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Equestrian fraud: FEI takes action against artificial foam

by Marie Arensmann
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‘A foaming horse is a relaxed horse.’ – At least that’s what many people in equestrian sports assume. But this is not always the case, as the foaming of a horse is influenced by several factors. It is noticeable that horses have a sticky, white foam at their mouths more and more often. However, this foam is likely artificial.

Artificial foam – the new hack in equestrian sport

A happily chewing horse with foam at its mouth is supposed to be one of many dressage-typical characteristics. But not every horse has a stimulated flow of saliva, which is why many riders feel the need to help out. In the past, hacks to stimulate the foaming of a horse have been used many times. But it is not just apples and sugar cubes anymore, the new trick: Marshmallow Fluff.

Marshmallow fluff finds new use

The fact that some horses have a sticky substance on their mouths has been noticed by experts in top-level sports for some years now. Apparently, this sticky substance is marshmallow fluff, which is smeared on the horse’s mouth to preserve its immaculate appearance in dressage. Since appearance is very important in dressage, riders do not want a dry mouth to be the reason for failing a competition.

Ban on fake foam?

In many competitions, numerous riders smeared fake foam on their horse’s mouth. Both stewards and veterinarians noticed the artificial paste on the horses’ mouths, but so far there are no laws regulating or even banning the use of such paste. For the FEI it is important that some points in the dressage rules will get altered. This should also put an end to the marshmallow fluff.

The application of a white paste, which is supposed to serve as a foam imitation, counts as an attempt to cheat. In addition, the use of such a paste is against the welfare of the horse, as it can cover up injuries to the mouth. According to the FEI, such fraud should be punished with a warning or a yellow card.

Source: inside.fei.org, eurodressage.com

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