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Swiss Land ‘Final’ Tokyo Slot, But Team Chances Still Out There

Switzerland claimed the last Olympic team place for 2020 at the FEI eventing Nations Cup final at Boekelo in the Netherlands October 13th. Their squad has been coached since the winter by Andrew Nicholson and it certainly shows. They finished best of the teams in the overall Nations Cup rankings not already bound for Tokyo. The Tokyo factor added an extra frisson to Boekelo’s traditionally lively end-of-season party. But Boekelo might not quite be the Tokyo last-chance, because “qualification” has a strange interpretation in equestrian...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

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Coroner’s 31 Recommendations to Make Australian Eventing Safer

Coroner Offers 31 Recommendations to Make Australian Eventing Safer A coroner has delivered 31 extensive recommendations about the future organisation of eventing in Australia, requiring a wholesale change in mind-set about safety, review processes and peer-group input into course approval. Today in Sydney, deputy state coroner Derek Lee presented his findings into the deaths of Olivia Inglis, 17, and Caitlyn Fischer, 19, both at spring 2016 events in New South Wales. If applied, Mr Lee’s suggestions would make Equestrian Australia’s (E...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

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Contamination is Becoming a Stain on Equestrian Sport

Contamination is the current “go to” defence in doping in all sports, whether the athlete has deliberately cheated or not. In FEI Tribunal decisions, you will read many far-fetched excuses as well as credible ones. The endurance community was recently entertained by the case of trainer Ismail Mohammed, banned for two years for a testosterone positive ...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

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UAE Endurance: Letting the Fox Rule the Hen House

Only someone who has been either a) in a coma or b) resident on Mars for several years cannot know that FEI endurance has spiralled out of control in the Middle East, and the UAE in particular, for nearly 20 years. The FEI’s latest attempts at reform are in the final stages of consultation. On top of the standard procedure, a day was devoted to the draft proposals of the FEI’s “emergency” endurance c...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

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Kocher-Gate: Is There Really a Viable Case?

Debate is still raging, nearly two weeks on, about Andrew Kocher’s decision to jump Carollo in the onerous Spruce Meadows Derby the day after the same horse won another demanding class, the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (July 6-7.) As the rest of the world knows from the cringe-inducing video that went viral, Carollo crashed and burned his way to 28 faults. We know Carollo was Tired because his connections posted a video of a subdued C...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

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Equestrians, Brace Yourselves for Tough Talk from the Coroner

Have you succumbed to Olympic qualifying fever yet? It may be a bit too soon unless you represent the Far East and are now facing up to the big difference between dreams and reality. The FEI recently issued a press release about the first ever Olympic team slots in eventing achieved by China and Thailand, at a specially arranged qualifier in Saumur, France. Having opened up Olympic participation to extra...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

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It’s Time for Equestrians to Get Clearer Rules About Rules

No one reads a rule book from cover to cover until they fall foul of it; sometimes, not even then. By competing, you agree to abide by a sport’s rules but in reality, sitting down to immerse yourself in hundreds of pages of convoluted bumph is not appealing, especially when English is not even our native language. You rely on equestrian judges and officials to know them. What’s more, FEI General Regulations and Veterinary Regulations always supersede the rules of your particular discipline, so ideally you should tackle those mighty tomes...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

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Weed out Weak Officials, If Endurance is to Have a Chance

It’s seven years since the inaugural FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne – April 2012. I remember it very well, for I was approached during a break by a senior vet who urged me to by-pass the eventing meeting I was heading to, and attend the endurance debate instead. The endurance, in fact, proved news-worthy indeed. We media (all two of us!) arrived late, but once we’d got our notebooks out, distinguished officials stood up and spoke frankly about doping, cheating and death – many of them clearly directing their remarks towards the press. ...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

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Horsemen Want to Know How Brexit Will Affect the Horse Industry

A notice about the 25th successful season of the Sunshine Tour in Spain recently plopped into my mailbox. Twenty five years! I remember when these post-Christmas jumping shows began at Vejer de la Frontera, and how we were sceptical they would catch on. In the same way that north Americans who can afford it relocate to the warmer climes of Florida in the winter, sun-loving Brits have always spent their colder months in Spain or Portugal. Thousands have second homes or t...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

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The Dressage World Faces Collective(s) Angst

In the run-up to many major FEI gatherings, we are often alerted there will be an update from its dressage judging working group. It feels like this has been going on for a decade. In fact, the working group beavered away for 18 months but I expect it feels like 10 years to them, too. Goodness knows their 19 recommendations were put out for consultation enough times, so how frustrating and exhausting that at this late stage there are moves to...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson