Animal welfare has been a strict issue at the equestrian event at the Rio Olympics as two riders were disqualified for excessive force use on their horses.
Equestrian riders from Belgium and the Netherlands were deemed to have use excessive use of spurs and whip that they have been disqualified from the individual show jumping competition. Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts was riding a 12-year old stallion named Zilverstar T. The horse refused twice at 11b, which was part of the difficult on the double fences when ground judges found Philippaerts excessive use of spurs and disqualified him.
On the other hand, the Netherland’s equestrian rider Jur Vrieling was riding Zirocco Blue and had two refusals, one at the 4b and the other at 11a. The ground judges then saw the use of a whip excessively and disqualified him as well.
Based on the rules set by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), judges may render a mandatory disqualification if officials see that the horses have been receiving excessive whip and spurs from the riders. But despite the ruling Vrieling was given a chance to join his team in the team competition while Philippaerts ends his Olympic run with the ruling handed against him.
Among the participants only host Brazil and Germany did not receive any penalties. Meanwhile, Dutch rider Adelinde Cornelissen earned praise on social media after she pulled out of the competition due to her sick horse. This was even though a vet cleared her horse for competition.
The second qualifying round will be on Tuesday with the awarding rites set on Wednesday for the team show jump while the individual event will have their awarding on Friday. The show jumping event is the last event for the equestrian in the Olympics.
Photo Courtesy: Lil Shepherd/Flickr