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Monday, 9 March 2015

New FEI Rule - 21 Penalties for Frangible Pins

There's been a lot of recent news coverage of the new rule to come into force - an automatic (& very annoying) 21 penalties added to your cross country run if break the frangible pin, irrespective as to whether the pin prevented a fall.

There was initially a petition to sign, open only to FEI riders however now it has been opened up to the wider audience, so I thought it would be a good time to bring some attention to it also.

So why is there such an uproar about this new rule?

An example, if five riders each knock a fence, without breaking the pin, but the sixth rider does the same, it would be the sixth rider who would incur the 21 penalties. Unless the pin breaking is through mechanical fault, this will be the case.

Were all riders at fault for this break, not just the final one? It is almost impossible to determine the force, angle and damage caused by a horse knocking a fence. So there would be a couple of options.
1) Add a force measuring device to all fence which would be very expensive and fairly impractical.
2) Rely on individual fence judges to determine which horse contributed to the break (a very unfair task)
3) Replace the pin after every rider - this would be incredibly time consuming & result in classes taking nearly all day to run one, so not practical

E-venting.co.uk has detailed a whole host of reasons as to why a horse would make contact with a cross country fence in a really interesting read here. Francis Whittington has also been a strong supporter in campaigning against this rule across his twitter account.

While I am very much not an FEI rider, the element that rings the loudest to me, is that often with wider rules, British Eventing follow suit. So in the future this rule may well be a reality, right through to the grassroots riders

Here's the details on how to register your support, but be quick, the date of meeting is tomorrow!
If you are an FEI rider, you can sign the petition here.
For non-FEI riders, supporters, owners, sponsors, etc, you can sign here.

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