Tale of False Tails on Dressage Horses May Bring Change in Approval for International Competitions

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April 26, 2022

False tails designed to beautify dressage horses with less than a full rear end may not have to be put through a seemingly pointless bureaucratic pre-approval process for much longer.

With a nudge from the U.S. Federation, the annual FEI Sports Forum was treated to what was clearly a previously little known procedure that brought chuckles from many in the audience.

Bettina De Rham, the FEI Dressage Director, reported that under current rules she gets dozens of application to approve false tails in international competitions.

She didn’t say so but it was clear that checking the legitimacy of each request is virtually impossible without a personal inspection to insure there is no metal in the false tail.

The US federation, that doesn’t require pre-approval for national competitions, suggested an alternative, way less time consuming and more convenient for everyone.

Random checks as with some other required procedures such as ear hoods can be used to insure the rules are followed.

If a false tail fails a random check, the rider gets a yellow card and the combination is eliminated.

No one spoke against the proposed change but it still needs to go through an approval process.