The blood rule strikes again!
Wendi Williamson (NZ) and Dejavu MH were eliminated from the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Omaha Nebraska today. Blood was discovered in the horse’s mouth by the FEI Steward at the mandatory post-competition equipment check following their performance in the Grand Prix. Blood on a horse results in automatic disqualification under Article 430 (aka “the blood rule”) of the FEI Dressage Rules.
Explained Katrina Wuest, the judge at C.
“Elimination under this rule does not imply that there was any intent to injure the horse, but it is so important that the rules are enforced in order to ensure that horse welfare is protected. It’s a real shame as the horse and rider had come such a long way to compete here, but the rule is in place to protect our horses, and there can be no grey areas when it comes to horse welfare.”
The elimination means that Williamson and Dejavu MH’s World Cup Final has now come to an end. Riders must score over 60% to qualify for Saturday’s Freestyle to Music.
Omaha was to be the World Cup Final debut for Williamson and the 12-year-old Hannoverian gelding. No comment has been released by the rider at the time of publication.
In 2015, American rider Steffen Peters was eliminated when blood was discovered on the side of his horse after the Freestyle.
World #1 Isabel Werth (GER) won the Grand Prix with a score 82.300%. America’s sweetheart Laura Graves (USA) took second on 79.800%, followed by Carl Hester (GBR) in third on 76.671%.
Fourteen horses will advance to the Freestyle on Saturday.