FEI GENERAL REGULATIONS
23rd edition, 1 January 2009, updated 1 January 2010
Article 142 – Abuse of Horses
1. No person may abuse a Horse during an Event or at any other time. “Abuse” means an action or omission which causes or is likely to cause pain or unnecessary discomfort to a Horse, including without limitation any of the following:
– To whip or beat a Horse excessively;
– To subject a Horse to any kind of electric shock device;
– To use spurs excessively or persistently;
– To jab the Horse in the mouth with the bit or any other device;
– To compete using an exhausted, lame or injured Horse;
– To “rap” a Horse.
– To abnormally sensitise or desensitise any part of a Horse;
– To leave a Horse without adequate food, drink or exercise;
– To use any device or equipment which cause excessive pain to the Horse upon knocking down an obstacle.
2. Any person witnessing an Abuse must report it in the form of a protest (Article 163) without delay. If an Abuse is witnessed during or in direct connection with an Event, it should be reported as a protest (Article 163) to an Official. If the Abuse is witnessed at any other time it should be reported as a protest (Article 163) to the Secretary General for referral to the FEI Tribunal.
Craig Schmersal of the US reining team at an FEI event this year:
The extract from the FEI rules was found by poster Jimbol at Horse and Hound Online, who suggested this form letter for contacting the British Horse Society, who represent the FEI in the UK. The FEI itself can be contacted here.
UPDATE: commenter noctemare at Fugly Horse of the Day added a second Epona TV video showing other reining competitors ‘warming up’ at the same event:
FURTHER UPDATE: on the 27th May the FEI added a post to Horse and Hound Online discussion, to say that they were engaged in an ongoing review of reining which was initiated in January 2011. Details here.
UPDATE: There’s a petition asking the FEI to enforce Article 142 here.
UPDATE: Epona TV report that the FEI have now changed their story and said that verbal warnings were issued.
UPDATE: August 22, Horse & Hound have reported that the FEI will announce changes to reining rules in January 2012.