The debate is all over the planet. Was it fair that Bertram Allen was disqualified and lost the 1st prize because of the small amount of blood on Quite Easy? I will say yes.
Of course, it is extremely sad for Mr. Allen to lose the prize money and I do not think his horse suffered at all, but we must remember, the rules are there to protect the HORSE. We have to remember the horses; they are a central part of equestrian sports. Of course the rider never meant to do any harm to his own horse; we don’t make spur marks on purpose. It was an accident. But does that matter? A horse walks out of the arena with blood on his flank because of the spurs, no matter how small they are, accident or not, it does not matter when it comes to animal welfare. The horse matters. I would have been devestaded as well in his situation, but we need the rules.
What if we said that it would be okay for this time, and next time the spur marks on another horse was worse. The next time after that, we allow horses with blood from their mouth to jump the next class. And then riders starts to use even sharper spurs because they know that the judges do not care so much anymore, so they can take the risk of causing a mark on the horse’s skin. We must follow the rules. They are made to protect our horses, protect the athletes.
It was a sad situation, but it is for the best. It was done for the horses.
What do you think? Just a tiny drop of blood, or a reason to be disqualified?