Paul Ford Wants an Unfamiliar Horse

Sure, who in their right mind wouldn’t want an unfamiliar horse. Mr. Ford is clearly in his right mind.

However.

This raises several questions:

  1. How does one obtain an unfamiliar horse? Is the assignment similar to the process used in Modern Pentathlon competitions?
The Draw
i) The list of competition and reserve horses must be given to the pentathletes a minimum of 1 hour before the start of the draw of the horses. This list must include: a) Horse’s numbers, name, sex, age, colour, temperament and other characteristics, special task or equipment, martingale, etc; b) The results of the test of the horses (errors at each obstacle as well as times).
ii) The UIPM TD/NTO checks that one number for each horse is placed in a container on a table in the front of the pentathletes and that the numbers are well shuffled after being placed in the container.
Conduct of the Draw
After Fencing and Swimming, the pentathlete/team ranked N°1 will draw a horse. If it is a Relay competition one pentathlete draws on behalf of the team. On the basis of this single draw, all the horses (that have been previously numbered) will be automatically distributed to all the other pentathletes/teams.
The results team must produce immediately an update output with the numbers of all horses to be used by the Announcer, with the athletes ordered according to the order of presentation of athletes and horses. This output must include the mounting time and the starting time and must be distributed to the coaches and judges.

Source: http://www.pentathlon.org/wp-content/uploads/4-2014-Riding-Rules-Final.pdf

2. Once you’ve drawn a number for an unfamiliar horse, outside of a competition (I’m guessing that Paul Ford isn’t seeking to engage in the Modern Pentathlon), is the “assembly” and “presentation” of the horses necessary?

3. Who accompanies the unfamiliar horse(s) and conducts the inspection? What must this inspection entail, under these circumstances? Who confirms the horse’s ability?

4. What abilities is Mr. Ford looking for in an unfamiliar horse?

5. The official rules state that “pentathletes must treat the horses with care, fairly and without cruelty. A pentathlete committing any act of cruelty as regards a horse will be penalised.” Even though Mr. Ford is not a pentathlete, I would hope he’d treat his new unfamiliar horse well. Yes?

Practical Considerations

Ok, once Mr. Ford has an unfamiliar horse, how does it stay “unfamiliar”?

Is it even possible to “have” an unfamiliar horse? Surely you would become acquainted with it, at some point turning it into a “familiar horse.”

I think we’ve just encountered an equine paradox.

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