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Riders unite in their reactions on Allen’s disqualification

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Bertram Allen - here pictured at home in Romanov. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.
Bertram Allen - here pictured at home in Romanov. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

Following the disqualification of Bertram Allen after Monday’s Grand Prix in London, the Irish rider has received massive support. 

Some of Allen's colleagues have taken to social media to express their opinions. Their voices are united, as they have stepped up to support the 20-year-old Allen. Several of them have also expressed their worries when it comes to the interpretation of the rules set by the FEI.

Allen’s compatriot Cameron Hanley stated this: “I really feel for Bertram Allen and his whole team as he was robbed of his Grand prix victory last night. More worryingly I think its a bad direction for the sport to go in, I know Bertram and how he cares for his horses and as with most of us riders how he puts the horses well being and care in front of our own. Obviously Quiet Easy was fine when he entered the ring (other wise he would not have been able to start) and during the round picked up the tinniest of nicks on his side (I've seen the photos). What officials need to realize is how much we love and care for the horses we work with every day but it is a sport and as in any other sport there are sometimes going to be some small grazes and scratches (horses at this level are just as competitive as the riders), its very encouraging to see the support that Bertram has received and its up to all of us to not only protect our horses but also our sport.”

Ireland’s Cian O’Connor also expressed his support, as well as concern, writing: “I feel for my team mate Bertram tonight who annihilated the opposition to win the Grand Prix. A general consensus among the top riders here is that the FEI rule needs to be reviewed regarding mandatory disqualification and in my view overzealous stewarding by one particular steward compounded by the apathetic actions of the foreign judge and president of the ground jury here, led to bringing the sport and this great show into the spotlight for the wrong reasons.”

Colombian rider Daniel Bluman posted: “Very sad about Bertram's disqualification in Olympia after winning the Grand Prix. It's important for officials to recognize and use horsemanship judgement as to how to make decisions like the one made when eliminating Bertram because of a tiny spur mark. He is known for respecting his horses and having a great name in the industry. Let's look for solutions to the real problems and look closer at the professionals that abuse and neglect their horses and stop picking on the professionals that are well known for doing the sport correctly and clean. Situations such as the one from Olympia today make officials and horsemen riders work against each other, and create a sense of insecurity for riders regarding the officials that are supposed to act in the best interest of the horses and the sport. Officials and riders must join forces for the best interest of a clean and just sport that guarantees the welfare of the horses.”

A support group on Facebook has also been created; 'Stand Up For Bertram Allen'.

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