A petition was started on 23 November 2009 opposing the "Progressive List" of substances approved by the FEI for the welfare of the horse, at the FEI's General Assembly in Copenhagen on 18 November. This list allows, among other previously banned substances, the use of "Bute" in certain amounts and two other anti-inflammatories, as part of the FEI's "Clean Sport" campaign.
The vote which approved the Progessive List caused shockwaves throughout the horse world.
Frank Kemperman, FEI Dressage Committee chairman and CHIO Aachen show director said, "In an attempt to improve the situation, it went completely insane. They now have allowed limits of a certain substance that can make a lame horse go sound. This has never been the intention."
German NF secretary-general Sonke Lauterbach called it "a disaster" and said "it is a clear step backwards on our way to a clean equestrian sport. The Progressive List does not answer to our image of healthy, unmanipulated horses in competition."
In the U.S., AERC president Connie Caudill commented: " It would be hard for me to think that this vote was pushed through from the endurance world. I am certain the US endurance world had nothing to do with pushing this new ruling through. As far as I can see the US (especially when it comes to endurance) has very little, if any, influence on FEI anyway. FEI is made up of many different equine disciplines that are not accustomed to endurance strict drug rules, so it is my belief that some of these may have influenced the FEI decision. It is unfortunate for FEI's equines long term welfare as they will suffer because of this ruling. I [am] confident AERC members will continue to do what is best for their horses long term health in keeping them virtually drug free during competition as our horses always come first."
A partial list of the drugs on the "Progressive List" and their amounts can be seen in this article in the Telegraph.co.uk.
The Petition against the FEI "Progressive List" can be seen at www.no-fei.com. The petition will remain on-line at least until mid-December. After that, the signatures will be printed out and sent to the FEI.
"The signatories, ask the Federation Equestrian International not to apply the resolutions of the so called 'Progressive List'. It violates animal welfare to allow a horse to show in a competition although it needs painkillers. We request the FEI to immediately put their focus back on the welfare of the horse."