Michael Morrissey (USA) has been disqualified by the FEI Tribunal from a qualifying event for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG).
At the US selection trials in February his 14-year-old Holsteiner, Crelido, refused a water jump and was whipped approximately 13 times as he rode him to the jump for another attempt.
Morrissey has been disqualified from that event, suspended for three months and fined US$1900 by the FEI. The disqualification was based on the rules of competition which state that abuse is ‘an act or omission which causes, or is likely to cause, pain or unnecessary discomfort to a horse’.
The FEI has also formally reprimanded the event’s ground jury because they failed to take any action at the time of the abuse.
Morrissey has apologised for the incident, saying “I overreacted when the horse stopped, and that is unforgiveable. Horse welfare has to take precedence over competitive interests, and I know that I was in breach of that basic principle”.
We say………three cheers for the FEI!!!