Colombia's Carlos Lopez riding Admara 2 in the "Grand Prix Hermes" at the Grand Palais in Paris in 2016.
Paris (France) (AFP) - Colombian rider Carlos Enrique Lopez Lizarazo will ride on Sunday without the equipment that had brought accusations of “mechanical doping” at the show jumping world championship in Paris.
The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) indicated that for the last two rounds Lizarazo would put fetlock protectors on his gelding, Admara 2, rather than the larger hind boots.
The hind boots, sometimes called leggings, are designed to protect the horse’s rear legs. Their use is controversial because if they are excessively tightened the pain when the horse uses the muscles to jump causes it to instinctively flick its legs higher, reducing the chance of touching or hitting an obstacle.
On Friday, Admara 2 produced impressive leg kicks on the way to a second clear round in two days, this one only blemished by a one-point time penalty.
“Admara 2 had exactly the same boots as the day before,” Jean-Marc Nicolas, the French trainer of the Colombian team, told AFP on Friday. “Gerard Longis, the head steward in the paddock, put them on and took them off. If they hadn’t conformed to the rules, he would have said. And the rider told him not to fasten them too tight.”
“I am adamant that we should ban these boots. I say that they are an outside aid,” Nicolas said. “It’s just a pity we have to wait three years.”
The FEI said it will ban the hind boots after the next Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.
“If we haven’t already done it that’s because we can’t change such a rule during a period of Olympic qualification,” said John Roche, the director of jumping for the FEI.
Nicolas said character and mood explained the way the horse jumped on Friday.
“Admara is a very respectful horse, very emotional,” he said. “He was a little timid at the start of the round and the rider was obliged to take her closer to the jumps.”
Lopez Lizarazo is seventh in the competition at the AccorHotel Arena ahead of the final two rounds.