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Klaus Balkenhol’s Letter to the FEI Regarding the February 9 Meeting

(Translated from the German)

Originally Sent Feb. 3 2010
Federation Equestre International
Avenue Rumine 37
CH – 1005 Lausanne Rosendahl

February 3, 2010

Dear Sirs and Madames:

We submit herewith some comments concerning your upcoming roundtable discussion, scheduled for February 9th, at which you will be establishing a final plan for the handling of the topic of Rollkur/Hyperflexion.

Those of us who have signed this letter wish to point out sharply that new or amended rules with regard to the accepted classical precepts of riding, which are contained in the guidelines written down in your Handbook, are absolutely superfluous and therefore unnecessary. These precepts, which the FEI has up until now felt obliged to uphold, are already fully developed, tried and tested! They are already recognized world-wide as authoritative, and as fair to the horse. Based on centuries of experience, they offer a stable and secure foundation even for today’s riding.

No changes may be made that constitute a burden to the well-being of the horse, either physically or mentally. If you accept riding in hyperflexion as a permissible training method, you legitimize aggressive riding. We protest that in the strongest possible terms!

As horse people, we expect the FEI to maintain unaltered their regulations, which have until now been valid, resting as they do upon the classical precepts of riding – for the good of the horses and the continued good repute of international equestrian sport.

The undersigned support this statement:

Klaus Balkenhol (Olympic medalist)

(Joined by, in alphabetical order)
– Laura Bechtolsheimer (British Record Holder, 3. Europameisterschaften 2009)
– Wilfried Bechtolsheimer (Trainer)
– Ingrid Klimke (Olympic medalist)
– Ruth Klimke (Vice President of the German Riders Union)
– Beezie Madden (Olympic medalist)
– John Madden (Trainer)
– Debbie McDonald (Olympic Bronze medalist)
– Susanne Miesner (Trainer)
– George Morris (Chef d’equipe USEF show jumping team, Olympic silver medalist)
– Martin Plewa (former German national Three-Day Event trainer, Director of the Riding and Driving School of Westfalia)
– Michael Putz (Trainer and judge)
– Klaus-Martin Rath (Trainer, member of the Dressage Committee of the German Olympic
– Matthias Alexander Rath (German Meister 2009)
– Hinrich Romeike (Olympic medalist)
– Hubertus Schmidt (Olympic medalist)
– Günter Seidel (Olympic bronze medalist)
– Christine Stückelberger (Olympiic medalist)
– Paul Stecken (Trainer)
– Hans Günter Winkler (Olympic medalist)
– Harry Boldt, Dressur. Doppel-Olympiasieger, früherer Bundestrainer Dressur, GBR
– Beatrice Büchler-Keller, Swiss, FEI O-Richter
– Nadine Capellmann, Dressur, Olympiasiegrin
– Carsten Huck, Springen, Olympia Bronze-Gewinner
– Michael Klimke, Deuscther Meister, Dressur
– Ann Kathrinne Linsenhoff, Olympiasiegerin, WElt- und Europameisterin, Mitglied im FN-Präsidium
– Michael Robert, Olympia-Gewinner Bronze, Trainer

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