On level ground

I’ve been reading a lot lately about ponies in competition. For example, Dressage at Devon has announced new pony-only classes. I guess it was only a matter of time before we started seeing controversies concerning the height of the pony entered into a competition.

In a recent case concerning the FEI, ponies in Germany were measured to make sure they fit the height requirement for a pony class. The surface on which they were measured was apparently not level. In order to accommodate for this inconsistency, officials decided to add 1 cm to every pony’s height. This decisions allowed certain ponies to be included who wouldn’t have otherwise. Needless to say, this wound up causing problems when the FEI Veterinary Department ruled the officials were wrong for adding the 1 cm, thus excluding about eight ponies from the class.

The pony owners appealed the decision by the vets to the FEI Tribunal. The Tribunal held that the original show officials were wrong to add the cm to each pony’s measurement because the officials were creating a rule that did not exist in the FEI.

So, if you are holding pony classes, and you are measuring the ponies, make sure ahead of time that your area is level.

(Photo credit: By kallerna – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10148100)