Yesterday afternoon, one of my readers alerted me to the fact that the plan to bring back the diving horse act to Atlantic City had been abandoned by the new owners of the Steel Pier.  The internet is a powerful medium for change, and a petition against the act garnered 50,000 signatures at That’s all it took.  I’m wondering whether the developers thought there were fewer animal rights activists now than there were in 1993?  Have they thought about bringing back the organ grinders — just as a flyer, to see if anyone objects?

Is that a lead rope on that monkey?

So we’re stuck with racing and Rolex when it comes to extreme horse sports, at least for the time being.  But wait!  There’s more!  How about the puissance?!  And you also get…the Tevis Cup!  Think about extreme horse sports now and you’ll get Grand Prix dressage!

Do you think all those folks signing the petition against the diving horse act over at know about the battle over blood in the 20 x 60 meter arena?

There’s news there as well. It’s actually yesterday’s news, reported yesterday on, which is itself reporting on yesterday’s news (actually, February 3rd’s news) regarding “the blood rule.”

In preparation for discussion at the 2012 FEI Sport Forums in April, the FEI Dressage and Legal Departments issued FEI Guidelines directed to all FEI Dressage officials, calling it a “regulatory explanation for eliminating horses with blood anywhere on their bodies.”  Perhaps most striking in the Guidelines is this sentence: “Even in cases where there are no signs of force, bleeding must be regarded as a sign of an unfit Horse, and there is no doubt that an unfit Horse constitutes a welfare issue.”

If you want to feel good about where the FEI Dressage and Legal Departments are coming out on this issue, go here and read everything they have to say. If you want to feel bad seeing horses bleeding from the mouth (there’s something ironic about a bloody tongue sticking out of bloody lips strapped with a flash as a tight as a tourniquet, when the horse is wearing a Happy Mouth bit), the same link will serve.