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12 juni 2023 Reading time 2 minutes

Well-being is first in the Pavo Cup: 'The maximum warning period now begins'

During all matches of the Dutch Pavo Cup, well-being is high on the agenda. Pieter Wiersinga is one of the controllers who will be present at these competitions. He explains what he pays attention to and what he encounters during his work as an inspector.   

All KWPN events will be strictly monitored this year. An important spearhead here are the tactile hairs and ears. "The rule that you leave the tactile hairs and don't shave the ears has been around for a while. You just leave them alone. People who say they don't know about this rule have been living under a rock. We are now going one step further. If we find that you have removed tactile hairs, or shaved the inside of the ears, we will make a note and you will receive an email. If it happens again a second time, you won't get through the barrier and you will go home unfinished," says Wiersinga. The excuse that the rider did not remove the hairs himself is not good enough the inspector indicates. "As a rider, you always remain responsible. And everyone in the horse sector should be aware of these rules by now. The maximum warning period starts now. These are things that have nothing to do with the results, just leave them alone. The tactile hairs are actually doing quite well. But with the ears you often see that they remove the hair just a little too far on the inside."  

Wiersinga is pleased that the KWPN is taking the step to enforce this rule really strictly from this season. This applies not only to the inspections but also to the Pavo Cup. "I respect that. I like to contribute to the well-being of the horse sector."  

Wiersinga not only checks for ears and tactile hairs but also ensures that the harness meets the requirements and that the horses are ridden in a fair way in the unloading area. "I make sure that people treat their horses fairly. In dressage you sometimes see that they set the horse just a little too low and then ride after it. When jumping a horse that has been called out on the forecourt it is 'tackled' for a while. Actually, it is the regular 'competitors' that you have to address. I get it. Some people live off their horses and of course want to look as good as possible but dealing honestly with your horse must be paramount, just keep it clean."   

Wiersinga notices that it is often enough to warn one person. "Then they know you're there. People sometimes find it difficult when they are approached about something and wonder who you are and why you have permission to do that. It's often the older competitors who have ‘always done it that way’ that you need to appeal to the most."  

Wiersinga can't remember how long he's actually been an inspector. "I enjoy being at the events and contributing to the well-being within the horse sector in this way. It is good that there are supervisors to keep an eye on everything. We must also keep an eye on the image of equestrian sport for our sponsors. If we don't treat the horses in a good way, sponsors won't want to attach their name to it anymore."

Curious about the guidelines that apply in the field of well-being: click here.