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 Traditional Dressage / articles

Dear Sirs and Madams:

We submit herewith some comments concerning your upcoming round table discussion, scheduled for February 9th, at which you will be establishing a final plan for the handling of the topic of Rollkur/Hyperflexion.

Those of us who have signed this letter wish to point out sharply that new or amended rules with regard to the accepted classical precepts of riding, which are contained in the guidelines written down in your Handbook, are absolutely superfluous and therefore unnecessary.

These precepts, which the FEI has up until now felt obliged to uphold, are already fully developed, tried, and tested! They are already recognized worldwide as authoritative, and as fair to the horse. Based on centuries of experience, they offer a stable and secure foundation even for today’s riding.

No changes may be made that constitute a burden to the well-being of the horse, either physically or mentally. If you accept riding in hyperflexion as a permissible training method, you legitimize aggressive riding. We protest that in the strongest possible terms!

As horse people, we expect the FEI to maintain unaltered their regulations, which have until now been valid, resting as they do upon the classical precepts of riding – for the good of the horses and the continued good repute of international equestrian sport.

The undersigned support this statement:

  • Klaus Balkenhol (Olympic medalist)
  • (Joined by, in alphabetical order)
  • Laura Bechtolsheimer (British Record Holder, bronze medal European Championships 2009)
  • Wilfried Bechtolsheimer (Trainer)
  • Ingrid Klimke (Olympic medalist)
  • Ruth Klimke (Vice President of the German Riders Union)
  • Beezie Madden (Olympic medalist)
  • John Madden (Trainer)
  • Debbie McDonald (Olympic Bronze medalist)
  • Susanne Miesner (Trainer)
  • George Morris (Chef d’equipe USEF show jumping team, Olympic silver medalist)
  • Martin Plewa (former German national Three-Day Event trainer, Director of the Riding and Driving School of Westfalia)
  • Michael Putz (Trainer and judge)
  • Klaus-Martin Rath (Trainer, member of the Dressage Committee of the German Olympic Committee)
  • Matthias Alexander Rath (German Champion 2009)
  • Hinrich Romeike (Olympic medalist)
  • Hubertus Schmidt (Olympic medalist)
  • Günter Seidel (Olympic bronze medalist)
  • Christine Stückelberger (Olympiic medalist)
  • Paul Stecken (Trainer)
  • Hans Günter Winkler (Olympic medalist)
  • Harry Boldt (Double Olympic dressage champion, former Team Trainer)
  • Beatrice Bürchler-Keller (Swiss, FEI O-judge)
  • Nadine Capellmann (Olympic team gold medallist, World Champion Dressage 2002
  • Carsten Huck, Springen, Olympic bronze medal winner)
  • Michael Klimke (German Dressage champion)
  • Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff (Olympic, world and european team gold medallist. Member of the board of directors of the German Equestrian Federation )
  • Michael Robert (Olympic bronze medal winner, trainer)
  • COPY OF an open letter from Col. Carde To Gerd H.