Statens Veterinärmedicinska Anstalt

Hästen i Sverige Om sktuell hästforskning Forskning pågår tema djur Hippocampusdagarna 2005 Hippocampusdagarna 2006



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FEI fördömer inte träningsmetoden rollkur

Vid ett välbesökt FEI-möte där två SLU-forskare deltog, har träningsmetoden rollkur diskuterats.Läs pressmeddelande från FEI.

A most productive workshop was held on 31 January 2006 at the Olympic Museum and jointly organised by the Dressage and Veterinary Committees. The point of this meeting is to reassure the Dressage Community that the controversial issue of Rollkur (overbending) is being addressed by highly experienced experts from the equine world.

The workshop included presentations and reports on this controversial training technique and its possible side-effects that may affect the welfare of the horse. It also included a review of the need for applied research.

Approximately 60 participants, including riders, trainers, stewards, veterinarians, and members of the Dressage, Veterinary Committees and Welfare Sub-Committee attended the workshop.

Objectives of the Forum
- Review the techniques of training horses
- Consider possible welfare implications
- Pros and cons from experts
- Better understanding of the biomechanics and kinematics involved in this degree of neck movement
- Reports on clinical side effects or sequelae from long term use of the technique
- Discuss possible research programmes
- Produce a report for the FEI to be able to plan the best way forward.

Further to presentations of different preliminary research projects in the field of exercise physiology, radiology, biomechanics and schooling, the meeting reached the preliminary conclusion that, when applied by skilled trainers, there was no scientific evidence that this training method was abusive to the horse. There was clearly none evidence that no structural damage is created by this training exercise, when used in the right way by expert riders.

However, the use of that technique by inexperienced people was a possible threat to the welfare of the horse. The role of top dressage riders as role models in the sport was underlined.

Most of the participants agreed that the terminology Rollkur was not comprehensible and decided it would be better to use a term which could be understood by riders, trainers and the general public. After an extensive discussion, it was proposed that the draft wording might be hyperflexion of the neck and a draft definition to this was established as follows:

Hyperflexion of the neck is a technique of working/training to provide a degree of longitudinal flexion of the mid-region of the neck. Hyperflexion cannot be self-maintained by the horse for an extended period of time.

As far as the FEI is concerned, the welfare and humane treatment of horses at FEI competitions, including the training areas and stables is paramount.

Next steps:
- a more detailed definition of what is to be considered as abuse is required, e.g. stress factors, pain or discomfort.
- Education of stewards to identify possible abuse and misuse of this technique, which is not restricted to dressage.
- Veterinary and Dressage Committee and Welfare Sub-Committee will review the state of knowledge, submit a report of the meeting to the FEI and decide which scientific research is further needed.

A detailed summary of the presentations will be published shortly on the FEI website.


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