I admit I do not know much about the rules. Can the officials act on behalf of the horse during the show? I would certainly hope so. I'm glad I wasn't an official. I would have done something very embarrassing. I try to be a calm person and simply explain to the offender why excessively whipping the horse is wrong. But, the last time I saw a person excessively whipping a horse simply because it stepped on the groom's foot, I ran up to the man, ripped the whip out of his hand, and, out of my poor temper and need to protect, I hit him with the whip telling him if I ever caught him with another whip in his hands that I would break his hands. I really am not a violent person. It's just that a human can rationalize, an animal can't and I tend to become a bit overzealous when it comes to protecting animals. All of my babies (horses, dogs, and cats) are rescues from abusive situations.
The horse does not understand why he is being excessively whipped just because he refused a jump. Ironically, I just posted earlier today that I am having a problem with my horse refusing to jump in the last week. I certainly do not whip him or cause him any other physical pain for his refusal. I know that there is a reason for it, I just need to figure it out. I simply maintain my persistence to get him to jump; repetition after refusal, not pain. I'm sure the rest of you here will agree with me that there is absolutely no reason for Michael to have whipped his horse so excessively.