Of course more horses die in racing and eventing, there are more race meetings and events than there are horse fairs. That's obvious.
I'd be interest to know what you mean by 'institutionalised abuse'? The FEI investigate accidents and deaths to horses, and riders, for that matter when these instances occur, and improvements to courses and fences are enforced. Their reports and statistics are freely available on their website. It is simply not true to state that these incidents go unchallenged because the people involved have money. All the people on my yard who compete also hold down full time jobs in order to pay for their horses. Personally, I run my yard and work fulltime 8 – 5 five days per week. Training takes place between 5 and 6 in the morning or in the evenings.
Just for the record my horse is 14 and has competed all his life. He has never been lame or ill, the only time he's seen the vet is for his annual vaccinations and check up. He is fed on top quality organic food approved by the vegetarian society. I do not believe in artificial supplements or drugs. Does that sound like a horse that's been 'abused'.?
As for challenging the risks at events yes I have seen showjumping classes where there has been one competitor because everyone else withdrew because either the going was too hard or the fences were unsuitable. All the top riders pulled out of the cross country section of Badminton this year because they considered the ground too hard.
For all these reasons, yes I do hold my self up as a shining example of good example and I'm proud of it. And we are not in the minority.
If the travelling community are such an 'easy target' as you suggest, why are they not being attacked by the animal welfare groups or investigated by the Police or the animal welfare charities? Because they fear retaliation – that's why.
My main concern is the welfare of these horses. We have standards to meet and rules to adhere to, whether you choose to believe it or not. The activities I have mentioned previously at these horse fairs actually contravene the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Why should one group be allowed to get away with it when another cannot?
I have made these points because of your sweeping generalisations and attacks on people involved in a sport or activity of which you say yourself in an earlier post you know nothing about. Take the blinkers off Ruth Archer – give them back to the horse. Oh and you may be interested to know that I do not and never have hunted and wholeheartedly support the hunting ban. Don't tar everyone with the same brush, just because its your only argument.