Saturday, 25 April 2009

Are Brush fences just another way to increase the height of fences

With Badminton '09 incorporating so much brush on the cross country, it's reminded me why I think the rules regarding these fences are a complete nonsense.

 The FEI Rule book says:

Brush on top of fences must be measurable and be made of flexible and deformable material. 

It also states:

The fence must be constructed so that a horse clearing the fixed and solid part is unlikely to be injured by the brush or hedge. 

In a 4 star event these fences can be up to 1.45 metres. (that's 0.25m higher that a solid fence).

So the idea here is that the horse could brush through the fence because it is 'deformable'. I would challenge anyone to brush through any of these fences on a 3 star or 4 star course. On the whole they are so tightly packed this creates two potential problems:

  • There is much greater risk of incident due to a false sense of security
  • Horses are more likely to get cuts and bruises 
This rule allows a course designer to effectively raise the height of the whole course.

 Is this rule being ignored by Course Designers and Technical Delegates or simply overlooked? 

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