After the FEI came out with its report that there was no scientific evidence that riding a horse in hyperflexion had detrimental physical effects (they also concluded that much more extensive and expensive research would be necessary to determine if there was the risk of psychological damage), the whole furor over roll kur died down – I thought possibly forever. I was dead wrong. In fact, the video showing Patrick Kittel’s horse’s tongue hanging out that caused such outrage last week in the online chat world has brought the whole thing back to the surface like an undigested Big Mac. The first presentation yesterday at the GDF came from David Holmes, the FEI’s Exec Sport Director. And the first topic of his presentation was an official FEI statement on the Kittel scandal. Here is the FEI statement, verbatim:

The FEI’s main concern has always been, and always will be, the welfare of the horse. We are taking the issues raised in the video and in the comments made by other Youtube videos very seriously, and have opened a full investigagtion. The conclusions of this investigation will be made public in due course.

Holmes went on to say the following: “it must not be assumed that this investigation is a negative thing against Patrick. It’s open and objective. We will be arriving at a conclusion as quickly as we possibly can.”

If haven’t already leapt into the fray and are interested in doing so, here is the info to get you started:

And if you want to curl up with the comments flying around online, go here:

Or here:

I finally watched the video and I know I’m going to be dragged over the CotH coals for saying this, but I don’t really see what is so incriminating about the video. The horse’s tongue looks blue from one angle, but as he goes past the camera it looks very pink on the underside. The video does not show the horse being worked for the reported two hours, and the horse looks neither tired nor distressed. There is no sweat on him in any of the video clips, indicating that the footage put up on Youtube is from early in the ride. If they want to lend credence to their accusation, why would they not put up footage of a horse that is clearly at the end of a too-long ride that worked him too hard in one shape? I have a question for the many, many of you who have shrieked out in shock and outrage. Did you think hyperflexion had gone away? Did you believe that no one was using it any more? Because if so, you are terribly mistaken. You may very well not be mistaken in your argument that this kind of riding can be cruel and abusive. I’m not saying that I think this training method is ok. In fact, I haven’t spent enough time observing it or learning about how long it is used and for what result to have an educated opinion. But some of the CotH dribblers are unfortunately sounding more ignorant than anything else. One of them went so far as to say the horse had a four beat canter, which is just talking out of her poo hole, not to mention straying far off topic.

For those of you who are enraged by what I’ve written, go my blog from a few weeks ago entitled ‘Odds and Sods’, scroll to the bottom, and order one of my Karen voodoo dolls. I guarantee you will feel vindicated by just a few pin pokes.

So far the GDF has been a bit tame, but I’m off to the doping session right now with high hopes that some issues will actually cause debate. Yesterday the main debate was whether to have red cabbage, or sauerkraut, or both with dinner.