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Loose Dogs on the XC – Is There a Solution?

Today at Blenheim CCI*** Millie Dumas had to take avoiding action and take the long way out of a combination after her horse Aristiek was chased by a loose dog on the cross-country course. @MontyWhite caught it on camera and posted this vine:


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A typical scene at Burghley. Of course these dogs were all well under control!

Unfortunately this isn’t the first time this has happened. Loose dogs have chased riders at big events before. I clearly remember seeing Bill Levett being chased for a long way around a course once.

So far the horses and riders have always kept their concentration on the fences, but is it going to take a horrible fall before the Powers That Be take a stance and either impose a huge fine on such miscreant’s owners, or simply ban people from taking dogs if they are spectating?

Taking dogs is not completely essential, most of us have a garden or run the dog(s) can be left in at home. Are they an essential companion, or a fashion accessory we could all do without when horses are running XC?!


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  • It would be a great pity to ban dogs because of a selfish few however If I had the power I would impose a hefty fine and a compulsory payment to the affected riders of their entry fees and travel costs. Followed by a tempory 1 event ban of entry if possible. However probably impossible to police.

  • It’s a shame that a few irresponsible owners end up ruining it for the rest of us. Dogs are a lot of fun to bring.

  • Ridiculous … how hard is it to keep hold of your dog? YES BAN THEM I say. Completely unacceptable to jeopardise a competitors chances just because someone can’t keep hold of their dog. Heard this upset competitors at the PC Champs this year too. Leave them at home!

  • I was crossing steward at Blenheim this weekend and also saw a loose horse at the water entry – rider unaffected, but I think the dog was kicked. Dog ok and caught.
    HOWEVER – the dog was loose for some time – and the course and next rider were very nearly stopped running because of it.

    I know Blenheim took a fine and gave the proceeds to World horse welfare.

    Ban them i say – How many fights and stepped on doggies have we all seen in the shopping area too!

  • Ban them. I’m sick of getting tripped up by dogs, treading in poo, them weeing all over my stuff, scaring my horse in the lorry park when left to roam free.