Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) show jumping horse candidate Crelido, ridden by Michael Morrissey (USA), was abused during a WEG-qualifying event when he was “excessively whipped,” and Morrissey has hence been disqualified, according to the statement of the final decision of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Tribunal.

Furthermore, all members of the event’s ground jury have been “formally reprimanded by the FEI for failing to take action” in response to Morrissey’s abusive conduct, the statement read. The decision, handed down July 9 by Ken E. Lalo (ISR), pertained to the CSI** Grand Prix show jumping event, a part of the U.S. selection trials for the WEG, held February 27, 2010, in Wellington, Fla.

After refusing a water jump, the 14-year-old Holsteiner was whipped approximately 13 times as he was ridden to a return attempt. A video of the incident, with 60,000 views on YouTube.com, shows that Crelido cleared the jump.

The show’s ground jury took no action, the statement declared. However, Morrissey apologized to selection show manager and honorary FEI steward, David Distler, who confronted him shortly afterwards, referring to Morrissey’s behavior as “unacceptable,” it read.

Despite the initial apology, Morrissey’s lawyer later claimed to the FEI that the horse had not been abused because he “showed no signs of distress or injury,” the statement added.

The FEI decision was based on its General Regulations, which defines abuse as “an act or omission which