By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, Jan. 25–Calecto V, the stallion that Tina Konyot rode for the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2010 World Equestrian Games, on Friday became the first dressage horse eliminated from competition under the new “blood” rule adopted for international competitions.
In the first CDI since the London Games last summer, the 15-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion (Come Back II x Bahera x Rastell) was eliminated from the World Dressage Masters CDI5* Grand Prix after they completed their ride at the Jim Brandon Center.
The hundreds of spectators who attended the event and the media were unaware of the elimination until the official results were distirbuted by the organizers about two hours after the event.
Blood was reported seen on the side of the horse, show officials reported.
Tina of Palm City, Florida, told dressage-news.com she was unaware of the blood but if there was an injury it may have been caused when Calecto stumbled during the extended trot and a spur Tina was wearing could have nicked the side of the horse.
A new rule was adopted by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) replacing what had been common practise but was not in writing in the dressage rules. The new rule that came into effect Jan. 1 this year:
“Bleeding: If the Judge at C suspects fresh blood anywhere on the horse during the test, he will stop the horse to check for blood. If the horse shows fresh blood, it will be eliminated. The elimination is final. If the Judge through examination clarifies that the horse has no fresh blood, the horse may resume and finish its test.
“If the horse is eliminated pursuant to the above, or if the horse is injured during the test and starts bleeding after finishing the test, it should be examined by an FEI Veterinarian prior to the next Competition to determine if it is fit to continue in the Event the following day(s). The decision of the FEI Veterinarian is not subject to appeal.”
A distraught Tina told dressage-news.com: “Not one official or vet came to me after my test!!!”
The ride was not stopped by any of the five members of the ground jury, and several minutes after the ride a score of 68.681 per cent for Tina and Calecto V was announced over the public address system.
As of this writing, it was unknown which official–one of the five judges, a steward or any other official–made the determination to eliminate Calecto.
She has competed the horse sparingly, four CDIs, the U.S. selection trials and the Olympics were the total of events she competed the horse in 2012.
Tina, who has always displayed deep affection for Calecto V in the years she has competed the black stallion, said:
“I feel really bad. I love him so much. He’s such a good boy.”
There had been opposition from some trainers and riders to the new rule because of a situation such as this where a horse could be eliminated because of an accident drawing blood that does not endangere the welfare of the horse.
Perhaps the most widely reported ocurrence was at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010 when Jerich Parzival ridden by Adelinde Cornelissen of the Netherlands bit his tongue drawing blood and was eliminated from the Grand Prix team event.
A similar situation occurred at the WDM Palm Beach in 2011 which led to the elimination of Anja Plönzke of Germany when Le Mont d’Or had blood on his mouth.