Maybe not the pen, but the World Wide Web seems to wield a hefty, if virtual, sword. Today I received an official statement from the FEI by email – I was informed that my blog on the Michael Morrissey whippy-whippy misdemeanor had been duly noted at Mission Control, and was sent the following statement:
The FEI is aware of the incident involving Michael Morrissey of the USA riding the horse Crelido at CSI2* Wellington on 27 February. We are investigating the matter alongside the USEF to determine whether, and to what extent the rider breached FEI and/or USEF rules. Mr. Morrissey was nevertheless disqualified from the rest of this Event and was not permitted to continue taking part in the United States Selection Trials for the World Equestrian Games organised during that and the following week.
Well that’s something, at least, and a gratifying bit of evidence that I’m not just sitting here talking to myself. There have been an impressive number of responses to my blogs on this topic, and while I am not a frequenter of the forums I suspect there has been some chatter there as well. One commenter (see Kmac’s comment on my March 21st post) pointed out that this is not the first time our young man has shown inappropriate enthusiasm for use of the whip. For those of you who wanted to see the video on Shownet.biz, if you didn’t go there yet, it’s too late. Morrissey’s name has magically vanished from the results entirely, along with the link to the video of his violent round. Trust me and those who have posted comments who saw it – there can be no doubt that there is no ‘if’ when it comes to violating abuse rules (or saddlery rules, as the whip overuse rule has been defined in the FEI rulebook). In my experience, shortly after public outrage comes infinite lethargy and silence as our short attention spans move onto other matters, such as whether Crystal is going to be the next American Idol and what to cook for Easter dinner. I hereby solemnly vow that I will not stop blogging and investigating the Morrissey story until there is some final resolution or statement from the FEI. Sure, it’s a USEF matter too – but this was an FEI sanctioned event, and I believe that the FEI must take responsibility. It will be interesting to see if the FEI ever issues press releases about the matter – I need to do some digging to see if there is even a place on the FEI website for disciplinary cases…
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I couldn’t watch the WC Final last Saturday because first I was sleeping, then I was driving, then I was working while it all went down. I emailed the folks at FEI TV to ask when they would be making on-demand video available of the Final, and received two answers: one that it will be up in the next 48 hours, and another that it will be up by early next week at the latest. Depending on which promise is true, you will hear from me again after I’ve sat down with a glass of rose, a bowl of popcorn and taken in the amazing Dutch dominance of this WC Final. Imagine that – A Dutch three-way sweep and nary an Anky in the bunch.