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UK’s HOYS will ask riders of unsuitable weight to dismount

Horse rider - Labelled for reuse

Riders deemed to be of an unsuitable weight will be asked to dismount at the HOYS.


By Equestrian Life

Oversized riders on petite show ponies will be an unlikely spectacle at this year’s Horse of the Year Show in Birmingham.

Those competing at the HOYS (5-9 October) have been told that any riders deemed to be of an unsuitable weight will be asked to dismount.

A spokesman explained that equine welfare is of the utmost importance – and the vet’s decision will be final.

The move follows a push from across the industry to ensure that horses’ welfare isn’t compromised due to riders that are too heavy for them.

All riders must at all times be of an appropriate size and weight for the horse/pony being ridden and this rule extends beyond the show ring to exercise arenas, collecting rings and vehicle car parks at any time of the day or night.

The spokesman went on to say that the HOYS can “take further action” against any professional producer or exhibitor who “permits any person (including an exhibitor and/or professional producer) to ride a horse or pony when the size and/or weight of the rider compromises the welfare of the horse/pony being ridden”.

An issue that has come to light often in recent years, the ideal ‘rider to horse weight ration’ is a topic of hot debate. The Animal Health Trust plans to undertake research regarding this issue.


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