FEI Steps Up Efforts to Eliminate Abuse in Show Jumping Horses

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Hypersensitization is the target of the newest show jumping rules

The Fédération Equestre Internationale has implemented new rules for show jumping competitions in an attempt to eliminate the practice of hypersensitization. Various substances can be applied to horses’ legs to increase sensitivity in them so that it becomes painful to hit a jump pole. The theory is that this makes horses lift their limbs higher to avoid the pain.

Every horse competing in a CSI, CSIO and championship from now on will have all four of its legs scanned for heat with an infrared camera – known as thermography – and will be examined by two vets after the first horse inspection or after the first competition.

Additionally, spot checks (thermography plus clinical examination) will be carried out in the stables.If a horse shows an abnormal reaction, it will be banned from competing.

The rule change comes after a 3-year study, supported by the FEI and performed at the University of California, Davis, showed that thermography can be used to diagnose hypersensitivity by detecting abnormal temperatures in horses’ lower limbs.

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