head of Arnold Schwarzenegger…

To Pin or Not to Pin? Let’s Stop Procrastinating!

The death of Maxime Debost at a one-star event in France last weekend was caused by yet another “rotational,” the type of fall when, having struck an immovable part of the fence, the horse tips in mid-air and, unavoidably, lands…

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

The UAE desert endurance season is chugging into gear. It is accompanied by the annual spike in FEI horse registrations, mostly of the plane-loads of imported unfortunates set to hustle round the early 40km and 80km desert rides to “qualify”…

Getting Your Act Together on Togetherness

Team success is as much to do with top riders all having super-star horses at exactly the same time their rivals don’t, as it is to state-aided high performance schemes. So in dressage, Britain is coming to terms with the…

It’s Hard to Enthuse About Landmarks You Cannot See

Do you get repeats of Blackadder across the pond, the cult BBC TV sitcom starring our beloved Rowan Atkinson? It is set in various historical eras, and in his earliest manifestation Blackadder is the odious son of a medieval king,…

Pay to Play or Paid to Play? They’ll Both End in Tears One Day….

When I wrote about problems in the British world class programme at the end of June I did not realise quite how bad the situation had become. Three weeks later, the chief executive of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) Clare Salmon…

Preparation, Opportunity – and the Bartle Factor

It can’t be a total coincidence. Chris Bartle starts training the Brits and at Strzegom in Poland they win their first European eventing team gold in eight years. Chris Bartle stops training the Germans, and they don’t wholly dominate the…

Voting Rights and Wrongs

This side of the pond it is generally thought that “Brexit” was voted on by older people and opposed by the young. Students and 20-somethings have become increasingly bitter about the likely economic hardship foisted on them by the selfish…

Forgery City

I don’t know what is worse, the imagination applied to forgery in international endurance or the fact the FEI seems resigned to it. Of course, passing off a horse as something it isn’t is as old as time itself. And…

More Bloody Confusion

I’ve been baffled by aspects of the public indignation over Scott Brash’s disqualification after winning a Global Champions League event in Portugal for microscopic/alleged blood on the flanks of Hello Forever. I completely agree it’s shameful that some of the…

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