RCP2015#53 – Adds penalty to re-checked horses after marathon

2015 RCS #
Adds penalty for horses requiring second check at end of marathon
Date Received
Carole Wallace
Change Date
As soon as possible in 2014
Open for comments – 1June14; CDC NOT recommended 14Oct14
Initial Posting: 1June14

Current Wording – CDArticle935.4

In-Harness Examination [formerly Article 924.4]

The Second Examination must take place at the finish of Section B of Marathon at all Events. It must be performed under the supervision of a Treating Veterinarian in case any horse needs immediate treatment. The Veterinarian has no authority to disqualify a horse. He must report his findings to the Veterinary Delegate and the President of the Jury as soon as possible after the last Athlete has completed the Marathon.

Suggested Wording

Add to end:

Any horse requiring to be re-checked at the end of the marathon as a result of excessive high temperatures, respiration or heat should be penalized 5 or 10 points.

Reason for change

I am seeing a LOT of horses/ponies arriving at the vet check in scary shape. You hire the Veterinary for their PROFESSIONAL opinion. (Just like you hire Dressage judges for their opinion) Those Drivers that are not conditioning or using poor horsemanship to rate their charges SHOULD be penalized ~ Seeing these horses driven in ….in high heat and humidity conditions need a warning (penalty assessed) for poor horsemanship. Dressage and Cones are now given high priority in the scoring, when Marathon USED to be the heart and sole of this sport. If two Drivers finish the same, should not the one with the horses in best shape be rewarded for that?

I know some will complain that a draft, a horse, a pony, a mini, all have different levels of heart rate, temps and such, but you are hireing a PROFESSIONAL Veterinarian for their opinion.

3 Response(s)

  1. Zantke says :

    June 2, 2014

    I understand the concern for the welfare of the horse, BUT at the end of the marathon, the marathon is OVER. Adding penalties coming from the subjective opinion of a vet, who cares for the welfare of the horse, is wrong, as it could put the vet in the position to NOT ask for a recheck in order to spare the competitors the penalties, where otherwise for the benefit of the horse he might have wanted to take a second look. I do NOT support this rule change suggestion. (Further we had this many years ago in the sport and it was taken out for good reasons. Penalties come from licensed driving officials, not from vet’s who certainly know their profession well, but may not be that familiar with combined driving.)

  2. MichaelRidge says :

    July 5, 2014

    I would oppose this rule change proposal for the reasons Hardy mentions: a vet may choose not to re-check because it involves a penalty for the competitor and penalties should come from officials, not vets.
    Allowing a re-check without penalty frees the vet to use her professional judgment without an artificial restraint.

  3. hoofnit says :

    August 4, 2014

    I oppose this change request. Without specific metrics there is no possibility the rule can be equally enforced across the different events. What may be an excessive PRT for one vet may be acceptable to another.

Comments are closed.