Leif Tørnblad Suspended

Seems it doesn’t pay to speak your mind if you are an FEI judge. Leif Tørnblad opened up with his views on the direction of dressage in an interview with Christopher Hector – for his pains he has been abused by the Dutch press, and now suspended by the FEI. What hasn’t happened is that anyone thinks and responds in an intelligent way to the serious issues the Danish Five-Star judge has raised:

The FEI has suspended Leif until the end of the year. He’s allegedly broken the codex / Article 2, that says judges have to avoid conflict of interests and maintain a neutral, objective conduct towards riders, owners, trainers, organisers and officials. 
The FEI says they’ve carefully considered the decision, and took Leif’s statement into consideration as well. Leif’s integrity and capability as a judge are not in doubt.
Article 7 of the codex says the FEI and the dressage committee have the right to sanction disciplinary action towards judges when they break the codex. That disciplinary action includes warnings, suspensions, taking them off the judges’ list etc etc.

Read the interview here

7 thoughts on “Leif Tørnblad Suspended

  1. FEI is corrupt – they have failed in their duty of horse welfare for a long time – then when they get called out they use the power they could have used to enforce horse welfare – what hypocrites

  2. I wqtched AneGrethe Jensen in 1986 ehen she won the Gold Cup in cedar Valley, Canada – Leif T was her chef d’equipe there – they weren’t married then, and her then husband owned Marzog!
    There were friends from all over the world there – Alec McKay Smith, editor of the Chronicle of the Horse – Lady Joicey, from Scotland with her Swedish horse, Pat Manning from Robert Hall’s Fulmer centre, and so many others. It ws fascinating watching a chief rider from the Sp[anish School Ernst Bachinger, in the gallery, and seeing his body language while his wife was competing….

  3. That the FEI should seek to enforce its control over an acknowledged quality judge in order to continue covering its actions which can not be said in any way to benefit the horses that are competed in the discipline of dressage, is appalling. It is not however, surprising, as it is consistent with nearly every other governing body within the equestrian industry. Few if any have the horse’s best interests at heart and demonstrate this fact clearly by how they choose to enforce their rules which are worded to make it appear as though the welfare of the horse is their first concern. It is both sad and an abominable action toward a creature who is so willing to work with and for men.

  4. It took years for the FEI to even recognise rollkur (as demonstrated by some specific European nations, cough, cough) as horse abuse and longer to do something about it, but the moment an experienced judge saying the right thing speaks up – instant retribution. Stand firm, THM and Leif, you have a lot of support!

  5. I have just reread the interview. What on earth was he suspended for? How precious (and fearful?) are the FEI . Where is our sport if expressing an opinion results in suspension? Mine for what it was worth is that Leif T was actually very diplomatic in how he framed his replies. Hopefully the FEI have shot themselves in the foot by taking this action and it will I’ll only increase the groundswell of opposition. Donna S-S was spot on in her comments.

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