Mules are now welcome to compete in British Dressage thanks to Wallace the Great. Wallace, an 11 year old rescued mule, was recently banned from competing simply because he is a mule.
The fracas began when Lesley Radcliffe, Wallace’s guardian at the Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary, attempted to register the mule as a replacement for a Team Quest class. This particular class requires 4 horses and riders, and the team was one short due to lameness. Christie McLean who has been riding Wallace was excited for the opportunity to show with her barn mates.
“Wallace is incredibly intelligent and good as gold,” said McLean.
Wallace was denied registry but public outcry inspired the board of directors to reconsider. Looking to the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) for additional guidance, the board identified a rule that stated any animal sired by a mare may compete in dressage. Being a mule, Wallace’s sire is a donkey and mother a mare. On July 5, British Dressage released a statement not only reversing Wallace’s ban but also welcoming all mules to compete.
Radcliffe and McLean are thrilled with the board’s reversal. They have been working with Wallace who has quite a talent for the sport and ‘absolutely loves it’. Thanks to public support (including Carl Hester) and the British Dressage Board’s willingness to reconsider, Wallace and McLean will now be able to compete with the rest of their team. Their first competition is this coming weekend – WARHorses wishes them well!