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When CCI Means CSI

The initials CSI can apply to both the official FEI abbreviation for an international jumping show, and the name of a global TV crime franchise. I am wondering how soon before the two worlds collide. I am applying a bit of licence, of course, because its actually a CCI that may need to resemble a crime scene investigation, but you will soon get the picture. One would hope, and be entitled to think, that safety technology is by now in widespread use on cross-country courses around the world. The only limiting factor, inexcusable as it may see...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

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Spot-the-Marmoog – The New Christmas Party Game for all the Family!

A couple of posts ago, I remarked that anyone who searched randomly through the FEI database was likely, within 20 minutes, to chance upon a horse whose provenance did not stack up. This followed revelations about the failed FEI investigation into whether dressage horse Wily Earl and the three-years-younger Golden Coin were one and the same, a case drawn to my attention after the collapse of the Marmoog horse-swap enquiry on a legal technical...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

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Stocking fillers: topics that deserve a longer blog, but it’s nearly Christmas and I want some time off!

Global Champions Tour: On September 29th, GCT sent out a promotional video of Scott Brash and Ludger Beerbaum effusing about a new GCT teams concept set to "revolutionize" their sport. I have to say I felt they were busking it a bit, the absence of detail leaving the rumour-mill to hypothesize that riders can be "owned, bought or sold" by commercial sponsors or private patrons for their four-man teams, similar to soccer or polo. €2m is the speculated entry point. There was to be a special class during each GCT show on top of ...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

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Is Welfare ‘Paramount’ – or Just a Pain in the Neck?

On Saturday, I went National Hunt racing to support a friend's horse. He was caught on the line for third place, but connections were thrilled as he has come back from a couple of niggles last year and runs and jumps better every time. At 15-1, it was also a profitable each-way bet. This prodded to me ponder that no bookmaker would have offered odds on the dead-certainty that Ingmar de Vos would be voted new president of the FEI. The only wager you might have considered was the extent of Ingmar's landslide. Thanks to modern technology, I was a...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

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Hiding in Plain Sight

Here is another "doppelganger" allegation reported to the FEI early in 2012 and investigated, until apparently fizzling out by the end of that year. The "paper trail" is still hiding in plain sight on the FEI database today. A chestnut called Wyatt Earp 25, a Bavarian by Weltrang L and born on March 1, 1995, was purchased for the well-known British professional and Hickstead CDI organiser Dane Rawlins. They legitimately re-named him Wily Earl and competed him internationally during 2006 and 2007. Rawlins part-exchanged the horse at the en...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

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‘Systemic Ineptitude’ Has Put All Sports Horses at Risk

One of my all-time favourite films is All The President's Men, about the Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, who unravelled the Watergate scandal and ultimately forced the resignation of Richard Nixon. Woodward had a source known as "Deep Throat," whom he met in a basement garage.* Deep Throat never gave away solid information; instead, he offered cryptic clues. About 18 months into the investigation, Woodward tells Deep Throat that he and Bernstein are still baffled why the Nixon entourage's covert o...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

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Marmoog Watch: The Final Insult

Sheikh Hamdan, Crown Prince of Dubai, will face no action over the "Marmoog" horse swap allegations after the FEI announced today that "no legal action can be taken for procedural reasons and due to a lack of conclusive evidence." However, the FEI has simultaneously announced that as a result of "loopholes" found by the investigation, it is reviewing horse identification processes and undertaking a "full review of its legal system." This ...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

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I Wanna Hold Your Hand…

Candidates for the FEI presidency have now published their manifestos, but even with this belated opportunity to widen debate into issues rather than personalities, Ingmar de Vos is still getting flak. The current FEI secretary general has controversial ambitions to change FEI statutes so that, if elected, he becomes the first salaried president. Swiss rival Pierre Genecand, who commissioned the legal advice that undermined the FEI’s own interpretation what was permissible, and Javier Revuelta (the Spanish lawyer who withdrew from the pres...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

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How to Make Up a Presidential Campaign as You Go Along

I recently heard a fantastic put-down in a trailer for a TV show. A new boss introduces himself: “Hello, I am replacing Professor Dalton.” A waspish underling retorts: “No, you are not replacing him. You are merely getting his job.” The election campaign for the new FEI president is becoming a bit like that, for one thing is for sure: you can’t “replace” Princess Haya. The emerging snag is that barely half the six candidates can afford to do it from their private means. All are non-royal, professional types including a heart su...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

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Marmoog Watch Continued and Democracy at Work

It’s seven months and 11 days since The Daily Telegraph gave the FEI photographic evidence of Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum (Crown Prince of Dubai, new world champion and stepson of outgoing FEI president Princess Haya) riding two different horses under the same identity at the 2012 endurance world championships at Euston, UK and CEI Numana, Italy. The FEI was previously aware of rumours about the horse Marmoog, aka Prince de la Sabliere, aka JSAS, and asked the FEI integrity unit to reinvestigate. Quite why it is taking so long to unr...

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson