Plans to give FEI jumping shows the discretion to eliminate horses as soon as they incur 16 penalties in any round have been scrapped, following complaints that the system could be abused by organizers.
The FEI jumping committee hoped to create a new rule allowing the cut-off score to be applied in “any given competition,” providing this is clearly stipulated in the schedule. Riders would have to stop as soon as the bell is rung, but could complete a combination they had already commenced, or jump one single obstacle before leaving the arena.
Canada was the only national federation to actively support the proposal, though USEF felt it was not necessary: “It has the potential to create a negative habit for a horse if it understands that it stops jumping after having several faults. There are times when it may be beneficial for a horse to complete the course. While we understand that this is not the norm, we do not believe it needs to be regulated.”
The International Jumping Officials Club FEI did not support it “if the aim is to save time.” They suggested FEI should try to define when a performance is not up to standard, allowing the ground jury to eliminate for horse welfare reasons.
The FEI jumping committee explained that the cut-off score was originally discussed as a potential Table A format for the 2020 Olympic Games. The committee has in the meantime decided not to include it for Tokyo or any other competition.