Sue Baxter – President Ground Jury – Horse & Hound Statement 10th May 2018
“The Ground Jury along with the Veterinary Delegate decided that Articles 526.1 & 526.3 of the Eventing Rules applied and discussed the options open to us. Unfortunately the wording of these rules placed constraints on the officials and, based on the evidence presented at the time, it was agreed to issue a Recorded Verbal Warning.
The GJ as representatives of the FEI have to implement the rules as they are written, giving the appropriate sanctions that are available to them. Personal feelings cannot override this. I expect the wording of this rule may be revised to cover situations like this and allow for stronger sanctions.”
Statement from Oliver Townend – 7th May 2018
Having watched my Badminton cross-country rounds for the first time when I got home last night, I’m so disappointed and upset about the way I rode. It didn’t look good and I don’t want to look like that.
I fully accept the warning I received from the ground jury. My competitive instincts got the better of me and I will work hard to improve in this area.
I try really hard to give my horses the best ride possible – I try to be as fit as possible, to be as light as I can be, to sit as still as I can, to get them on the best strides and take-off points to minimise the energy they have to waste. I care enormously about their wellbeing and their welfare.
I feel I have let my amazing team down. I am aware of my position in the sport and of my responsibility to be a suitable role model to younger people, and I apologise to them.
I love my horses – I live for them. I am extremely proud of all four horses – Ballaghmor Class and Cooley SRS, and the two who went so brilliantly at Kentucky, Cooley Master Class and MHS King Joules – and of every horse on my yard.
Statement from Badminton Ground Jury – Saturday 5th May 2018
The Ground Jury interviewed Oliver Townend (GBR) regarding his riding of his horses Cooley SRS and Ballaghmore Class at Badminton 5th May 2018.
The FEI Officials gave him an FEI official warning regarding his over-use of the whip on both horses and told him that the horses would be checked very carefully on Sunday morning for the horse inspection for their fitness to compete in the jumping phase.