Friday 26 March 2010

Performance-enhancing drugs?

I saw someone describing shoes as "a way of improving performance" and then I heard Chris Evans on Radio 2 talking about the Olympics, and the fact that artificial aids are banned - you have to rely on human ability alone, to compete. It got me thinking as I was mucking out - which is when I do most of my thinking :-)

I wondered whether there will ever be a time when horseshoes are banned from competitions. After all, shoes are a great way of artificially improving the capacity of a weak hoof to perform, just as bute can allow a horse to work beyond its natural comfort level, or performance enhancing drugs can allow an athlete to compete above and beyond the limits of their natural ability.

Of course, now that the FEI is potentially allowing horses to compete on bute, we are into a whole new area (!) - but if in principle you agree that horses should be assessed without the masking effect of painkillers, then perhaps horses should also be assessed without shoes?

The truly fit and healthy horses don't need bute to compete, just as truly fit and healthy hooves don't need shoes - now that would be revolutionary, wouldn't it?! :-) I can't see it happening in 2012, somehow....


cptrayes said...


And pigs might fly!


Nic Barker said...

Ah, I agree - its logical, not likely :-)