EDITORIAL – Shame on Equestrian Canada for not letting Kyra compete

(Image: Jim Bradbury, courtesy Hayley Barrett.)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

A BUREAUCRAT is commonly defined as an official who is —as the Oxford dictionary says — “perceived as being concerned with procedural correctness at the expense of people’s needs.”

Procedural correctness is at play in the case of 10-year-old Kyra Barrett of Pritchard. Kyra has been legally blind since birth and rides in show jumping with the help of her coach who stands in the ring and gives her directions, and who rides a guide horse beside her in cross-country.

She made the news a year ago when she was nine for her love of the sport and her hopes to be able to compete against sighted riders.

Earlier this year Equestrian Canada seemingly certified her as a para-equestrian, which allowed her to be scored along with able-bodied riders in cross-country, show jumping and dressage — called eventing.

But now, Equestrian Canada says there was no approval.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (7946 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on EDITORIAL – Shame on Equestrian Canada for not letting Kyra compete

  1. La Whitehead // September 9, 2019 at 7:27 PM // Reply

    Dani Waldman is allowed to compete in one of the biggest FEI showjumping competitions in the world at Spruce Meadows this past week with blue feathers in her hair and no hair net

    What is wrong with EC that Kyra is not allowed to use her aids?

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