Essays of an Equestrian

I received a comment in reply to my previous post “At What Point No?” and felt it necessary to post. It tells a fuller story of an elite athletes decision to say “No” as she was concerned for her horses welfare.

I cannot imagine how hard it would be for many of us, given the chance to ride in the Olympics, to just say “No”. Kudos to Ms. Ikle for being able to.

“I don’t know what criticism had to be endured (the team trainer resigned, don’t know if it was in protest or what), but here’s a report on why she withdrew from the Hong Kong Olympics:

The Swiss Equestrian Federation has withdrawn its dressage team from the 2008 Hong Kong Olympic Games following a statement by its top dressage rider, Silvia Iklé. Iklé announced that she will not take her 14-year-old gelding Salieri CH to the Games, nor would she allow her second horse, Romario, ridden by teammate Veronika Marthaler, to compete. Iklé cited the humidity, distance and time difference of Hong Kong as reasons not to take her horses.

In a press statement, Iklé said, “Participating in Hong Kong would place extraordinary stresses and strains, exertions I do not wish to impose upon my horses.”

After Iklé’s statement, the Swiss Equestrian Federation decided to withdraw the entire Swiss dressage team from the Games, pointing out that, without Iklé, the team would be weak.

Swiss team trainer Jurgen Koschel has resigned as a result of the Swiss Equestrian Federation’s actions.”

I wish to thank Alli Farkas for the whole story!

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The good will of the horse is like the scent of a rose. Once it is gone, it is gone forever.