In 2010, Malta took part in the WDC for the first time and rocked the boat quite a bit by ending up on 5th place out of more than 70 nations!
The WDC = World Dressage Challenge, which is an international Dressage competition arranged by the FEI to give the less experienced Dressage riders who, under normal circumstances, cannot take part in international Dressage competitions and live in the more remote countries, the opportunity to compete internationally without having to leave their own country. The riders compete in their own countries, against each other and against the riders in other countries, and are divided into geological zones judges by the same FEI judges.
Last year, 2011, we encountered some problems with ID Documentation / Passports for a few horses. Since this is an international competition, the international rules previously not really regarded by the Maltese Dressage riders, need to be followed or horses will be declined entry. It is actually normal and very important to have sufficient documentation prooving who your horse really is and that you are the owner!
Below are some giudelines from Dr James, who handled the Vet Inspection for the WDC last year. He would like all riders / horse owners considering taking part to make sure they have followed the giudelines below in good time before registering for the WDC (which is tentatively scheduled to start in September with the final being in December).
GUIDELINES FOR ID DOCUMENTATION FOR HORSES ENTERING AN INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
1. All horses should have an identification certificate or a passport which are issued by an official body, that is a stud book association or a qualified vet.
2. Ideally all documentation should be in its original version and not photocopied (as photocopies can be modified)
3. If a horse passport has parts of it photocopied it is highly probable that it was altered and messed with, which means that there is some form of irregularity in the document.
4. Within a horse passport the horse markings should be clearly drawn and described. If there are no markings it is very difficult to identify a horse and so that the passport belongs to it. Having the microchip is not enough as usually this is a sticker and you can easily remove it and fix another one instead.
5. If the horse was born in Malta we cannot issue a passport as we have no stud book authorities, but yes an identification certificate or document. This identification certificate can be issued by a qualified vet after inserting a microchip. If a microchip is already present it means that the horse was already certified in some way and so original documents should be found. If the horse is imported from abroad and no documents are found its a problem, as it is illegal to issue a double of any means of identification. Its like a human ID card or passport, you cannot have 2 of each. However in such extreme cases at least an identification certificate could be issued by a vet.