This is some horrific news coming out of the equestrian world.
It looks like a US showjumper has been cheating in international competitions, as well as mistreating the horses he rode on.
On Thursday, Andrew Kocher was banned by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) for 10 years after using electric spurs on horses.
According to France24, Kocher was provisionally suspended in October last year when formal disciplinary proceedings were launched by the FEI, after the accusation came to light around June:
“It was alleged that Mr Kocher had used electric spurs on a number of FEI registered and national horses in international and national events, and during training,” the FEI said in a statement.
His term of suspension is therefore deemed to have started on October 28, 2020, and will run through October 27, 2030.
Kocher was also disqualified from eight prior events (between June 2018 and November 2019) and fined 10 000 Swiss Francs (around R156 000).
Being banned means he won’t be able to attend, spectate or participate, in any capacity whatsoever, in any of the events organised and authorised by the FEI.
Via Equine Ink, here’s more on how the electric spur works:
Kocher appears to be holding a device in his right hand with a button.
The button is connected to a wire that runs up the sleeve of the rider’s shirt and then down his back to a box that provides a charge; the wire then runs down the pant legs and out through a hole in each boot to the spur.
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) “unequivocally” supports the decision of the FEI Tribunal, as does USEF Jumping Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland who said:
“The US Jumping Team does not tolerate any form of cheating or horse abuse and fully stands behind the outcome of the FEI Tribunal decision.
“Horses are our willing and trusted partners in sport and deserve our ultimate care and respect in the pursuit of excellence.”
Kocher has denied the allegations and has 21 days to appeal.
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