FEI Dressage Committee Statement on the Rollkur Workshop

Thu, 02/23/2006 - 00:00
FEI Dressage News

Following the “Rollkur” Workshop last January and various discussions in the media, the FEI Dressage Committee would like to make a statement as follows:

-The FEI Dressage Committee together with the FEI Veterinary Committee and the FEI Welfare sub-committee took the opportunity to involve and consult a wide number of experts (veterinarians, ethologists, scientists) in order to analyse the “Rollkur” matter. These experts were drawn from all over the world from the most reputable universities and with wide ranging experience. They are certainly not aligned to any method and presented their findings in an open and unbiased way.

The IDRC (International Dressage Riders Club) and the IDTC (International Dressage Trainers Club) representatives were also invited to this workshop.

The meeting sought to find a more scientific term for the practice and agreed that “Hyperflexion of the neck” described the method in a more accurate way.

Currently the scientific presentations are being compiled and will be reported on when available, however it was clear that based on the current evidence, this method is not detrimental once used in a correct manner. It is clear that any training method incorrectly used is not acceptable and that aggressive rding should be prevented and banned.

- The importance of the “Stewarding System” in the warming up arena is clear. The education of the Dressage Stewards based on the FEI Rules and the Steward manual has been implemented and neither the FEI nor the FEI Dressage Committee will tolerate abuse of any kind.

-The FEI Veterinary Committee as well as the FEI Welfare Sub-committee will continue their research on specific training methods including the ”Hyperflexion of the neck”.

- The FEI Dressage Committee would like to emphasize the importance of the articles 401.1 and 401.3 of the FEI Dressage Rules as well as the Basic Training Scale while warming up or training, resulting in the well being of the horse.

Finally the FEI Dressage Committee would like to reiterate that this workshop was the first step, that the FEI is committed to ensuring the welfare of the horse and would urge both the media and the various elements in the sport of dressage to wait for the formal report before making further comments.

Mariette Withages-Dieltjens 
Chairman FEI Dressage Committee

Related Links
German Judges' Association Responds to FEI Rollkur Workshop
FEI Workshop on Rollkur in Lausanne Leads to Redefinition