RCS2014#41 – Cruelty Addition

2014 RCS #
Cruelty Addition
Date Received
Ruth Graves
Change Date
Next Rulebook
Closed for comments: 01Sep13
Not Recommended: 15Sep13
Initial Posting: 01Jun13

Current Wording – Article 4 -Cruelty

  1. Cruelty to or the abuse of any animal by any person at a recognized competition is forbidden and an offender is subject to disqualification. Management shall bar violators from further participation for the remainder of the competition and report the incident to the ADS for any further disciplinary action deemed in order. The following acts are included under the words Cruelty and Abuse but are not limited thereto: excessive use of a whip on any horse in a stall, runway, schooling area, competition ring or elsewhere on the competition grounds, before or during a competition, by any person. Except in emergency situations, any striking of the horse’s head (on the poll and forward of the poll) with the whip shall be deemed excessive.
  2. All animals must be serviceably sound, and must not show evidence of lameness, broken wind, physical distress or impairment of vision in both eyes. In the case of an appeal on this ground, the judge will have the animal in question examined by the official veterinarian or designee for a decision by the judge or jury which will be final.

Suggested Wording – Article 4 -Cruelty

To Include: Excessive pressing of exhausted horses or competing with equines in poor debilitated condition is unacceptable. As is severe or badly fitting, broken or damaged bits, badly fitting harness which might cause distress to the horse; using a damaged vehicle which might cause injury to the horse, or any other action which is in the opinion of the event officials clearly and unmistakably an act of cruelty.

Reason for change

To make the current Cruelty rules as stated in the General Regulations more comprehensive, including improper or damaged equipment that may cause the equine pain or injury and adding protections to avoid the use of ill equines or equines deemed unfit to compete.

10 Response(s)

  1. keithy says :

    August 6, 2013

    I support this change.

  2. iamroberta says :

    August 7, 2013

    Agree with change.

  3. dannabe33 says :

    August 13, 2013

    I think the rule as it is already written is sufficient. If a harness isn’t adjusted perfectly, it might cause a rub mark on the horse but isn’t an act of cruelty. What constitutes a damaged vehicle???? The whip rule is fine. I disagree with this rule.

  4. Iris says :

    August 13, 2013

    I support this RCS.

  5. ashemont says :

    August 22, 2013

    This could be too subjective. Think the rule is OK as it stands.

  6. Candis says :

    August 25, 2013

    Seems redundant.

  7. cepinwv says :

    August 26, 2013

    Disagree with the change. Too subjective and does not allow common sense to be applied.

  8. CaroleSweet says :

    August 27, 2013

    Agree…mostly. However…when it says “might”, that is not a clear indication of something this IS going to happen. The first sentence, addressing condition of equine, seems appropriate, but who will be the determining factor when these exhausted horses are out on course, to say they are being treated cruelly? This I would call the “Black Beauty” Rule.
    The rest, regarding equipment, needs to be reworked, as well. It is very vague.

  9. Andy Marcoux says :

    August 28, 2013

    Too subjective.

  10. wgallen says :

    August 28, 2013

    I disagree with the proposed change. The wording offered is actually too
    limiting/prescriptive. Better to leave the decision to the discretion of the judges.

Comments are closed.