Agricultural show to weigh showing competitors in shock move

By Nicola Jane Swinney on |

23 Comments

April fool story
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In a highly controversial move, an agricultural show is planning to weigh all riders before their respective classes. The Fellingbridge, Okewood & Ockingham Livestock Society is introducing the pilot scheme in conjunction with one of the main showing societies, although a spokesman declined to say which.

“Riders are getting bigger,” he pointed out, “and we must move with the times. Showing is all about the overall picture, and if a child is too heavy for the pony, that picture is spoiled.”

When asked whether he thought that should be a decision for the judges, he replied: “Showing judges don’t always make the right decisions.”

While some thought the weighing was a good idea, there were many dissenters.

“It’s absolutely outrageous,” said April Foulds, of Nether Wallop. “My daughter is big for her age — she’s not overweight, just big-boned — and this is downright discrimination.”

The two-day show starts today, Friday, April 1.

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23 Comments

  1. Carla Passino

    Dear everyone, thanks for your comments. This was indeed an April’s Fool but the comments show that this is an issue that touches many people’s hearts. Personally, I think the main consideration should always be health. If both rider and horse are healthy and well suited, that’s all that matters in my opinion.

    Reply
  2. Joy Leverton

    This is outrageous, since when do they have the right to say who can ride.
    I battled weight gain from a head trauma all my years showing, my horse was an mustang/Arab. He had no problems carrying me, never developed sores or muscle problems.
    These idiots need to mind their own business.

    Reply
  3. Carol Maxted-Massey

    I agree age is not the deciding factor my daughter is small and can still ride a 13.2hh pony even though she is 40.Too heavy a rider effects the animals performance and its long term health I am for this move when are they going to introduce to airline seats.PS I am no lightwieght and seem to be on a perpetual diet,I ride a cob even through I would prefer a lighter horse.COMMON SENSE/HORSE SENSE.

    Reply
  4. Jb

    About time, we see some awful sights at showing shows. Not sure weighing people is right but it is a step in the right direction

    Reply
  5. Brenda Marsh

    Thank goodness someone has the guts to do this. Controversial or not, I’m sick of seeing small ponies with great lumps on top, not only heavy lumps but long tall sally’s too, overshortened leathers, knees almost under their chins…you know what I’m saying! looking ridiculous but look isn’t the issue its the damage being done to the skeletal structure and joints particularly on the ponies hauling them round. Yes, judges shouldd be dumping them in the line-ups on a welfare basis if nothing else. Well Done to this show for making a stand against this cruelty….YES Cruelty!

    Reply
  6. Lawrence Smyth

    I agree with this but not for there reason, My problem is people riding horses not capable of carrying the weight of some riders. Bound to cause serious back problems.

    Reply
  7. Jayne Edge

    I think this is a great idea and shouldn’t just be reserved for children’s classes!! Some adults I’ve sedn recently are very overweight for tge horse they are riding and its a disgrace for the horse to be expected to carry such excess!!!

    Reply
  8. Jane Allman

    I would think this is verging on discrimination to be honest! It’s disgusting. As if people aren’t aware of their weight, and unaware if they are too heavy for their horses or not! Absolutely disgusting! Horses are big strong animals, and not everyone is an 8 stone size 8 model.

    Reply
  9. Vicky

    Are they just going to weigh the jockey that rides in the ring? What about those that ride the ponies in behind the lorries?

    Reply
  10. Victoria Smith

    I feel this is a fantastic move for showing, especially ponies.

    Reply
  11. wilma sprung

    How can they possibly give this real thought its outrageous,my daughter is a large girl however she rides a 16 hand coloured with a ten inch bone,this is nothing but discrimination in the worst level, disgusting!!!!!

    Reply
  12. Hilary Keegan

    I judge the whole picture and how the ponies way of going is affected by a larger rider a factor in placing them.

    Reply
  13. Hilary Keegan

    Although it may be time consuming for shows, I feel its about time common sense prevails ? There should be some restrictions. Larger riders do look totally wrong on small ponies, and as an ex panel judge I do judge the whole picture and how the pony is going carrying the riders weight is obviously a factor in my decisions.

    Reply
  14. Helen Kerrigan

    It’s not about the “picture” it’s about the poor horses backs!

    Reply
  15. Kirsty James

    What a disrespectful April Fools joke. I am a larger lady and have my horses back checked every 3 months as well as a vet check up on a 6 monthly basis to ensure all is well. It may not mean anything to you as a company but I certainly won’t be ordering from a company with such low morals

    Reply
  16. Andrew Bozdan

    While I understand the reasons behind this move I think the societies should focus more on over weight horses and ponies! There is all the difference in the world between a beautifully ‘topped off’ animal and a fat one !!! I’m afraid when I have judged working hunters if they come in the ring overweight they go to the end of the line!

    Reply
  17. Karen

    What a joke. For years in showing the biggest problem has been the overweight horses!!! Still goes on and time would be better spent changing this show condition culture of horses who are virtually laminitic

    Reply
  18. Stephanie fitt

    It would be interesting to find out what 153cm has to carry when competing at Badminton under BE rules.. because this has happened a lot more than once.. can any BE competitors inform on this?

    Reply
  19. nick

    good for it about time something was done for the horses sake at least – I’m not a racing snake by any means but my horse can carry me fine and we look ok

    Reply

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