FEI Adopts Dressage ‘Blood Rule’ at General Assembly

The rule states that any horse with “fresh blood” on its body will be definitively eliminated.

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FEI Adopts Dressage
Blood became an issue in dressage after the 2010 elimination of Jerich Parzival during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games when the Ground Jury noticed blood in the horse's saliva from a small wound sustained when the horse bit his tongue. | Photo: Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI)
Blood is definitely not acceptable at any level of competition, according to a new decision by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI).

The 24th edition of the FEI Rules for Dressage Events, adopted during the recent FEI General Assembly in Istanbul, Turkey, finally puts an end to the “blood rule controversy.” It clearly states that any horse with “fresh blood” on its body will be definitively eliminated from the competition.

“If the Judge at C suspects fresh blood anywhere on the horse during the test, he will stop the horse to check for blood,” reads the new Article 430.7.6 of the rules. “If the horse shows fresh blood, it will be eliminated. The elimination is final.”

Horses deemed to be free of fresh blood during this inspection by the judge, however, will be allowed to continue the competition, according to the rules

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Written by:

Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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