Everything Else

Recent FEI Yellow Cards

The FEI has a public record of riders who have been handed yellow cards or verbal warnings. Yellow cards and verbal warnings are handed out to riders for many different offences at FEI level. The main reason is usually for horse welfare issues or incorrect behaviour. The ground jury are responsible for handing out these cards and anyone who receives another yellow card for the same offence within the year faces suspension.

The list makes interesting reading as sometimes you have to read between the lines.

Since the beginning of the year 46 yellow cards have been handed out across the globe. It is not surprising that the most have been handed out at 1* level as this is the level most commonly participated in.

The Australians have been handed the most verbal warnings and yellow cards with 14 handed out in the last year.  India has six accumulated at two events. Perhaps a sign that they are a developing nation and need more help and support within the sport. Dangerous riding and continuing after three refusals is the most common infraction.

  • Several are for continuing after three refusals on cross country and this is classified as dangerous riding.
  • A little worrying is a USA rider who received one for jumping a warm up jump dangerously.
  • Abuse of the horse appears for excessive use of the spurs or bit.
  • A German rider  and a dutch rider received one for dangerous riding for jumping from a standstill.
  • Jumping a lane rope was judged to be deserving of getting a yellow card for an Australian rider.
  • A British rider received a verbal warning at Badminton for abuse of the horse with whip and spurs.
  • An Australian rider received a verbal warning for excessive use of the spurs and hands at the conclusion of a dressage test.
  • An Indian coach received one for not advising a junior pupil correctly – we can only guess at why this was!
  • A verbal warning was given to a French rider for dogs not being on the lead and running after horses in the warm up and on cross country. You would think a rider would know better.

To have a look at the FEI yellow card list click on the link. http://www.fei.org/fei/your-role/athletes/warning-cards

It always makes interesting reading and I think its good for the sport and rider education to be so open about the system. The results for this ruling show that the amount of warnings being handed out is remaining steady which has to be a good thing in a sport which is increasing in numbers. 118 in 2013, 112 is 2012,  131 in 2011, 147 in 2009. There used to be a lot of recognisable names are that list but that has declined which is also a good result as professionals should be leading the way in horse welfare and rider behaviour.

About the author


An amateur rider who produces all her own horses. I have competed at novice level and sadly never got further due to bad luck with horses but I am still ambitious to achieve a lot more. I have a riding qualification in UKCC2 and a diploma in NLP. Sports science and particularly the mental game fascinates me. For a day job I work for a large multinational brand.