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Swiss letter to FEI:
March 26 2012

Belgian letter to FEI:
October 2 2012

French letter to FEI:
October 12 2012

AERC letter to USEF
June 25 2013

Dutch letters to FEI:
June 19 2013
August 13 2013

Jamaica's letters to FEI:
October 23 2013 - page 1
Oct 23 - Page 2
October 25 2013
October 29 2013 - page 1
Oct 29 - Page 2
October 31 2013

John Crandell's letter to AERC:
October 30 2013

Endurance Strategic Planning Group:
November 2013
ESPG Plan
ESPG Script
ESPG Vision

John Crandell's Perspective on ESPG Proposal:
November 21 2013

AERC's Recommendations to ESPG Plans:
December 9 2013

January 2014

AERC Proposes Temporary Suspension of Concurrent FEI Events:

AERC-I's Response to AERC Sponsorship Committee Motion Proposal (Revised):
January 2014

French Vets' Open Letter to Endurance after 2014 Compiegne
June 2014

French Vets' Open Letter to Endurance after 2014 Compiegne mare's death case is closed without transparancy
September 2014

May 2015

FEI Denies UAE Appeal of Suspension

May 2015

FEI Sports Forum Endurance WEG Change Proposal

John Crandell's Rebirth of Endurance Tests/ Roadmap to the Future/ Part 1: Endurance Testing Conceptual Chart
March 2016

Francois Kerboul's Bouthieb 2015 - 2016: The unbelievable season
March 2016

2016 WEC Removed from UAE
April 2016

AERC President and AERC International Committee Chair Pen Letter Regarding Slovakia WEC - Sept 2016
September 2016

Australia's Letter to FEI Re: Slovakia WEC - Oct 2016
October 2016

AERC's Letter to USEF Re: More Dubai horse deaths
January 2017

AERA's Letter to AE Re: More Dubai horse deaths
January 2017

Germany's Letter to FEI regarding Int'l Horse Welfare
February 2017

Australia's Letter to FEI regarding UAE Horse Welfare
February 2017

AERC letter of concern to USEF Regarding UAE
January 2018

USEF Letter of Response to AERC's Letter of Concern Regarding UAE
January 2018

USA Letter to USEF Regarding Upcoming WEG
August 2018


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ALL NEWS ARCHIVE - REALLY - 9 YEARS OF IT!!!

OR, if the whole shebang is just too much, here it is by the years:
2013 || 2014 || 2015 || 2016 || 2017 || 2018 || 2019 || 2020 || 2021


HUMOR, if there is any in the situation || More HUMOR


2015

December 22 2015

The Swiss Equestrian Federation SEF remains committed to endurance being respectful of horse welfare

FNCH.ch

22 Dezember 2015 11:57

A delegation of the Swiss Equestrian Federation SEF has liaised with the director of the FEI endurance in order to discuss the suggested measures to ensure the development of the discipline and improvement of the respect for horses. The SEF has stressed the need to improve the qualifying system for the elite races and for finding a competition format for the WEG consistent with the current competition schemes.

During a workshop at the headquarters of the FEI in Lausanne, a delegation of the SEF comprising of president Charles Trolliet, Dominik Burger and Claude Nordmann, expressed the reflections and position of Switzerland concerning the current issues of the discipline to the director of Endurance of the FEI, Manuel Bandeira de Mello. Discussions included qualification criteria for major events, the new competition format during the World Equestrian Games and finally the monitoring of the situation in the Middle-Eastern countries (group VII of the FEI).

The SEF has suggested to include a provision in the regulations stipulating that it is the horse/rider pair who needs to qualify in two races in order to participate at the next level. Endurance being the demonstration of the rapport and understanding between horse and rider i.e. horsemanship, this provision would certainly ensure an improvement of horse welfare and contribute to reducing excessive speeds and other occurring issues. This request remains valid and the Swiss delegation insists that it be incorporated during the next thorough revision of endurance regulations. The discipline’s credibility is at stake. The SEF has made itself available to carry out statistics concerning this subject.

The SEF is also ready to bring forward proposals in order to develop with the FEI an attractive competition format for the World Equestrian Games. This will allow for only the best pairs to reach the World Championship by qualifying for various geographically distributed races during the two years preceding the final. The SEF has reiterated its firm opposition to any format planning races over two days as this format, only practiced at the WEG, would only encourage excessive speed and pose more risks for the horses.

Finally, after analysing the situation in group VII’s various countries especially in the UAE, the SEF has reminded that it would remain vigilant and await the end of the racing season in the Middle East to decide on the possible Swiss participation in the World Championships which are scheduled for December 2016 in Dubai.

Manuel Banderia de Mello has noted with interest the Swiss proposals and has been thankful for the frank discussion. He expressed readiness to continue a regular dialogue with the Swiss Federation.

Additional Information:

Dr. Claude Nordmann, International Relations, Swiss Federation for Equestrian Sports

Tel. +41 79 353 75 54 E-mail: claude.nordmann@bluewin.ch


December 2 2015

Regulated Endurance Rides in Abu Dhabi Support Responsible Riding

Horsereporter.com - Full Article

December 1 2015

Endurance Rule Change for Boudhieb Endurance

1 December 2015, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ For the remainder of 2015 and in advance of the Endurance season of 2016, His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has taken the state of affairs in Group 7 endurance racing extremely seriously, in particular in the UAE, and for some time has been in discussion with a number of people and bodies concerning the welfare of endurance horses and how to bring back respect for the horse and skill of the rider in successfully completing endurance competitions.

It is the considered opinion of HH Sheikh Sultan that speeds now reached in local endurance rides have exceeded the natural capacity of the average Arabian horse and that allowing speed, and therefore the culture of First past the post as the sole winning factor, has led to many problems...

Read more here:
http://www.horsereporter.com/2015/12/01/regulated-endurance-rides-in-abu-dhabi-support-responsible-riding/


November 29 2015

Tough new local rules designed to reform UAE endurance

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
29 November, 2015

A member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family aims to reform UAE endurance with tough new local rules.

FEI rules still apply, but at the Bou Thib venue of Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, prizes will only be awarded to combinations meeting new best condition-orientated criteria. These include a GPS-controlled maximum speed of 20kph, 10-minute vetting time, 50-minute compulsory hold, hypersensitivity tests to discourage nerve-blocking, and a bid to reduce “mobile crewing” by limiting following cars to one per five horses and providing official crew points every kilometre...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/tough-news-rules-reform-uae-desert-endurance-518775#wxr8tUvbM55Dxx6f.99


November 21 2015

FEI General Assembly Concludes with Approval of Endurance Rule Modifications

14 November 2015

The FEI General Assembly concluded in Puerto Rico on November 14, 2015.

During the annual meeting, member National Federations voted on a wide range of topics.

For Endurance, the General Assembly heard an update on the application of the Endurance Strategic Planning Group (ESPG) recommendations, the majority of which have been implemented. Endurance Committee Chair Brian Sheahan gave a report to delegates, detailing additional key recommendations that are being implemented.

These recommendations include:

• Key Performance Indicators consisting of the number of NFs organising Endurance events; number of CEIs; number of registered horses and athletes; number of starters; the relationship between metabolic issues and lameness; horse fatalities; number of horses leaving competition per year; number of doping cases; and promotion of officials.

• A lifetime ban for a horse that suffers a fifth consecutive disqualification for gait irregularity at FEI and national events

• An increase to 80 penalty points (from 50) for an athlete whose horse suffers a catastrophic injury

• Ranking lists, including additional ranking points for athletes with no penalty points

• Online publication of progress reports

• Coaching development programme

• Generating sponsorship

• Endurance Organisers Guide (to be ready in March 2016)

• Endurance FEI Coaching System (to commence in February/March 2016)

The General Assembly approved the modifications of the FEI Endurance Rules. The 9th edition, effective 1 January 2016, will be available on the FEI website here.


November 20 2015

21 yellow cards issued in first weekend of UAE endurance season

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
12 November, 2015

Twenty-one yellow warning cards were handed out in a single weekend at the start of the UAE endurance season, as the crackdown on rule-breaking steps up.

Numerous violations were spotted on the livestream from the first major CEI/CEN at Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi on 22 October, in addition to many sanctioned on the day by the ground jury.

There was a completion rate of just 18% in the CEI 100Km (20 of 108 starters), no reduction in average speeds, instances of extra-long reins used as whips, and riders retiring just before vet-gates to avoid the penalty points and mandatory rest periods that follow disqualification for metabolics.

The UAE was suspended in March, reinstated only after signing a legal agreement. The FEI declined to comment how long the UAE has to improve standards before another suspension is considered...

Read more here:
http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/uae-endurance-yellow-cards-516971


November 11 2015

Apathy Society

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | November 9, 2015

I meant to tell you the Apathy Society cancelled its meeting due to lack of interest, but I couldn’t be bothered...

How many tens of thousands of man-hours have been expended thinking up new formats for the Olympics and WEG, only to end up not far from where we started?

In April, I spent four days travelling to Switzerland, sitting through the FEI sports forum debates on this huge topic, and writing it up for several publications. Multiply that by 270 other delegates, and that’s 1,350 days of collective effort, before you consider all the time put in by FEI executives, committees and stakeholder groups before and since.

Now, on the eve of the FEI General Assembly in Puerto Rico, the results of a further survey of all national federations (NFs) have been published, which by no means endorse the FEI’s Olympic format preferences. However, the FEI could easily argue that strongly articulated opposition to, say, separate contests in eventing for individuals and teams, is not the majority view.

This brings us to a truth that various movers and shakers sometime utter to me in private, but baulk from saying in public.

Only 47 (35%) of the 133 member NFs bothered to respond to the most important thing they will be asked about in the next four years, apart from re-electing a president. That’s 10 fewer than the nations represented at the April forum; just seven more than competed at London 2012; and 27 fewer than represented at WEG 2014. If you don’t have long-term international ambitions, why join a global federation?...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/apathy-society/#.VkDzJhHV-TM.facebook

Endurance officials: The gait keepers of equine welfare

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 9 November 2015

...Horses are nigh-on perfect. Powerful, fast, agile, perfectly balanced. And they’re tractable enough to allow us to climb on their backs and do our bidding for us.

We marvel at their sheer speed on the racetrack and admire their endurance when we ask them to compete over 100-mile distances.

The sport of endurance, at its pinnacle, is about the partnership between horse and rider. Yes, horses are pushed hard, but the rider is attuned to their mount and can sense its performance as surely as any race-car driver can monitor his engine with a myriad of gauges in front of him.

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/11/09/endurance-officials-gait-keepers-welfare/#ixzz3r0cQyC2G


November 7 2015

Endurance bosses urge officials to stay vigilant over welfare

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 7 November 2015

Endurance officials are being urged to be vigilant by two of the most senior figures in the discipline, who warn that serious welfare incidents had the potential to irreversibly harm the sport.

The chairman of the FEI’s Endurance Technical Committee, Brian Sheahan, and the FEI’s endurance director, Manuel Bandeira de Mello, in a letter to officials, said endurance had developed into a highly professional equestrian sport over the past decade...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/11/07/endurance-bosses-vigilant/#ixzz3qqauGAgo


November 3 2015

FEI get-together: What’s going down in Puerto Rico – other than the daiquiris?

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 3 November 2015

Puerto Rico, where national delegates are about to gather for this year’s FEI General Assembly, can lay claim to no fewer than five Miss Universe pageant winners. One imagines that the beautiful people of the FEI would fit in very nicely there.

Its capital, San Juan, oozes character, with its blue cobblestone streets, friendly inhabitants and copious quantities of the local delight, rum. And let’s not forget that this is the home of the beautiful Paso Fino horse.

So, in between downing rum-laden daiquiris, what can we expect from the movers and shakers of the equestrian world?

Here’s a few snippets to whet your appetite:

Endurance

What a year it has been. Negative headlines have abounded, almost exclusively centred on the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The country was provisionally suspended in March amid welfare concerns, but has since been welcomed back after agreeing to reforms...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/11/03/fei-general-assembly-puerto-rico-daiquiris/#ixzz3qRmNmYfM


October 28 2015

UAE endurance: Eliminations loom large in season opener

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 28 October 2015

It was the American writer Mark Twain who popularised the expression, “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”.

It refers to the usefulness of statistics to boost pretty much any argument you choose.

So, with that in mind, I’m going to compare the results of the big national (CEN) 100km endurance ride staged at Al Wathba, in Abu Dhabi, on Thursday last week.

The endurance results on the Emirates Equestrian Federation website show a few qualifying events in the previous month, but the Al Wathba race was billed in the media as the season opener – and, of course, was staged under FEI rules...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/10/28/uae-endurance-eliminations-season-opener/#ixzz3psZgWSZ1


October 21 2015

New UAE endurance season kicks off at Al Wathba

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

Over 130 riders to vie for honours as revamped FEI rules come into place

Published: 17:20 October 21, 2015
Staff Report

Abu Dhabi: The UAE’s 2015-2016 domestic endurance season gets off to a promising start on Thursday, with over 130 riders entered for the 100-km CEN Al Wathba Endurance Ride. The ride will be held at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba.

“Under the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, we are extremely delighted to announce that all preparations are in place to kick start the endurance season,” said Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.

“So far we have received over 130 entries and the ride will get off to a mass start at 6am on Thursday. It will be run in three phases of 40km, 40km and 20km.

“There will be five 4WD cars up for grabs for the top five finishers,” he added.

“I would like to thank our official sponsors and partners, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, HH Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, National Feed & Floor Production & Marketing and Al Masaoud.

“We will be adopting the new rules from the FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale) on water points, vehicles on the ride route and persons accompanying the horse inside the Vet Gate.

“Water supply points have been clearly marked along the ride route while only five cars for each horse will be permitted to drive through and only two persons will be permitted to accompany the horse inside the Vet Gate during the veterinary check,” Al Nuaimi stated...

Read more here
http://gulfnews.com/sport/horse-racing/new-uae-endurance-season-kicks-off-at-al-wathba-1.1604588


October 20 2015

Fakers May Get Off Lightly Due to the Impossibility of Proving a Negative

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | October 20, 2015

What a difference a year-and-a-bit makes. Or rather, what a difference it makes when a picture of an endurance horse perched on two shattered forelegs causes a global public relations disaster, and when a national federation is exposed as so cavalier it fobs off the international governing body with fabricated results.

In February 2014, not a single Middle Eastern federation sent delegates to the FEI endurance forum, convened as a direct result of the welfare and cheating crisis the UAE has caused.

Wind on to October 2015, when 1,347 UAE trainers, riders and officials attended educational workshops, prior to the start of their winter FEI season. This was a non-negotiable condition of the FEI lifting their suspension which, lest we forget, was imposed for “major” horse welfare issues – the first time in history any horse country has been so shamed.

It’s said that when you have got someone by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow. I am not convinced just yet. Remarks in the FEI press release that these sessions were “successful” and “effective” seem premature. We can only say that if we reach the President’s Cup next February without having seen another Splitters Creek Bundy or a Marmoog, and no positive dope tests.

However, it’s a start. The FEI is responsible for letting endurance get out of control in Group VII in the first place. However, as well as new education and supervisory programs, the FEI is moving mountains behind the scenes to plug many gaps...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/fakers-may-get-off-lightly-due-to-the-impossibility-of-proving-a-negative/


October 15 2015

Hugely Successful FEI Endurance Courses Attract Almost 1,400 Delegates in UAE

FEI.org

14 Oct 2015

Close to 1,400 people have attended a series of FEI Endurance educational courses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (UAE) over the past four days in advance of this week’s Endurance season opener, a CEI1* 80-kilometre ride. The attendees, numbering 1,347 in total, included athletes, trainers, grooms, Veterinarians, Judges, Technical Delegates and Stewards. The courses were an important element in the legally binding agreement signed between the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) and the FEI prior to the lifting of the provisional suspension at the end of July. The FEI Bureau had suspended the EEF in March of this year following an investigation into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in the country.

Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee, Brian Sheahan, acted as Course Director alongside Dwight Hooton (USA) a member of the FEI Veterinary Committee and veterinary advisor to the EEF, and FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello. The EEF Assistant Secretary General Faisal al Ali attended the first session on 10 October, and Dr Ali Al Twessi from the EEF Endurance Department was also on hand to offer translation services.

The athletes, trainers and grooms’ sessions, which attracted 1,065 attendees, 25% of which were female, covered FEI and national rules, mandatory rest periods, penalty points, the entry system, field of play and veterinary aspects, including Vet Gate procedures, anti-doping rules (human and equine) and medication procedures.

John Robertson, Deputy Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee, was in charge of the courses for FEI Judges (Levels 1, 2 and 4), Stewards and Technical Delegates. A total of 190 Stewards attended, including 160 from the police force who will be working at events, as the national rules are now fully compliant with FEI rules.

Brian Sheahan and Dwight Hooton also ran a course for Veterinarians, with 68 attendees. Both the Veterinarians and Judges were then required to sit an exam, with a 100% pass rate.

The EEF’s new entry system, delivery of results to the FEI, horse welfare issues including cars in the field of play, video cameras in the stabling area and prevention of accidents in the vet gate area were discussed at two separate meetings, one with Adnan Sultan Saif Al Nuaimi, General Manager of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, and the other with Dubai Equestrian Club General Manager Mohammed Essa Al Adhad.

There was a general consensus that the courses and the individual meetings had all been extremely successful and effective. “We have a fantastic sport in Endurance and it was wonderful to have had such successful courses in Group VII, particularly from an attendance perspective but also for the enthusiasm of all the delegates”, FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello said at the end of the four days. “The courses were really interactive and there was a huge thirst for knowledge and a desire to increase the depth of understanding of all aspects of the discipline from everyone who attended. There has been great team work here in Dubai, and everybody is fully committed to success.”

Provisional suspension

As part of the ongoing clean-up of the discipline in Group VII, Abdul Aziz Mohd Yasin Sheikh, Head of Endurance at the United Arab Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF), has been provisionally suspended as an FEI Official by the FEI Secretary General, Sabrina Zeender, for consistently failing to observe the FEI Rules and Regulations at a number of events from which duplicate results were submitted to the FEI.

The provisional suspension, which is in accordance with Article 156.1 of the FEI General Regulations and which comes into immediate effect, is for an indefinite period. For the duration of the suspension, Mr Sheikh may not take part or be involved in the organisation of any FEI competitions or events, or any event under the jurisdiction of a National Federation.

Mr Sheikh has 30 days to appeal the decision to the FEI Tribunal from the date of notification (13 October 2015). He is the second UAE official to have been provisionally suspended by the FEI Secretary General following the suspension of Dr Hallvard Sommerseth, Head of the EEF Veterinary Department, last month. Both suspensions have the full support of FEI President Ingmar De Vos

The events and duplicate results in the UAE that were used specifically for qualification purposes have now been deleted by the FEI IT Department. Any horse/rider combinations that used these duplicate results as qualification for subsequent events, and were therefore ineligible to compete, have now been disqualified.

FEI suspends UAE endurance boss

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 15 October 2015

The head of endurance at the United Arab Emirates Equestrian Federation has been provisionally suspended as an FEI official.

FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender has suspended Abdul Aziz Mohd Yasin Sheikh “for consistently failing to observe the FEI Rules and Regulations at a number of events from which duplicate results were submitted to the FEI”.

The suspension was made as part of the ongoing clean-up of the discipline in Group VII, in which the UAE’s equestrian federation was provisionally suspended by the FEI Bureau in March. It followed an investigation into what the world governing body characterised as major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with its rules...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/10/15/fei-suspends-uae-endurance-boss/#ixzz3oeCfMm8i


October 7 2015

FEI President Pushes 'Clean Sport' Message

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 7 October 2015

Shortly after the election of FEI President Ingmar De Vos, a wag cheekily suggested I should ask him what it’s like to be the world’s most famous Belgian.

Come on, I replied, the world is full of famous Belgians.

Admittedly, names didn’t immediately spring to mind.

If only a website were devoted to such a worthy subject. As it happens, there is!

I surfed on over to Famousbelgians.net, where an exhaustive account of Belgium’s best and brightest can be found, along with a gentle front-page chiding for those who believe the world lacks famous Belgians.

Naturally, I made my way to the list entitled “The current Top 10 famous Belgians”, to find no sign of De Vos. A mistake, surely?...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/10/07/ingmar-da-boss-first-10-months-helm-fei/#ixzz3ntccXYsT


October 5 2015

FEI President Pushes 'Clean Sport' Message

Thehorse.com

By Edited Press Release
Sep 1, 2015

Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) President Ingmar De Vos has sent a strong message to the equestrian world on the importance of the FEI Clean Sport campaign in the countdown to the rollout of the FEI’s global Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Program (EADCMP) on Jan. 1, 2016.

The FEI headquarters currently coordinates administration of the EADCMP in FEI Regional Groups I and II (Europe), while administration of the program in the rest of the world has been undertaken through national anti-doping programs or national federations. In January the FEI headquarters will take over administration of the program worldwide.

In advance of the implementation of the worldwide EADCMP, the FEI will upscale its awareness and education campaign amongst national federations, athletes, and their entourages in order to prevent inadvertent positives.

“It is vital for the integrity of all sport that it is clean and fair, but it is even more important when there is an animal involved because of the welfare implications”, De Vos said. “The FEI has a stringent anti-doping policy in place to protect horse welfare and maintain a level playing field. Horse welfare and fair play have always been and always will be two of the central pillars of the FEI.

“We have close to 4,000 international events on the FEI calendar now and, as the international governing body, it is our responsibility to safeguard our athletes and the sport itself, and part of that is protecting our clean athletes,” he continued. “We have a rigorous testing policy and the FEI prohibited substances list contains over 1,000 substances, so it is crucial that our athletes and their vets are aware of what they are giving their horses.

“Of course our horses have to be treated if they are injured or sick, but anything given to the horse must have been eliminated from the body of the horse by the time of competition so that we can maintain the integrity of our sport. Boosting awareness and education is key. Keep it clean is the message.”

De Vos’ statement comes following news that the FEI has imposed provisional suspensions on two athletes whose horses have tested positive for prohibited substances.

Samples taken at a CEI1* 80km endurance event at Miramas, in France, on May 3 from the horse Buenaventura, ridden by Candice Pilloni (FRA), returned positive for the banned substance oxycodone (an opioid analgesic) and the controlled medication substance lidocaine and its metabolite 3-hydroxylidocaine (a local anaesthetic).

Further, samples taken at the North American Juniors and Young Riders Championships in Lexington, Kentucky, on July 16 and 18 from the horse Why Not, ridden by Sophie Simpson (USA) in jumping, returned positive for the banned substance capsaicin, a topical analgesic or irritant.

Both athletes have been provisionally suspended from the day of notification (Aug. 31). Additionally, the two horses have been provisionally suspended for two months. The athletes and the horse owners have the opportunity for a preliminary hearing before the FEI Tribunal to request the lifting of the provisional suspensions.


September 19 2015

Bahrain: Sheikha banned over positive drug finding in endurance horse

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 19 September 2015

A member of Bahrain’s ruling family has received a two-year ban from the FEI Tribunal after her mount tested positive for a banned substance after an Italian endurance race a year ago.

Sheikha Najla Bint Salman Al Khalifa’s horse, Salahdin Du Lauragais, tested positive for the long-acting sedative reserpine, after the 120km 2* star ride in Verona San Martino Buon Albergo in July last year...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/09/19/sheikha-banned-positive-drug-finding-endurance-horse/#ixzz3mC10yonR


September 18 2015

FEI Tribunal questions whether trainer doped endurance horse for ‘revenge’ as claimed

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
18 September, 2015

“Serious doubts” have been expressed about the authenticity of a trainer’s “confession” exonerating a member of the Bahraini ruling family from blame in a reserpine doping offence.

The FEI Tribunal found that the endurance rider, Sheikha Najla bint Salman Al Khalifa, had not established the fundamental principle of “no fault no negligence” for the presence of the banned sedative in her ride Salahdin du Lauragais at the 120km CEI in Verona, Italy, on 26-27 July 2014. It suspended her for two years.

In its 13-page decision notice, the Tribunal queried at length the veracity of a statement purportedly submitted by trainer Narendrha Singh, admitting injecting the horse “between 2 and 7 July,” without the Sheikha’s knowledge, out of “revenge”...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/fei-tribunal-trainer-singh-confessed-doping-510553#ZBt4UsfB6PvKYWUk.99


September 14 2015

Leading endurance official suspended in connection with ‘fake rides’ Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/dr-sommerseth-suspension-fei-endurance-510035#ZuEeCWhRCSV5oCTz.99

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

September 14 2015

Dr Hallvard Sommerseth (pictured), a leading figure in world endurance, has been provisionally suspended as an FEI official in connection with the UAE “fake rides” scandal.

Dr Sommerseth is a former FEI bureau member, when chair of its endurance committee.

Originally from Norway, he has worked in the UAE for many years and, in his current role as head of the UAE federation’s veterinary department, was in a position to influence ride organisation.

The FEI stated that Dr Sommerseth had also shown a “consistent failure to comply with FEI rules and regulations over a period of several years.”

The fake rides came to light in March when H&H was tipped off that President’s Cup qualifier, purportedly staged on 21 January, did not take place...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/dr-sommerseth-suspension-fei-endurance-510035#ZuEeCWhRCSV5oCTz.99


September 9 2015

Simply Shameless

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | September 1, 2015

Lots of people have asked me why I didn’t launch into print the day the FEI lifted its suspension of the UAE. Well, the short answer was that it was a suspension, not a ban, and was always going to happen at some point. After all, the only way the UAE can prove they can behave themselves in FEI rides is by taking part in FEI rides.

The other factor was that I was so completely turned-off the subject by the cringe-worthy “welcome back” afforded to the UAE on social media from countries one rashly hoped were the decent practitioners of endurance. Most of the posters genuflecting and squealing “we’ve missed you” were youngsters who don’t maybe yet know better, or folk who make their living selling horses to the UAE. But still – yuck.

Even though some memories are short, happily today we have another jolt about the utter shamelessness of senior figures in UAE endurance community and their acolytes. Thirty horses (yes, 30) have just been disqualified from February’s President’s Cup as a result of falsified qualifications.

The FEI said all along it would excise the faked results from its database. It has now commenced this plus the marathon task of adjusting the results of real races where multiple participants were not qualified to start.

The UAE has certainly been given enough rope to hang itself by the FEI, in the conditions set for its return to competition. Bearing in mind this most outrageous piece of fakery, out of so much other fakery, occurred in January and February this year when the UAE was already on notice from the FEI that it was in very serious trouble indeed, is it likely to have undergone a collective personality transplant in a matter of months?

The horses disqualified from the President’s Cup come from 13 stables variously owned by the ruling Maktoum and Nayhan families. They represent 20 per cent of the President’s Cup starters. They include the runner-up, Kalifa, ridden by Suhail Al Ghailani. Hadeer, the ride of world champion Sheikh Hamdan, was not qualified for this or his previous two races with other riders...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/simply-shameless/

The ghosts fixed the match

Playthegame.org - Full Article

09.09.2015
By Declan Hill

The fixing of fictitious matches is among the outcomes of a sports data revolution that is currently transforming sport, writes Declan Hill, and examines the newest phenomenon in the world of match rigging; ghost-fixing.

...A Real-Life Dick Francis Novel

At least, the Slovenian ski officials actually staged a race and then tried to fix the data coming out of the event. The ‘industrial-scale’ ghost-fixing in endurance horse racing that took place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sounds like a plot from a Dick Francis thriller.

Long-distance – endurance - horse racing was originally inspired by the feats of the Russian and Polish cavalry in the First World War. The sport is now a matter of extraordinary prestige on the Arabian Peninsula. The races range from 50 to 160-km and the horses and riders can race for hours across a hot terrain.

The problem is that the sport in the Middle East has been marked by just about every scandal possible – in at least three cases riders allegedly changed horses in mid-race, there are numerous cases of doped horses and the sheer abuse of the animals can be horrendous. In March of 2015, an Australian horse dropped to its knees in mid-race with two shattered legs, prompting one observer on social media to write that, “the rider should be immediately taken to the stable and shot”.

However, all those scandals pale in comparison with ghost-fixing – or ‘phantom riding’ – that erupted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier this year. ..

Read more here:
http://www.playthegame.org/news/news-articles/2015/0068_the-ghosts-fixed-the-match/


September 8 2015

Former FEI Endurance Committee head suspended over UAE race controversy

The FEI has provisionally suspended a veterinarian who once chaired its Endurance Committee for allegedly failing to follow the rules and his purported involvement in several events in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in which duplicate results were submitted.

FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender said the suspension of Dr Hallvard Sommerseth, who heads the Veterinary Department at the UAE Equestrian Federation, was for an indefinite period.

Read more ...

UAE Veterinarian Provisionally Suspended as FEI Official

Thehorse.com

By Edited Press Release
Sep 8, 2015

Hallvard Sommerseth, DVM, head of the veterinary department at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Equestrian Federation (EEF), has been provisionally suspended as a Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) official.

Sabrina Zeender, FEI secretary general, suspended Sommerseth for noncompliance with FEI Rules and Regulations and his involvement in a number of events from which duplicate results were submitted to the FEI. The secretary general’s decision has the full support of FEI President Ingmar De Vos.

The provisional suspension, which is in accordance with Article 156.1 of the FEI General Regulations and which comes into immediate effect, is for an indefinite period. For the duration of the suspension, Sommerseth may not take part or be involved in the organization of any FEI competitions or events or any event under the jurisdiction of a national federation.

The suspension has been imposed as a result of Sommerseth’s consistent failure to comply with FEI Rules and Regulations over a period of several years. Zeender stated that Sommerseth had failed to observe the FEI Rules and Regulations while acting as an FEI official at a number of FEI international endurance events over a three-year period from April 2012 to February 2014. By allowing the events to take place without accurate timing systems he failed in his responsibility as technical delegate and this failure was a contributory factor in duplicate results being submitted to the FEI. In addition to his role as a technical delegate, Sommerseth also acted as a ground jury member at several of the events.

The suspension is based on the findings in a report produced by the Equestrian Community Integrity Unit, which was tasked by the FEI Secretary General earlier this year to investigate duplicate results that had been submitted to the FEI from endurance events in the UAE. The report indicates that timing systems were not used at these events and accurate timings were not taken of each competitor’s phases, which must be done in accordance with the FEI endurance rules. Instead, the times submitted in the official results provided to the FEI were copied from other events.

Sommerseth was a member of the FEI Bureau from 1998 to 2007 during his term as chair of the endurance committee and subsequently became an honorary bureau member. He was also a member of the FEI Veterinary Committee from April 2007 until November 2011. He became a course director for endurance judges, technical delegates, and veterinarians in September 2009, and was also a 4* endurance course designer (from January 2013), a 4* endurance veterinary treatment official (January 2012), and a 4* endurance judge (January 2009). He has been an official veterinarian for jumping, dressage, and endurance, and a 4* endurance technical delegate, since January 2009.

Sommerseth has 30 days to appeal the decision to the FEI Tribunal from the date of notification (Sept. 1).

Under the terms of the legally binding agreement signed by the FEI and the EEF at the end of July, the EEF agreed that any sanctions imposed by the FEI would also be implemented and enforced at national level.

The events and duplicate results in the UAE were used specifically for qualification purposes. The FEI IT department is currently removing all such events from the FEI calendar and deleting all duplicate results. Any horse/rider combinations that used these duplicate results for qualification for subsequent events, and were therefore ineligible, have already either been or will be disqualified.


September 2 2015

30 horses disqualified as FEI begins clean-up of ‘phantom’ endurance rides

Thirty horses, the majority trained in 13 stables owned by the ruling Maktoum and Nayhan families, have been disqualified from the UAE’s most onerous endurance race, the 160km President’s Cup, as the clean-up of the “phantom” rides begins.

The FEI has commenced the marathon task of deleting 15 faked rides from its database, and adjusting results of real races whose participants were not qualified to start.

The 30 horses represent 20% of the President’s Cup starters. They include the runner-up, Kalifa, ridden by Suhail Al Ghailani. Hadeer, the ride of world champion Sheikh Hamdan, was not qualified for this or his previous two races with other riders.

Read more ...

FEI database being updated in wake of so-called “phantom races”

Changes are under way to the FEI database as the fallout from the so-called phantom endurance races in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues.

The UAE national federation was provisionally suspended last March following an investigation by the FEI into what it called major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with the rules in endurance.

Around the same time, evidence emerged of UAE endurance races for which blocks of results in the FEI database appeared to mirror those of earlier races. This issue was unrelated to the suspension.

Read More ...

Two riders suspended as FEI boss says “keep it clean”

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 2 September 2015

Two riders have been placed under provisional suspension after their horses returned positive tests for prohibited substances, just before FEI President Ingmar De Vos announced a further push for awareness and education to prevent inadvertent positives.

Samples taken at a CEI1* 80km endurance event at Miramas in France on May 3 from the horse Buenaventura (FEI ID 104TD11/FRA), ridden by Candice Pilloni (FRA), returned positive for the banned substance Oxycodone, an opioid analgesic, and the Controlled Medication substance Lidocaine and its metabolite 3-Hydroxylidocaine, a local anaesthetic.

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/09/02/two-riders-suspended-fei-boss-says-keep-clean/#ixzz3lGXxJldp


September 1 2015

Simply Shameless

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | September 1, 2015

Lots of people have asked me why I didn’t launch into print the day the FEI lifted its suspension of the UAE. Well, the short answer was that it was a suspension, not a ban, and was always going to happen at some point. After all, the only way the UAE can prove they can behave themselves in FEI rides is by taking part in FEI rides.

The other factor was that I was so completely turned-off the subject by the cringe-worthy “welcome back” afforded to the UAE on social media from countries one rashly hoped were the decent practitioners of endurance. Most of the posters genuflecting and squealing “we’ve missed you” were youngsters who don’t maybe yet know better, or folk who make their living selling horses to the UAE. But still – yuck.

Even though some memories are short, happily today we have another jolt about the utter shamelessness of senior figures in UAE endurance community and their acolytes. Thirty horses (yes, 30) have just been disqualified from February’s President’s Cup as a result of falsified qualifications.

The FEI said all along it would excise the faked results from its database. It has now commenced this plus the marathon task of adjusting the results of real races where multiple participants were not qualified to start.

The UAE has certainly been given enough rope to hang itself by the FEI, in the conditions set for its return to competition. Bearing in mind this most outrageous piece of fakery, out of so much other fakery, occurred in January and February this year when the UAE was already on notice from the FEI that it was in very serious trouble indeed, is it likely to have undergone a collective personality transplant in a matter of months?

The horses disqualified from the President’s Cup come from 13 stables variously owned by the ruling Maktoum and Nayhan families. They represent 20 per cent of the President’s Cup starters. They include the runner-up, Kalifa, ridden by Suhail Al Ghailani. Hadeer, the ride of world champion Sheikh Hamdan, was not qualified for this or his previous two races with other riders...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/simply-shameless/


August 20 2015

Further endurance bans in Middle East

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
20 August, 2015

Two more Middle Eastern endurance riders have been suspended for two years each, after their horses tested positive having allegedly consumed Fustex — a supplement that the FEI has repeatedly warned against.

Horses competed by Mohammed Shafi Al Rumaithi (Royal Des Fontaines, UAE) and Ali Yousef Al Kubaisi (In Situ, Qatar) both tested positive to propoxyphene, a narcotic pain reliever. Al Rumaithi’s owner Jumaa Mohamed Khamees Alromaithi was also banned for two years after admitting buying Fustex...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/middle-eastern-endurance-riders-suspended-fustex-506571#7Y2XHcgGYzzockpA.99

August 11 2015

Dirty Laundry List

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Blogs Straight-Up | August 8, 2015

Well, if there was ever any doubt about the extent of the UAE’s reprehensible behaviour in Endurance racing (and there wasn’t as far as I’m concerned), the FEI’s press release of last week certainly wipes it out. Nothing like a list of what someone is not allowed to do to confirm what that person or group has been up to. I mean, when someone is let out of jail on probation, the terms of the probation aren’t likely to list criminal activities of the sort that the person hasn’t committed. If you stole a car, the probation isn’t going to mention domestic violence, is it?

Here is the list of ‘thou shalt not’ activities contained in a new agreement signed by the UAE and FEI:

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/straight-up/dirty-laundry-list/


July 30 2015

UAE endurance: There’s one more issue to mop up

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 30 July 2015

Acronyms and abbreviations drive me crazy. We’re not talking Dance Around The Arena Naked kind of crazy, but if I ever developed a facial tick, I have no doubt that acronyms and their ilk would be to blame.

To be strictly correct, I’m talking about abbreviations, contractions, acronyms and initialisms.

Which makes me hate them even more.

This obsessive dislike becomes a major problem when you start writing about the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and the Equestrian Community Integrity Unit (ECIU)...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/07/30/uae-endurance-theres-one-more-issue-to-mop-up/#ixzz3hPdc6x3u


July 28 2015

UAE endurance: Final call for drinks at the Last Chance Saloon

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 28 July 2015

The barman has called for final drinks at the Last Chance Saloon, where the FEI and the United Arab Emirates have been holed up for four months trying to broker a deal over endurance.

Early in March the pair had a very public showdown in the Main Street, after the FEI suspended the UAE over concerns around horse welfare and non-compliance with the world governing body’s rules.

The UAE appealed and it was looking very much like pistols at dawn, as the two gun-toting parties squared off.

Who would blink first?...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/07/28/uae-endurance-final-drinks-last-chance-saloon/#axzz3hC2Ss8Cf

After probe of horse abuse, equestrian body reinstates UAE with 2016 endurance worlds at stake - TheRepublic.com



Endurance deal reached: UAE returns to FEI fold - Horsetalk.co.nz


July 27 2015

UAE endurance riders free to compete from Tuesday after FEI lift suspension

Telegraph.co.uk - Full Article

By Pippa Cuckson, Equestrian Correspondent
3:50PM BST 27 Jul 2015

The unprecedented temporary ban was put in place after multiple horse welfare scandals

United Arab Emirates endurance riders are free to compete from Tuesday with the International Equestrian Federation (FEI’s) decision to lift their national federation’s unprecedented suspension.

Monthly performance reviews, the application of rigorous FEI rules at national competitions, attempts to reduce fatalities and respect for mandatory rest periods are among a raft of conditions negotiated since the UAE was grounded in March after multiple horse welfare scandals highlighted by Telegraph Sport. Any future breaches could result in further suspension and the withdrawal of the 2016 world endurance championships in Dubai in December 2016...

Read more here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/equestrianism/11765759/UAE-endurance-riders-free-to-compete-from-Tuesday-after-FEI-lift-suspension.html

FEI lifts ban on UAE equestrian federation - Horseandhound.co.uk


UAE back in world equestrian body after endurance race probe - ESPN


UAE endurance suspension lifted by FEI - Horseandcountry.tv


UAE back in world equestrian body after endurance race probe - Bellinghamherald.com


UAE back in world equestrian body after endurance race probe - Yahoo News


UAE back in world equestrian body after endurance race probe - Foxsports.com

UAE National Federation suspension lifted by FEI Bureau following signature of agreement

FEI.org

27 Jul 2015

The FEI Bureau has unanimously approved the immediate reinstatement of the United Arab Emirates National Federation to full membership of the FEI following signature of a legally binding agreement between the two parties in which the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) guarantees that horse welfare will be fully respected and that FEI Rules will be stringently enforced at all Endurance events, both national and international, in the country.

The agreement has been signed by FEI President Ingmar De Vos and Secretary General Sabrina Zeender, and by EEF President HE Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Secretary General Taleb Dhaher Al Mheiri, and Mohammad Al Kamali, Secretary General of the UAE National Olympic Committee.

The EEF was provisionally suspended by the FEI Bureau in mid-March following an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in Endurance in the UAE.

Following the suspension and at the request of the FEI Bureau, the EEF proposed an extensive list of actions it would undertake to address the issues. These were integrated into a draft agreement that the EEF sent to the FEI in early June. The FEI Bureau unanimously welcomed the proposals, but informed the EEF that more areas needed to be covered before the agreement that would allow the provisional suspension to be lifted could be signed. The two parties have spent the intervening weeks reviewing and revising the terms of the agreement.

Under the key terms of the agreement, the EEF must ensure that:

Protocols are put in place to avoid equine fatalities;
Applicable rest periods are respected;
Horses on rest periods are blocked from entry in national events (the FEI system already blocks entries in international events);
Use of prohibited fluid administration and any substances prohibited under the FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs) in and around the Field of Play and at the Vet Gate is prevented;
Prohibited substitution of horses is prevented;
Prohibited vehicles on the Field of Play are prevented;
Any individual or horse suspended by the FEI is automatically blocked by the EEF IT system from competing at national events;
The role and authority of officials in carrying out their duties is respected at all times;
Training and education of Athletes, Trainers, Support Personnel, National Federation Staff Members and Stable Veterinarians is conducted prior to the start of the 2015/2016 Endurance season in October;
FEI rules on post mortems are adhered to and, where possible, the same procedure is applied in the event of fatalities at national competitions;
A national Independent Governance Advisor, approved by the FEI is appointed; Conflicts of interest are avoided;
Distribution of prize money is in accordance with the FEI approved schedule;
Rules for National Endurance events in the UAE are fully compliant with the FEI Rules and Regulations.

The EEF will provide monthly written reports during the 2015/2016 season on steps taken to ensure ongoing compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations, and agrees to abide by any further recommendations put forward by the FEI. Following completion of the 2015/2016 season, the EEF will provide reports whenever requested by the FEI.

Additionally, the EEF will support a research project to evaluate the causes of injuries linked to the design of desert endurance courses. Endurance Trainers will be obliged to cooperate with this research project.

The agreement also details the new legislation that has been introduced in the UAE prohibiting the trade or use of banned substances in horse racing and equestrian sports in the country and the sanctions that will be imposed for breaches.

“We are very pleased that, after four months of very hard work, the United Arab Emirates have demonstrated with the signature of this agreement that they are fully committed to ensuring horse welfare and complying with FEI rules at both international and national level in the country”, FEI Secretary General Sabrina said. “They are absolutely committed to making this work so that they can return to playing an active and leading role in Endurance once again and, to demonstrate that commitment, they have included the UAE’s highest sporting body, the National Olympic Committee, in the agreement.”

"We are very pleased that the FEI Bureau has unanimously agreed to lift the suspension based on the considerable actions and solutions we have put in place together”, EEF Secretary General Taleb Dhaher Al Mheiri said. “We will continue to work with them to ensure all their requirements are applied in endurance racing across the UAE. As the governing body of equestrian sports in the UAE we take our responsibility seriously. It is our goal to pursue excellence while promoting the growth of the sport and safeguarding the welfare of equine and human athletes.”

Separately, the FEI had commissioned the Equestrian Community Integrity Unit (ECIU) to conduct an extensive inquiry into allegations of fake events and duplicate results in the UAE. These allegations were not taken into account when the FEI Bureau imposed the suspension, and were dealt with independently, but provisions have been included in the agreement to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

The EEF cooperated fully with the inquiry and the detailed report has now been received by the FEI. The report is currently being reviewed by the FEI and a file will be submitted to the FEI Tribunal for further action. Sanctions will be taken against any FEI Officials found to be involved. In addition, the FEI will annul all duplicated results and review any connected results.

At the same time, the EEF Endurance Committee conducted its own investigation into the allegations and has authorised sanctions on any Organisers and EEF staff that are found to be involved. The EEF is currently restructuring its organisational policies to ensure that similar events cannot occur again and will put rules in place for all future FEI events under which either the National Federation or the Organising Committee must provide all equipment, including the timing system.

The EEF accepts that the FEI will be entitled to impose sanctions in case of non-compliance with all the terms of the agreement. These sanctions would include, but are not limited to, the immediate reinstatement of the suspension and withdrawal of the allocation of the 2016 FEI World Endurance Championships, which are due to be held in Dubai in mid-December next year.

The agreement will remain in effect for a three-year period. During that time, the FEI and EEF will meet at least once a year for an in-depth review, in addition to the monthly written reports required under the agreement. The FEI reserves the right to extend the term of the agreement if appropriate.


July 23 2015

Outrage after suspended endurance trainer is seen helping British riders

HOrseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
23 July, 2015

Endurance GB has declined to comment on why a suspended UAE trainer was allowed to assist British riders at last week’s King’s Forest endurance international (12 July).

The prominent Dubai-based trainer Anzaq Mehmood was seen using slosh bottles at crew points in photographs (not pictured above), which caused a storm on social media.

However, his status has fallen into a “grey area.”

Crewing was not specifically addressed in FEI guidelines about the practical application of the UAE suspension. However, an existing rule prohibits suspended persons from stepping on to the field of play, and was applied in a 2011 case involving Maktoum trainer Ali Al Muhairi...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/endurance-gb-declines-to-comment-suspended-uae-trainer-anzaq-mehmood-kings-forest-international-503159#rgv9ode4wMkgpXhT.99


July 6 2015

FEI Tribunal Exposing Truth and Lies in Endurance

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | July 6, 2015

The 27-month FEI suspension on a virtually unknown Qatari endurance rider Nasser Khalifa NJ Al Thani received a lot of media coverage recently.

There is nothing new, of course, about an endurance rider from Group 7 (Middle East) being banned for doping, but the reason it is now News with a capital N is simple: the FEI has a new policy of issuing press releases about Tribunal decisions. To date, they have only issued statements about cases with an Olympic or World Equestrian Games connection – with the obvious exception of the Jock Paget case, the subject of media frenzy.

This welcome initiative means those interested no longer have to consult the Tribunal database every other day, waiting for something new to pop up. In future, every media outlet will receive a ready-to-use story. If this spurs more colleagues to then read the much juicier, full decision notice I am all for it. The detailed evidence therein provides a snap-shot of the some very strange goings-on.

I am only sad this publicity drive didn’t happen much, much sooner, and that large numbers of people were not reading and thus reacting to these serial endurance horror stories decades ago...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/fei-tribunal-exposing-truth-and-lies-in-endurance/

Enduring Observations

Equinerescuefrance.org - Full Article

Posted by ERF on Jul 4, 2015

ERF is very grateful to Australian Vet and Endurance Rider, Anna Erickson, for allowing us to reproduce her comment on Endurance riding from her perspective.

This is even more significant as news is filtering through from the Middle East that various UAE Endurance Stables are insisting that the FEI has lifted the ban. Which of course is entirely untrue.

“After yet another scary looking pic and yet another argument about how to interpret it along with the usual comments that we “weren’t there so we don’t know” and “it’s rare” and “I’ve seen horses as bad as that in Australia” I feel compelled to write. As a vet who also rides endurance (which many of my clients know) I just want to say “the (horse) world is watching”! Many of my clients who don’t ride endurance have asked me:

1. Have you seen that picture? (Splitters Creek Bundy)
2. What in the hell is going on in endurance?
3. Have you seen anything like this here?
4. How do people justify still selling horses to the UAE?

To which my answers are:

1. Yes
2. I don’t really know but clearly we have a problem in the Middle Eastern countries and we need to sort it out
3. No
4. I have no idea.

These are not endurance people, but they are concerned horse people...

Read more here:
http://www.equinerescuefrance.org/2015/07/enduring-observations/


July 5 2015

Judges and officials to ‘police’ equestrian events

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
4 July, 2015

Judges and officials at international shows and events are being encouraged to become “amateur policemen” in the fight against cheating, with the distribution of new “evidence-gathering guidelines” by the FEI.

The FEI ramped up its fight against doping and rule-breaking with a review of legal procedures to close loopholes following the collapse last year of the Sheikh Hamdan/Marmoog horse swap enquiry on a legal technicality.

In a further step, the guidelines emphasise the importance of officials minutely recording dates and times of witnessed incidents.

They recommend carrying resealable plastic bags and labels, a digital camera and disposable gloves, to prevent contamination or accusations of “tampering”...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/fei-rule-breaking-500662#jUaeLf6gE9oiwjBj.99


June 29 2015

Reform in horse-sport: What changes will the FEI get over the line?

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 28 June 2015

The big questions around horse-sport reform have been served up to national federations, as the FEI works to establish what changes might ultimately get some traction.

Reform questions dominated the FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne, Switzerland, late in April, with delegates from around the globe hearing the reasons behind the need for change, as well as some options offered up by the FEI’s technical committees in each of the disciplines.

The central aims revolve around making the disciplines more consistent, easier to understand, simpler, and more exciting as a spectacle...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/06/28/reform-horse-sport-changes-fei-over-line/#ixzz3eTVhYwyn


June 24 2015

Endurance riders banned by FEI for doping

Horseandcountry.tv - Full Article

By Charlotte Ricca-Smith on 24th-Jun-2015

Two endurance riders have been banned from the sport by the FEI after their horses tested positive for banned substances.

Not allowed in competiton

Nasser Khalifa NJ Al Thani’s horse Brookleigh Caspar tested positive at the 120km one-star endurance competition at Mesaieed in Doha on 11 April 2014.

The banned substance heptaminol was found in his system, along with the controlled medications phenylbutazone, meloxicam and dexamethasone.

Heptaminol is a stimulant that dilates blood vessels. Phenylbutazone (bute) and meloxicam are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used for pain relief, while dexamethasone is a corticosteroid with anti-inflammatory effect. Controlled medications are substances regularly used to treat horses, but which are not allowed in competition.

Read more at http://www.horseandcountry.tv/news/2015/06/24/endurance-riders-banned-fei-doping

Sheikh challenges standing of FEI’s strict liability principle in anti-doping cases

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 24 June 2015

The world’s highest court for sport-related cases has reduced the suspension imposed by the FEI Tribunal on Sheikh Hazza Bin Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan over a positive test for a banned substance in an endurance horse he rode in Abu Dhabi early in 2012.

During the hearing, the sheikh’s legal team took issue with key elements of the FEI’s strict liability principle that holds the rider as the Person Responsible for any drug or medication infraction in a horse unless they can prove no fault or negligence. That has proved to be a very high bar to clear in cases that have gone before the FEI Tribunal.

The sheikh was appealing the FEI Tribunal decision from April 7 last year over what had been his winning ride on Glenmorgan in a CEI3* race at Al Wathba on February 11, 2012, after which the horse tested positive for propoxyphene and its metabolite norpropoxyphene...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/06/24/sheikh-fei-strict-liability-principle-anti-doping/#ixzz3dzIWHZMO

South African Endurance rider submitted to polygraph test in bid to clear name

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 24 June 2015

South African endurance rider Gillese De Villiers has received a six month suspension and a fine of 500 Swiss francs over her mount’s positive test for phenylbutazone and a related substance at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy last year.

De Villiers’ submissions to the FEI Tribunal even included the results of a polygraph (lie detector) test.

De Villiers’ mount, Tra Flama, who vetted out at the second vet gate on the WEG endurance course, tested positive for phenylbutazone and its metabolite, oxyphenbutazone...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/06/24/endurance-rider-polygraph-bid-clear-name/#ixzz3dzG8p0MF

The FEI’s tight rein in the fight against drug breaches

Horsetalk.co.nz | 24 June 2015

It is impossible not to feel some sympathy for South African endurance rider Gillese De Villiers, who has been fined and suspended for six months over her mount’s positive test for phenylbutazone and a related substance at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy last year.

De Villiers has been an endurance rider for 25 years and has completed 18,000km. She has regularly been a member of the South African team for the last eight years...

Read more at http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/06/24/fei-tight-rein-fight-drug-breaches/#ixzz3dzFfAGs6

Fine, suspension for Qatari endurance rider

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article
Horsetalk.co.nz | 24 June 2015 p> Qatari endurance rider Nasser Khalifa N.J. Al Thani has received a 27-month suspension after the horse he rode in a 120km endurance race tested positive for four substances which breached FEI drug rules. p> Al Thani, who was under 18 when his race entry was submitted, rode Australian-bred Brookleigh Caspar in the 120km one-star Endurance competition at Mesaieed in Doha. p> Urine and blood samples taken from the horse that day for drug testing came back positive for the banned substance Heptaminol and controlled medications Phenylbutazone, Meloxicam and Dexamethasone... p> Read more at http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/06/24/fine-suspension-qatari-endurance-rider/#axzz3dzAxNstN


June 23 2015

FEI Tribunal and CAS Decisions

FEI.org

23 Jun 2015

The FEI Tribunal has issued its Final Decision in the case involving Nasser Khalifa N.J Al Thani (QAT) and the horse Brookleigh Caspar (FEI ID AUS40748) at the 120km one-star Endurance competition at Mesaieed in Doha (QAT) on 11 April 2014, following a positive finding for Prohibited Substances.

Samples taken from the horse on 11 April 2014 returned positive for the Banned Substance Heptaminol and Controlled Medications Phenylbutazone, Meloxicam and Dexamethasone. Heptaminol is a stimulant that dilates blood vessels. Phenylbutazone and Meloxicam are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used for pain relief, and Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid with anti-inflammatory effect.

Controlled Medications are substances that are regularly used to treat horses, but which are not allowed in competition in order to maintain a level playing field. Banned Substances should never be found in the horse. The FEI Tribunal has imposed a 27-month suspension on Al Thani, effective immediately from 18 June 2015, in accordance with Article 169 of the FEI’s General Regulations and Article 10 of the FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs).

Al Thani has been fined CHF 5,000 and will contribute CHF 2,000 towards the costs of the judicial procedure. He has 30 days from the date of notification to appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The FEI Tribunal’s Final Decision on this case can be viewed here.

The FEI Tribunal has also issued its Final Decision in the case involving Gillese De Villiers (RSA) and the horse Tra Flama at the Endurance competition of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014, following a positive finding for a Controlled Medication Substance.

Samples taken on 28 August 2014 from the horse returned positive for the Controlled Medication substance Phenylbutazone and its metabolite Oxyphenbutazone. Phenylbutazone is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory used for the treatment of pain. Tra Flama was vetted out at the second Vet Gate on the Endurance course.

The FEI Tribunal has imposed a six-month suspension on De Villiers, effective immediately from 21 June 2015, in accordance with Article 169 of the FEI’s General Regulations and Article 10 of the FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations.

De Villiers has also been fined CHF 500, will cover the B Sample analysis costs and contribute towards the costs of the judicial procedure. She has 30 days from the date of notification to appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The FEI Tribunal’s Final Decision on this case can be viewed here.

Separately, the CAS has upheld the FEI’s principle of strict liability in the application of the EADCMRs in an appeal lodged by HH Sheikh Hazza Bin Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (UAE) against the FEI Tribunal ruling of 7 April 2014, but has reduced the period of suspension for the athlete from 27 to 18 months.

The horse Glenmorgan, which HH Sheikh Hazza rode to win the CEI3* in Al Wathba (UAE) on 11 February 2012, tested positive for Propoxyphene and its metabolite Norpropoxyphene. Propoxyphene, which is an opiate analgesic, is classified as a Banned Substance under the FEI’s EADCMRs. As the rider and therefore the Person Responsible, HH Sheikh Hazza was immediately suspended from 12 March 2012, the date on which he was notified by the FEI of the positive case. A two-month provisional suspension was imposed on the horse from the same date.

HH Sheikh Hazza conducted extensive investigations to establish the source of the Propoxyphene between mid June 2012 and late February 2014. In its Final Decision, the FEI Tribunal imposed a 27-month suspension, taking into account a previous rule violation by Sheikh Hazza in early 2005. Sheikh Hazza lodged an appeal with the CAS against the findings on 6 May 2014.

The CAS rejected the athlete's argument that making the rider the Person Responsible (PR) for the horse is an unnecessary and/or disproportionate interference with fundamental rights, and so unlawful and therefore outside the powers of the FEI. The CAS accepted the FEI’s argument that the PR and strict liability provisions simply mean that if the horse has a prohibited substance in its system, the athlete's results with the horse are automatically disqualified and the athlete will be banned unless he/she can show that the substance got into the horse's system through No Fault or Negligence of the athlete.

The CAS took into account that systems had been set up by Sheikh Hazza to avoid inadvertent doping, and therefore decided that the athlete's fault was “not significant”. As a result, the appeal was partially upheld, with a partial amendment to the FEI Tribunal’s Final Decision. Sheikh Hazza remains disqualified from the event, but his suspension was reduced.

The full text of the CAS decision is available here.

Banned Substances & Controlled Medications

Banned Substances are substances that are completely prohibited for use in FEI horses at any time. Controlled Medications are substances that are regularly used to treat horses, but which are not allowed in competition in order to maintain a level playing field. As part of FEI Clean Sport, the live Prohibited Substances Database provides an easily accessible online platform on which Banned Substances and Controlled Medications are clearly distinguished.

The FEI’s General Regulations are here and the FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations are here.


June 18 2015

New FEI rules will close loopholes for rule-breakers

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Horse & Hound
18 June, 2015

Horse & Hound has played a part in provoking drastic changes to the FEI’s legal processes, that will prevent future rule-breakers escaping punishment on legal technicalities.

H&H’s coverage of the endurance scandal has revealed significant loopholes in provisions for reporting of offences.

The successful protest against horse abuse at CEI Sakhir, Bahrain, lodged by H&H contributor Pippa Cuckson and former editor Lucy Higginson in March 2014, highlighted the impracticality of the deadline for reporting abuse within 30 minutes of a confirmed result.

H&H then led coverage of the Marmoog horse-swapping scandal. Pictures of Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum riding the real and “fake” Marmoogs in 2012 were unearthed by Pippa Cuckson last year — 18 months too late to meet the previous deadline...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/fei-legal-processes-changed-endurance-scandal-498478#pYt8FxYumOlBxk5A.99


June 10 2015

Emirates provides plan for endurance reform

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 10 June 2015

The Emirates Equestrian Federation has provided the FEI with a list of proposals aimed at reforming the sport of endurance in the UAE, as the country works toward having its suspension lifted.

Next year’s world endurance championships will remain in Dubai for now.

The FEI Bureau imposed an interim suspension on the UAE on March 12, citing horse welfare concerns and non-compliance with FEI rules and regulations in endurance.

The UAE initially appealed, but later withdrew it and entered talks with the FEI in a bid resolve the issues between them.

The bureau, which meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Tuesday, unanimously agreed to the next step in the UAE’s endurance proposals, which were sent to FEI secretary general Sabrina Zeender last Friday...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/06/10/emirates-plan-endurance-reform/#axzz3cfVi2XOw

FEI Bureau Hears United Arab Emirates Endurance Proposals

Thehorse.com


June 9 2015

FEI Bureau Unanimously Agrees Next Steps on United Arab Emirates Endurance Proposals

FEI.org 9 Jun 2015

The FEI Bureau has today welcomed a series of proposals for reform of the Endurance discipline in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but agreed unanimously that further information needs to be provided by the UAE National Federation before lifting of the provisional suspension can be considered. The FEI Bureau provisionally suspended the UAE National Federation in March of this year following an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in Endurance.

The Bureau gave a clear mandate to FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender to work with the relevant departments in FEI Headquarters and seek additional feedback from the FEI Bureau members, before requesting more concrete details on the proposals from the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF). The proposals were contained in a 10-page document, which was sent to the FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender on Friday 5 June.

The EEF proposals include:

• Creation of an EEF Endurance Committee of Enquiry to oversee full application of the rules;
• Involvement of the National Olympic Committee and National Anti-Doping Committee;
• Training and education of athletes, trainers, owners and officials;
• The possibility to ban organisers for non-compliance with the rules;
• Ensuring EEF national rules are fully in compliance with the FEI rules and regulations;
• Working more closely with the FEI, including welcoming FEI observers at EEF national events;
• Full cooperation with the Equestrian Community Integrity Unit inquiry into the duplication of results at a number of events in the country.

The EEF accepts that any breach of these commitments could result in the suspension being reinstated and the withdrawal of the 2016 FEI World Endurance Championships, which were allocated to the UAE in December 2014.

The EEF also detailed the new legislation that has been introduced in the UAE prohibiting the trade or use of banned substances in horse racing and equestrian sports in the country and the substantial fines that will be imposed for breaches.

The Bureau discussed the proposals in detail before reaching unanimous agreement that the Secretary General and FEI Headquarters should work together with the EEF to finalise the agreement between the two organisations. At that point, and only once the Bureau is completely satisfied that horse welfare will be ensured at all times, that FEI Rules and Regulations will be fully implemented and rigorously enforced, and that all pending issues have been addressed, the Bureau will vote on the lifting of the suspension.

“We welcome the proposed agreement of the UAE and see it as a very positive development that they are working to come to a solution”, the FEI President Ingmar De Vos said today. “The provisional suspension can only be lifted if there is a clear commitment to respect the rules before the Bureau can consider the lifting of the suspension. It is clear that more still needs to be done and we require some further work on the details, but their proposals are a very good start to work on the process for reinstatement.”


June 6 2015

Format changes could be in place for WEG in 2018, says FEI president

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 4 June 2015

Format changes in the key disciplines could be in place for the next World Equestrian Games, FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos says.

De Vos, who ended a New Zealand visit yesterday, provided a potential time-frame for the implementation of changes which the FEI hopes will result in tighter and easier-to-follow formats that are likely to win greater favour with broadcasters...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/06/04/format-changes-weg-2018-fei-president/#ixzz3cCBVYcsH


June 2 2015

UAE: Khalifa issues law on horse racing

Emirates247.com - Full Article

Cabinet issues implementation regulations

By Wam
Published Monday, June 01, 2015

The President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued Federal Law No. 7 of 2015 to combat the trade or use of banned substances in horse racing and equestrian sports events in the UAE. The Cabinet has also issued the Implementing Regulations of the new law.

The law aims to protect legitimate competition in the sport and eliminate fraud while promoting the principle of sportsmanship. It will also encourage research on combatting banned materials in horse racing and equestrian events, help develop the detection process in order to maximise the effectiveness of preventive strategies and educate owners and professionals about the seriousness of the use of prohibited substances.

The new law is applicable in equestrian sports that include any local, regional and international contests or competition dedicated to horses, which include, without limitation, Endurance, Flat, training of horses, polo and events related to beauty...

Read more here:
http://www.emirates247.com/news/government/khalifa-issues-law-on-horse-racing-2015-06-01-1.592527


May 30 2015

Emirates Equestrian Federation launches new Committee to review and strengthen UAE Endurance riding

EEF.ae

Underlining its commitment to maintaining the highest standards in the sport, the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) has established an Endurance Committee to oversee a review into national and international endurance rides in the United Arab Emirates. The Endurance Committee, which will be under the direct observation of the UAE's National Olympic Committee, will seek to work closely with the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) to ensure that the world governing body's rules and regulations are applied in all endurance races in the UAE.

The review follows the FEI’s decision in March to suspend the EEF following an investigation into endurance racing in the UAE.

Taleb Al Muhairi, Secretary General of the Emirates Equestrian Federation, said: "As the governing body of equestrian sports in the UAE, it is our goal to pursue excellence while promoting the growth of the sport and safeguarding the welfare of equine and human athletes. We recognise the best way to achieve this is to work closely with the FEI, the international governing authority, and as such have decided to withdraw our appeal against the suspension.

"The EEF has always sought to uphold the highest standards in horse and athlete welfare and integrity. The Endurance Committee will look to build further on those standards, working in collaboration with the FEI, and ensure that the FEI's rules and regulations are applied in endurance racing across the UAE.”


May 28 2015

Emirates endurance: Actions speak louder than words

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | May 27, 2015

I don’t share my compatriots’ obsession with soccer, but have been wedded all day to the BBC’s 24-hour news channel to follow the gripping developments in the FBI arrests of FIFA officials, dragged from their beds in a luxury Zurich hotel at dawn on charges of corruption.

The US attorney general gave a press conference in New York and explained why decent folk won’t tolerate FIFA’s criminal tendencies any more.

Is it too much to hope we are on the cusp of a new global movement to throw the book at all the talentless suits whose involvement in sports is purely self-serving or nefarious? If so, credit to the FEI for taking tough action against the bad apples in equestrianism before being publicly shamed into doing something by a much higher authority – or worse still, having matters taken out of its hands, as is now happening to FIFA.

Or at least I think so: it’s kinda interesting that the head of the UAE national Olympic committee visited FEI headquarters Lausanne yesterday, the same day as UAE equestrian representatives met the FEI to discuss the long road back from their suspension over the endurance crisis. The UAE Olympic body will be supporting a new committee set up to “strengthen” UAE endurance.

Maybe the IOC has given relevant stakeholders a quiet nudge, but there is no doubt the FEI swiftly developed unexpected steeliness upon the departure of Princess Haya (whose brother, Prince Ali, oddly enough, is the sole candidate taking on Sepp Blatter in the FIFA presidential election on Friday, should it still go ahead, of course).

Take for instance, the wording of the FEI press release outlining the discussions at yesterday’s (May 26th) meeting. It’s clear the FEI is offering the UAE no cosy solution. We may never be told the details, but I would be surprised if the UAE doesn’t have to demonstrate respect for horse welfare and FEI rules at its national rides before they can claim to have got the picture. Unless the UAE can schedule some night rides in the next few weeks, which is hardly ideal, there will be no chance to experiment with the horses-come-first mindset until daytime temperatures drop in the Fall...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/a-new-world/


May 27 2015

Emirates endurance: Actions speak louder than words

Horsetalk.co.nz

Neil Clarkson | May 27, 2015

Welcome news emerged today that the Emirates Equestrian Federation had come to the table to talk with the FEI about the issues surrounding endurance in the region.

The Emirates national body agreed to withdraw its legal challenge to its suspension, which was apparently an FEI requirement before round-table talks on the issues could begin.

The UAE federation’s secretary general, Taleb Al Muhairi, has set a conciliatory tone and there are naturally hopes that significant improvements will result.

The FEI Bureau imposed the provisional suspension on March 12 in response to what it described as horse welfare issues and non-compliance with the world governing body’s rules and regulations in endurance.

The fact that the Emirates federation decided to appeal the suspension was disappointing on many levels. Lawyers were never going to solve the issues in endurance in the UAE, and the fact its national federation chose to pursue this route hinted at a worrying lack of contrition.

Even putting that aside, the legal route struck me as very challenging for the Emirates. Had it succeeded, it would hardly have been welcomed back into the international fold with open arms.

The only way that was ever going to happen was if it came to the table and started dealing with the issues that gave rise to the suspension in the first place.

It now appears that the Emirates federation has come to that realisation. The first talks have been held in Switzerland and the FEI has laid out its requirements.

It would be nice to think that this was the end-game in what has been a long and sorry saga, but I believe the challenges ahead remain significant.

It will, ultimately, be a test of the rules of endurance as well as a test of the willingness of the Emirates to bring about change.

Read more...

FEI meets with United Arab Emirates delegation on Endurance issues

An initial meeting between the FEI and representatives of the United Arab Emirates National Olympic Committee and National Federation was held at FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI) this afternoon to discuss the actions that need to be undertaken by the UAE National Federation before the FEI Bureau can consider lifting the suspension currently imposed on the UAE National Federation.

The FEI Bureau provisionally suspended the UAE National Federation in March of this year following an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in the discipline of Endurance.

Today’s meeting was chaired by FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender. The FEI was also represented by Brian Sheahan, Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee, Manuel Bandeira de Mello, FEI Endurance Director, and Mikael Rentsch, FEI Legal Director. The UAE delegation was made up of Taleb Daher Al Muhairi, Secretary General of the Emirates Equestrian Federation, Faisal Al Ali, Assistant Secretary General, and Abdullaziz Sheikh, Head of the Endurance Department.

“This was a very constructive meeting, during which we informed the National Federation exactly what they need to do before there can be any possibility of the suspension being lifted”, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender said. “We are now writing to them to explain all the elements they need to fulfil and requesting a detailed plan on how they will deliver on this and the timelines involved. The meeting, which we hope was the first in a series, was only possible following the withdrawal of the UAE’s appeal against the suspension.”

The FEI made it clear to the UAE delegation that only the FEI Bureau can lift the suspension and confirmed that the suspension will remain in force until the Bureau has agreed that all necessary processes have been put in place by the UAE National Federation to ensure horse welfare at all times and that FEI Rules and Regulations will be fully implemented and enforced.

Prior to the meeting, FEI President Ingmar De Vos had welcomed to FEI Headquarters Mohammad Al Kamali, Secretary General of the UAE National Olympic Committee, who had accompanied the UAE National Federation representatives to Lausanne. Neither Mr De Vos nor Mr Al Kamali attended today’s meeting.

AroundTheRings.com


May 25 2015

UAE withdraws appeal against equestrian suspension

Insidethegames.biz - Full Article

By David Owen
Monday, 25 May 2015

Taleb Al Muhairi, secretary general of the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF), is to meet International Equestrian Federation (FEI) officials in Lausanne on Tuesday (May 26), amid signs that efforts to persuade the FEI that it can justifiably lift a suspension imposed in March are getting under way.

The EEF has now launched a new committee to oversee a review into endurance racing - the discipline that aroused the FEI’s concerns - in the United Arab Emirates.

The Endurance Committee, which is to be under direct observation of the UAE’s National Olympic Committee, will seek to work closely with the FEI to “ensure that the world governing body’s rules and regulations are applied in all endurance races in the UAE”.

The UAE was suspended from the FEI in March following an investigation into “major horse welfare issues” and allegedly faked results in endurance events.

The governing body’s Bureau, chaired by FEI President Ingmar De Vos, ruled that the EEF “may not attend or be represented at any session or meeting of any body of the FEI, may not organise any international events, and its members cannot participate in any international events”, although UAE athletes from disciplines other than endurance would be permitted to compete under the FEI flag in international competitions organised outside the country.

In notably conciliatory remarks coinciding with the announcement of the new committee, Al Muhairi said: “As the governing body of equestrian sports in the UAE, it is our goal to pursue excellence while promoting the growth of the sport and safeguarding the welfare of equine and human athletes...

Read more here:
http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1027533/uae-withdraws-appeal-against-equestrian-suspension


May 21 2015

Dutch endurance coach departs in midst of fake permit allegations

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
21 May, 2015

The Dutch equestrian federation has sacked its successful endurance coach Emile Docquier in the midst of allegations of fraud over a permit issued to UAE-based Pakistani endurance trainer Anzaq Mehmood.

The federation says it has parted company with Docquier due to “difference of opinion.” However, their decision came just days after it emerged that the permit, allegedly issued by the Pakistan federation, accompanied entries for a national ride at Schilde, Belgium sent in by Docquier’s office.

Dutch endurance enjoyed a boost last year after collaborating with Mehmood, who trains for the Al Qasimi family in Dubai. Mehmood – who has spent time in the UK, at King’s Forest – prepared Laiza de Jalima, with whom Marijke Visser won individual silver at WEG...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/pakistani-endurance-trainer-investigated-for-allegations-of-fraud-hh-vip-2-494350#4V0w0lPmXzg3i2Jf.99


May 12 2015

UAE suspension: What we know so far

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | May 12, 2015

The sun is shining and the temperature climbs to around 40 degrees Celsius across the United Arab Emirates at this time of the year.

It is safe to assume that the air conditioning in the Abu Dhabi headquarters of the Emirates Equestrian Federation is set to a much more comfortable level.

Despite that, we are led to believe the federation is still feeling the heat over its interim suspension by the FEI over concerns in the discipline of endurance...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/05/12/uae-suspension-what-know/#ixzz3Zw576Brn


May 10 2015

Getting Away With it is Part of the Fun

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | May 8, 2015

It’s been interesting to read reaction on social media to the FEI’s suspension of the UAE, posted by disparate (and maybe desperate) parties around the world who make their living selling endurance horses to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

It is strongly rumoured that if the suspension drags on, the UAE will simply set up an independent regulatory body to organise its favoured style of racing-speed, high attrition endurance. By all accounts, their public disgrace has not hindered the UAE’s current buying spree in Europe.

My first, admittedly facetious, reaction was: why bother with the farrago of creating a new governing body? Just as easy to pick a piste and charge off, mob-handed, cobbling up a results sheet later just in case anyone wanted one, as is already a well-honed practice in those parts?

But then I realised that the UAE actually like a semblance of rules. Half the fun is in breaking the rules, and seeing just how much they can get away with. They just can’t help themselves – so much so that one rider has triggered a brand-new scandal even while grounded...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/getting-away-with-it-is-part-of-the-fun/


May 8 2015

UAE fails in bid to have FEI suspension stayed

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | May 8, 2015

The interim suspension of the United Arab Emirates from the FEI over welfare concerns in endurance was putting all equestrian sport in the country in danger, the FEI Tribunal has been told.

The assertion was made during a hearing in which the Emirates Equestrian Federation sought to have its interim suspension set aside pending the outcome of its appeal.

The three-man panel, chaired by Henrik Arle, of Finland, dismissed the request...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/05/08/uae-fails-bid-fei-suspension-stayed/#ixzz3ZYYJNSa7


May 7 2015

The Future of FEI Endurance

May 7 2015

The future of FEI Endurance racing was discussed at April's FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Statistics were presented at the endurance session, showing correlations between injuries for event levels and speed of horses at WEG and World Championship events. As one might expect, the higher the level of competition (i.e., CEI1* vs CEI2* vs CEI3*), the higher the injury rate, in numbers and percentages; and as the speed of WEC and WEG horses increased over the years from 1986 to 2014, horse completion rates decreased at roughly the same rate.

An alternate format for the next World Equestrian Games Endurance event was proposed: from a 160 km 1-day format to a 2-day, 100km per day race with a Grand Prix finish (first across the finish line wins, and other finishers must finish within 20% of the winning time), and a next-day mounted Best Condition competition.

Thought is that the format change will provide more strategic and technical competition, rather than all-out racing for 160-km, and that the overnight rest period will benefit horses. Another motivating factor for change is to make the endurance event more spectator friendly, make it easier on organizers to map a shorter course closer to the WEG venue, and increase revenue for the Organizing Committee.

The full document can be reviewed here:
http://www.endurance.net/international/UAE/2013FEIControversy/05.2015.FEI_Sports_Forum_Endurance_Proposal.pdf

FEI Tribunal dismisses UAE request to lift suspension

FEI.org

7 May 2015

The FEI Tribunal has dismissed a request from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) National Federation for an interim lifting of its suspension from the FEI. The Tribunal’s decision means that the suspension remains in force pending the final outcome of the formal appeal by the UAE National Federation against the suspension.

The FEI Bureau provisionally suspended the UAE National Federation on 12 March 2015 for an indeterminate period following an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in the discipline of Endurance.

The request for interim relief prior to a full hearing was considered by a three-member FEI Tribunal panel made up of Henrik Arle (FIN), who chaired the panel, Erik Elstad (NOR) and Pierre Ketterer (FRA). The full merits of the case will be heard by the same Tribunal panel at a later date.

In its decision, which has been published on the FEI website today, the FEI Tribunal stated that it had “taken note of the FEI’s argument that the FEI Bureau Decision had been taken primarily on horse welfare grounds, due to consistent rule breaching by the Appellant, the effects of which was jeopardising horse welfare . . . The Tribunal therefore finds that the Appellant’s interest in having the suspension lifted does not outweigh the FEI’s interest in protecting horse welfare.”

The FEI Tribunal also ruled that the FEI Headquarters should continue to issue passports for non-Endurance horses from the UAE. This followed a request from the UAE National Federation to be allowed to issue horse passports for non-Endurance horses.


May 1 2015

AERC Maintains Support for FEI Position in UAE Suspension

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUBURN, California – April 30, 2015 – In March 2015, the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) Board of Directors formally requested that the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) remove the 2016 World Endurance Championship from Dubai to another venue or cancel the event altogether. The AERC also issued a statement of support when the FEI provisionally suspended the UAE National Federation on March 12, 2015, for an indeterminate period following an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in the discipline of Endurance.

This week the AERC learned that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) National Federation has lodged a formal appeal to the FEI Tribunal against its provisional suspension from the FEI after a formal request to lift the suspension by the UAE was denied by the FEI Bureau. In a statement FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender expressed disappointment that the UAE has chosen to lodge a formal appeal and pursue this matter legally.

AERC President Michael Campbell today reiterated the organization’s support of the FEI Secretary General, and joined her in expressing disappointment in the UAE by stating: “Our hope was that the suspension would encourage reflection and action from the UAE in the form of a change in behavior. It is unfortunate that the UAE has taken legal action instead,” Campbell continued. “We stand behind the FEI and believe that the sanctions are justified and necessary to ensure that horse welfare and fair play are restored to endurance competition in the UAE.”

About the AERC
In addition to promoting the sport of endurance riding, the AERC encourages the use, protection, and development of equestrian trails, especially those with historic significance. Many special events of four to six consecutive days take place over historic trails, such as the Pony Express Trail, the Outlaw Trail, the Chief Joseph Trail, and the Lewis and Clark Trail. The founding ride of endurance riding, the Western States Trail Ride or Tevis Cup, covers 100 miles of the famous Western States and Immigrant Trails over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These rides promote awareness of the importance of trail preservation for future generations and foster an appreciation of our American heritage.

The American Endurance Ride Conference, established in 1972, is headquartered in Auburn, California, “The Endurance Capital of the World.” For more information please visit us at www.aerc.org.

Media Contact:
Candace FitzGerald
Dobbin Group
candace@dobbin-group.com

603-738-2788


April 29 2015

FEI Endurance Proposals : Qualification Procedures

FEI.org

Forums:
Non-Olympic disciplines and Para-Equestrian Future

Wed, 2015-04-29 — Claude NORDMANN
Statements of the FN Switzerland:

For the welfare of the horses and to apply the basic principles of the endurance, we insist on a qualification procedure which considers also the rider-horse combination.

That means we propose that the last two qualification steps have to be done as a couple. This is the only way to guarantee at best the horsemanship and the welfare of the horses. For the public, but also everyone in the equestrian world, it is not understandable, that in a high-performance sport including metabolic and other health risks, riders should compete at championships without ever having ridden the respective horse before.

Wed, 2015-04-29 — Claude NORDMANN

Statement of the FN Switzerland : Format for the WEG

The Swiss Federation welcomes all the efforts in direction of technical tracks and a strict qualification procedure.

But the Swiss Federation is not favourable to the new proposed format of 2 x 100 at WEG for several reasons: all statistics of the last 20 years clearly show up, that the shorter the races, the more dangerous they are for the welfare of the horse. 2 x 100 km as a championship would invite riders to take more risks than at a 160 km format. In addition, breeding, selection, education and training for 160 km races have much evolved in the last years for the benefit of the horses, and a change of the format would not produce the desired increase of animal welfare. Specially also regarding the fact, that European and World championships would still take place using the old 160 km format. In conclusion with the new proposed format of 2 x 100 km no increase of welfare and no better image in the public are to be expected.


April 27 2015

FEI Sports Forum Opens with Discussion on Future of WEG

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

April 27 2015

FEI Sports Forum 2015 opens with discussion on future of FEI World Equestrian Games™

The FEI President Ingmar De Vos welcomed 270 delegates representing the International Olympic Committee (IOC), National Federations (NFs), riders’, trainers’, and organisers’ clubs, sponsors, experts, media, guests and FEI staff to the fourth FEI Sports Forum which opened this morning at the prestigious business school IMD in Lausanne (SUI).

“We are all here because we care about our sport,” De Vos said in his opening address. “We need to be open and honest about the challenges we are facing as a sport but more than that we need to be proactive and brave enough to consider changes that will address these challenges. I remember a quote from IOC President Thomas Bach who said “change or be changed.

“So it is absolutely not about change for the sake of change and by no means is there any desire to lose or replace the values and traditions of our sport. But we need to be open-minded to look at changes that can improve our sport and its legacy for the generations to come. What should be changed and how is why we are here today and I am grateful to each and everyone one of you for taking the time to participate in this Sports Forum,” he said.

Professor James Henderson, Dean of Programmes and Innovation at IMD welcomed participants to the renowned school. “It is a great honour to host you at the wonderful institution that is the IMD,” he said. He outlined the school’s mission of educating the world’s leaders to lead transformation journeys in times of turbulence and support others to embrace change in a spirit of dialogue, openness and transparency. Professor Henderson emphasised the importance of innovation and change and wished the delegates open, inspired and pioneering discussion...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/horse-news/fei-sports-forum-opens-with-discussion-on-future-of-weg/?utm_source=EnewsApr27&utm_campaign=EnewsApr272015&utm_medium=email


April 24 2015

Good Lord!

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Blogs Straight-Up | April 23, 2015

Over the past couple of years, I have hammered on pretty annoyingly (to some) about the highly dubious objectivity of the FEI’s repeated use of Lord John Stevens and his company Quest in its investigations into various and sundry scandalous situations which have primarily involved Endurance. Well guess what. Turns out I had a point.

Two weeks ago, the British papers were all fat-kid-on-Smartie over the news that Lord Stevens is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/straight-up/good-lord/


April 23 2015

UAE endurance appeal: Well, I guess we can rule out contrition

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | April 23, 2015

It was Kenny Rogers who sang the immortal words:
“You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em,
Know when to fold ‘em,
Know when to walk away,
And know when to run”.

The conversation in the famous song, The Gambler, occurs on a “train bound for nowhere”, which sounds a lot like the current state of endurance.

News emerged today about the decision of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to challenge its provisional suspension from the FEI, imposed over welfare issues in endurance.

The appeal is a surprising move, and one that clearly disappoints the FEI...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/04/23/uae-endurance-appeal-rule-out-contrition/#ixzz3Y8rc63qH

United Arab Emirates appeals against FEI suspension

Horsetalk.co.nz | April 23, 2015

The United Arab Emirates is appealing its suspension from the FEI, imposed by the world governing body over welfare concerns in the discipline of endurance.

The FEI Bureau imposed the suspension on March 12 over what were described as major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with the rules of endurance.

The suspension followed an investigation by the FEI.

The bureau made it clear that any potential reinstatement to FEI membership was dependent on the country’s national federation signing an agreement under which it pledged to take any action deemed necessary to assure the FEI and stakeholders that it was protecting the welfare of horses and complying fully with FEI rules and regulations.

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/04/23/united-arab-emirates-appeals-fei-suspension/#ixzz3Y92I7Teq

UAE launches appeal against FEI ban

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Amy Mathieson
22 April, 2015

he United Arab Emirates (UAE) national federation has lodged a formal appeal to the FEI Tribunal against its provisional suspension from the FEI.

In an unprecedented move, the FEI suspended the national federation of the UAE for an “indeterminate period” on 12 March. This followed an investigation into “major horse welfare issues” and “non-compliance with FEI rules and regulations” in endurance.

The decision was made unanimously by the FEI bureau — which was chaired by president Ingmar De Vos — and the suspension was imposed immediately.

Prior to lodging its appeal, the UAE national federation had sent a formal request asking the FEI Bureau to lift the suspension.

However, the request was rejected by the FEI Bureau and, as a result, an official appeal has been lodged by the UAE national federation.

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/uae-launches-appeal-against-fei-ban-483180#KLEocSRzFaUwfSMR.99

Equestrian body unhappy at UAE appealing suspension


April 22 2015

UAE National Federation appeals suspension to FEI Tribunal

FEI.org

22 Apr 2015

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) National Federation has lodged a formal appeal to the FEI Tribunal against its provisional suspension from the FEI.

The FEI Bureau provisionally suspended the UAE National Federation on 12 March 2015 for an indeterminate period following an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in the discipline of Endurance.

Prior to lodging its appeal, the UAE National Federation had sent a formal request asking the FEI Bureau to lift the suspension. The request was rejected by the FEI Bureau and, as a result, an official appeal has been lodged by the UAE National Federation.

The appeal process will be managed in accordance with Art. 165 Appeals of the FEI General Regulations and the Internal Regulations of the FEI Tribunal.‎

“It is disappointing that an appeal has been lodged and that the UAE National Federation has chosen to go down the legal route rather than seeking ways to solve the issues and make a lasting commitment to improving the welfare of the horse at Endurance events in which it is involved”, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender said.


April 20 2015

Let's Hope for Revolution, Not Revolt

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | April 20, 2015

In seven days’ time, the FEI and stakeholders gather in Lausanne, Switzerland to debate the most significant shake-up ever of its elite sport.

It’s surprising there has been so little media attention thus far, because each discipline is set to undergo – at global championship level at least – remodelling as drastic as the axing of steeplechase, roads and tracks was to eventing in 2004. There is also a move to limit all teams to three with no drop score...

More...
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/lets-hope-for-revolution-not-revolt/?utm_source=April+20%2C+2015&utm_campaign=EnewsApr202015&utm_medium=email

...By far the most numerous authentic posts at the time of writing are, ahem, all about endurance. The key change there is a proposal, from the FEI endurance committee, that the WEG championship ride becomes a two-day, 100km-per-day contest. The ambition is to re-establish the notion of partnership, so that the rider reads his horse and keeps enough fuel in the tank. It is clearly intended as an antidote to the lets-go-really-fast-on-a-horse-we-don’t-know-and-somehow-waggon-it-over-the-finish travesty allowed to develop in the UAE and sadly now spread elsewhere.

On that subject, it’s still business as usual in the UAE. Clearly the penny still hasn’t dropped about what has to be done before the Emiratis can return from FEI exile.

There were six rumoured equine deaths at their last national ride of the season 10 days ago. Yes, you read that right: six, a figure from sources 100 per cent reliable in the past. Such slaughter doesn’t even warrant a headline now. We are so conditioned to what Pierre Arnould so aptly described as the UAE’s “industry of cheating and death” that it will only be news the day the UAE stages a ride without killing anything...

More:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/lets-hope-for-revolution-not-revolt/?utm_source=April+20%2C+2015&utm_campaign=EnewsApr202015&utm_medium=email


April 15 2015

WORLD MANIFESTO for the Future of Endurance


Wednesday April 15 2015

A website, world manifesto, and petition have been organized in support of the Emirates Equestrian Federation of the United Arab Emirates regarding their suspension from the FEI world governing body of horse sport on 12 March 2015.

The group of riders, trainers, grooms, breeders, horse owners, veterinary surgeons, farriers, organising committees, public agencies, private bodies and associations, assert that compliance with rules, fair play and safeguard of horse's welfare are the main principles on which their experience in endurance is based.

The manifesto states that the suspension of the UAE "leave an indelible mark on the history of endurance" and risk development on an international scale. The EEF has for many years, the mission statement claims, "helped promote the development and success of endurance throughout the world, bringing it to the fore through increased membership and contributing to its popularity in an ever increasing number of countries."

The EEF has brought advantages to the sport of endurance racing, including "the development of horse’s performances and for the quality, genealogy and number of foals born per year in terms of the breeding," and economic opportunities "which absolutely cannot be ignored." Already the suspension has "triggered a spiral that is affecting directly and irreparably tens of thousands of people, who very soon run the risk of finding themselves without employment."

With already over 400 signatures, this Manifesto will be presented to the FEI, urging them to review its position on the UAE suspension and consider the damage in "the development and expansion of endurance and its economic and financial consequences."

It further urges the FEI to look for a joint solution "with Emirates Equestrian Federation and all those involved in the sport in order to enforce the rules, the fair play and to safeguard the horse’s welfare."

The full manifesto can be seen and signed here:
http://www.futurendurance.com/



Change in WEG Format to be Discussed at FEI Sports Forum

by Merri Melde-Endurance.net
April 15 2015

While "Olympic Agenda 2020" will be a major focus at the FEI Sports Forum 2015 on 27-28 April, 2015 in Lausanne, Switzerland, the second day's session 6, "Endurance Future," is guaranteed to be a well-attended hot topic.

The Endurance Technical Committee will propose for discussion that the Endurance competition for the WEG change from a 160-km format to a 2 day, 100 km per day competition.

The purpose of the format change from a 1-day 160 km to a 2-day 100-km race is "to create a technical competition to test the skill and the fitness of the [horse and rider] over a course that needs a strategic approach rather than reliance on speed alone to successfully complete." Specific new qualifications would be required to qualify for the WEG to accommodate this change, including 2 day 100-km races for riders and for horses.

Additionally, Best Condition competition will be assessed under saddle to a prescribed test the day after the race is complete.

The Session 6 - Non-Olympic Sports Future (Endurance) session outline can be seen here.


April 13 2015

No nukes please, we’re the FEI

Horsetalk.co.nz
Neil Clarkson | April 13, 2015

It seems that the world’s major powers have struck a deal with Iran over the future of its nuclear programme after lengthy talks in Lausanne.

There are still the details to be thrashed out, of course, but the negotiators seem cautiously optimistic.

One suspects these aren’t the toughest talks that will unfold in the Swiss city this year.

Up the road, staff in the Lausanne headquarters of the FEI face the joyous prospect of trying to strike some kind of accord with the United Arab Emirates Equestrian Federation over endurance.

It doesn’t look easy to me. The UAE federation had its FEI membership suspended last month over what the world governing body described as welfare concerns.

[Read more ...]


March 29 2015

Endurance world champion at centre of rides scandal

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
29 March, 2015

The reigning world champion Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum (pictured top), is among a number of big names in Middle East endurance caught up in the “bogus” rides scandal.

The Crown Prince of Dubai is listed as taking part in one of the 13 rides under investigation by integrity services agency, Quest.

In addition, hundreds of horses from stables variously owned by Sheikh Hamdan and other members of the ruling families of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are also implicated.

If the results are proved to have been falsified, the FEI faces an unprecedented exercise in mass disqualification. Asked about possible sanctions for the listed riders and owners, and also those who competed unqualified horses in longer distance rides, a FEI spokesman said: “We will need to wait for the conclusions of the investigation before deciding on the next steps...”

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/endurance-world-champion-at-centre-of-rides-scandal-479305#2vhpzbfUwHLKhztb.99


March 26 2015

Australia's AERA Supports FEI Suspension of UAE

March 26 2015

In a statement issued on 26 March 2015, the Australian Endurance Riders Association (AERA) expressed solid support of the FEI's decision (26 February 2015) to suspend the remaining two FEI events scheduled to be held in the UAE, and to suspend the National Federation of the FEI (12 March 2015) for an indeterminate period due to major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations.

Additionally, the AERA requests that the FEI reconsiders holding the 2016 World Endurance Championships in Dubai.

Further, in support of the FEI's decision to suspend Emirati athletes from Endurance events, AERA will not permit Emirati athletes to enter AERA affiliated endurance events, including the 50th Tom Quilty to be held 6-7 June 2015.

And while the AERA will not deny Australian endurance riders participation in UAE-based National events, it requests that any AERA members "give careful and measured consideration to competing in the UAE under the current circumstances…"

The full letter can be seen here:
http://www.endurance.net/international/UAE/2013FEIControversy/03.2015.AERALetter.jpg


March 23 2015

UAE: Not So Untouchable?

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | March 23, 2015

For years, the FBI failed to pin down Al Capone for racketeering, but a special squad known as the “Untouchables” finally found a way to send him prison – tax evasion.

For years, the FEI has failed to nail UAE endurance for horse abuse, the running of ringers and field-of-play violations on an industrial scale, due to the reluctance of witnesses, the turning of a blind eye by corrupt or lazy officials, and the invidiousness of the 30-minute rule for protests.

But now there is a glimmer of hope that at least the UAE’s equestrian federation, the EEF, is not quite as untouchable as it thought...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/not-so-untouchable/


March 21 2015

France pushes anti-doping stance at Dubai Horse Fair

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | March 22, 2015

France’s arabian horse society is using its stand at the Dubai Horse Fair to promote clean sport within endurance riding.

The Dubai Horse Fair opened this weekend, and François Atger, the chairman of the French Arabian Horse Society (ACA), said the organisation wanted to take a stand against doping.

“I am personally scandalized by the lack of reaction on the part of our national bodies. Such shortcomings have motivated us all the more to become implicated in public awareness and to appeal for everyone to come to terms with an ethical practice of the sport. Hence the reason for us being here at the Dubai International Horse Fair and the message we wish to convey,” he said...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/03/22/france-pushes-anti-doping-dubai-horse-fair/


March 20 2015

AERC President Requests Voluntary AERC Member Support of UAE Suspension

March 20 2015
by Merri Melde-Endurance.net

In light of the FEI's suspension of the UAE National Federation from international equestrian events for "an indeterminate period following an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in the discipline of Endurance," current AERC President Michael Campbell has issued the following statement:

"I have a personal request, just from me, for AERC members. While the UAE is suspended by FEI for various acts of cheating and equine abuse, I ask that AERC members forgo riding in UAE events and refuse to sell their horses to UAE purchasers. I also ask that AERC [Ride Managers] refuse entry to riders from the UAE until the suspension is lifted. I hope AERC will support the FEI suspension until UAE is rehabilitated and may be welcomed back into the sport."

The FEI/UAE controversy has been building since 2013, and the multiple scandals, including alleged cheating, horse drugging, 'ringers', and faked races, finally led to the UAE suspension on March 12 2015.

It should be noted that at the AERC Conference in Reno, Nevada on March 6 and 7 (before the UAE's suspension), USA International rider Heather Reynolds announced that the USA horses and riders that were invited to compete in a 160-km race in the UAE this spring had already declined to participate, in support of the AERC's stance regarding the FEI/UAE.

Equestrian Podcast: Endurance Revealed - Pippa Cuckson & Michael Campbell

Womeninsport Podcast - listen!

March 19 2015
with Chris Stafford

British journalist Pippa Cuckson who writes for the Horse Canada.com website under The Cuckson Report, and Michael Campbell, President of the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) discuss the latest scandals and rule infringements that have recently been exposed and the implications to the sport. You can read Pippa's Blog here and visit the AERC website here. Post your comments and questions on the Facebook Page at Chris Stafford Radio and follow on Twitter @chrisestafford.

Listen!:
http://chrisstafford.podbean.com/e/equestrian-endurance-revealed-pippa-cuckson-michael-campbell/


March 19 2015

Significance of FEI suspension ‘not yet fully understood by UAE riders’

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
19 March, 2015

World Horse Welfare has been joined by major equestrian nations in applauding the FEI’s suspension of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), over the escalating crisis in desert endurance racing.

The charity’s Roly Owers hoped the FEI’s unprecedented move heralded the end of a “dark period”.

“In many ways this is a sad day,” he said. “However, the FEI’s drastic move to suspend the UAE federation is a reflection of the seriousness of the situation.

“We hope this action will be the end of a dark period in international endurance and demonstrate to all that the FEI Welfare Code of Conduct must be at the heart of international equestrian sport.

“The focus is now on the UAE to undergo a fundamental change in attitude.”

The FEI bureau took its “unanimous” decision last Thursday (12 March), also ordering an investigation into allegations, first exposed by H&H, that the UAE has been faking ride results for several years...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/significance-of-fei-suspension-not-yet-fully-understood-by-uae-riders-478116#7jTBV21tTUBQ5Ftp.99

UAE welcome back when they follow rules, says FEI vice-president

Insidethegames.biz - Full Article

Wednesday, 18 March 2015
By Emily Goddard at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami

John Madden, first vice-president of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), has said the United Arab Emirates will be "perfectly welcome" back into the sport when it shows exactly how it will follow the rules.

The FEI Bureau, chaired by President Ingmar De Vos, unanimously agreed to suspend the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) last month following an investigation into "major horse welfare issues" and allegedly faked results in endurance events.

The immediate ban means the nation "may not attend or be represented at any session or meeting of any body of the FEI, may not organise any international events, and its members cannot participate in any international events".

It also follows a move at the beginning of the month to strip the UAE of two endurance races scheduled to be held later this month.

However, Madden, who is also chair of the FEI jumping committee, made clear the nation can come back into competition when it provides evidence of change.

"It's very sad that we've had to suspend the United Arab Emirates Federation," he told insidethegames here at SPORTELAmerica.

"But they are welcome back in the FEI at any time when they can demonstrate to us and explain to us exactly how they are going to protect horse welfare and following the FEI rules.

"It's not good enough to say yes we are going to do it they need to demonstrate exactly how...

Read more here:
http://www.insidethegames.biz/sports/summer/equestrian/1026218-uae-welcome-back-when-they-follow-rules-says-fei-vice-president


March 18 2015

Britain backs endurance stance; FEI spells out details of UAE suspension

Horsetalk.co.nz | March 18, 2015

Endurance officials in Britain have voiced support for the FEI in its efforts to sort out the issues in the sport which led to last week’s suspension of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Their backing came as the world governing body spelt out the practical implications of the suspension.

The FEI suspended the UAE over what it said were welfare concerns and non-compliance with its rules and regulations in endurance. The suspension would remain in place until the UAE was able to satisfy the FEI it could meet the standards required.

The chairman of Britain’s endurance board, John Hudson, said on Tuesday that the endurance board supported the FEI fully in its determination to ensure endurance was properly regulated and that its code of conduct for the welfare of horses was always respected.

“We hope that the necessary changes are made to the FEI’s satisfaction,” Hudson sad.

[More ...]


March 17 2015

FEI Clarifies Details of UAE National Federation Suspension

March 17 2015

Sabrina Zeender, Secretary General of the FEI has sent a letter to the National Federations clarifying the details of the unprecedented suspension 12 March 2015 of the United Arab Emirates Equestrian Federation from FEI, due to major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in endurance.

The letter outlines all aspects of the suspension, including what UAE athletes and officials can and cannot do, whether in endurance or other disciplines; prohibiting the UAE from organizing any International events in any discipline; and prohibiting the UAE flag from being displayed at any venue or event during the suspension.

The entire letter can be seen here.


March 16 2015

Wardrobe malfunction in the FEI over endurance

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | March 16, 2015

There’s something just a little mysterious about the FEI Bureau. Its 18 members wield a lot of power in the world of horse sport, but we never get to see the inner workings, with meetings behind closed doors.

It certainly would have been illuminating to hear the bureau’s recent discussion on the joys of endurance racing in the United Arab Emirates, before its members agreed unanimously to suspend the UAE Equestrian Federation.

The FEI, after endless months of grinding diplomacy during its endurance rule reform process, has shown some welcome mettle.

The world governing body said the suspension followed an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with its rules and regulations in endurance.

Followers of endurance don’t need to be reminded about the storm of controversy around the death of Splitters Creek Bundy as a result of two broken legs in a race in Abu Dhabi late in January, or the big questions that now swirl around a dozen races in the UAE after duplicated results were revealed by British equestrian writer Pippa Cuckson.

So, let us tip our riding helmets to the FEI for its decisive, if belated, action. But, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the world governing body has, to a fair degree, been caught with its pants down in this latest round of endurance controversy...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/03/16/wardrobe-malfunction-fei-over-endurance/


March 15 2015

Abdulla Al Marri 'shocked' by FEI decision to ban entire Emirates Equestrian Federation

by Reem Abulleil
Sunday 15 March 2015

Showjumper Abdulla Al Marri has described the decision of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) to suspend the entire Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) over horse welfare and rule infringements in endurance events as “ridiculous” and a “slap in the face” to those competing in other disciplines.

The FEI announced last Thursday their decision in an official statement posted on their website that read: “The FEI Bureau has suspended the National Federation of the United Arab Emirates for an indeterminate period following an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in the discipline of Endurance.

“The Bureau, chaired by FEI President Ingmar De Vos, was unanimous in its decision.”

The suspension entails that the UAE will not be allowed to host any international equestrian meets. All UAE endurance riders are banned from international events, apart from national competitions, while Emirati riders in other disciplines may compete internationally but only under the neutral FEI flag.

Al Marri, who has represented the UAE in showjumping in countless international shows including last year’s Asian Games, finds the decision shocking and unfair to the jumping community.

“We don’t follow that sport (endurance) as much as ours to be honest. But I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anything like this before, banning an entire federation,” Al Marri told Sport360°.

“It’s something we (showjumpers) had nothing to do with. For us, it’s just a shock.

Why can’t I ride under my country’s flag? They should punish the person responsible. If a showjumper is accused of doping a horse, the rider is involved in it then he or she is punished. Why is that not the case this time?

“It’s ridiculous. Okay, we’re all under one federation but I think it’s drastic that [showjumpers] pay for it.”

While many showjumpers benefit from competing in a host of international shows held in the UAE as part of the Arab League, Al Marri says what hurts the most is not how this affects his calendar, but the fact that he can’t represent the UAE internationally.

“We do this for our country, and the fact that we can’t represent our own country, that’s the most painful thing. Being patriotic is very important to us, especially where we’re from, we’re very proud of where we come from.

“One of the biggest steps in our sport was taken just two weeks ago when Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum won the 5* show in Ghantoot. And suddenly we get this slap in the face.”

De Vos admits the decision was drastic but that the world governing body had no choice.

“The decision to suspend a National Federation is not something that is taken lightly and we only should do this if no other remedy can be found,” De Vos said.

“Sadly, this was the only option left, but we have to take our responsibility and must never be afraid of tackling major issues head-on. Where horse welfare is concerned the FEI has to show leadership and solve problems in a structural way without making any concessions.”

No one from the EEF was available for comment, but they do have 30 days to appeal the decision.

Read More...


March 14 2015

Endurance: Swiss Equestrian Federation Approves of the Latest Decisions made by the FEI

FNCH.ch

12 March 2015

The Swiss Equestrian Federation FSSE, which has committed itself for over two years, so that competing in endurance events all over the world are in compliance with not only the welfare of the horse but also sporting fairness, has taken note with satisfaction, of the decision made by the Bureau of the International Equestrian Federation FEI to suspend the National Federation of the United Arab Emirates UAE for an indeterminate period, following serious cases of horse abuse and non-compliance with FEI rules and regulations within this discipline (press release of the FEI).

Having taken this decision, the Bureau of the FEI and its new President demonstrate courage and send a strong message in favor of the welfare of horses to all member federations. The FSSE gives its full support in this matter.

In light of this suspension, the FSSE has decided to further reinforce the measures it announced last February 24th (press release of the Swiss Equestrian Federation) by prohibiting its riders as well as its endurance officials to participate in any endurance competition in the UAE for as long as this federation is suspended by the FEI.

Furthermore, it reiterates its strong reservations about the holding of the World Endurance Championship planned in Dubai in 2016. The FSSE will pay close attention to the developments of this current situation before considering whether to participate in the championships or not.

Additional Information:

Dr. Charles F. Trolliet, President of the Swiss Equestrian Federation,
Tel. +41 79 205 32 91, e-mail: trolliet@swissonline.ch

Dr. Claude Nordmann, International Relations, Swiss Equestrian Federation,
Tel. +41 79 353 75 54, e-mail: claude.nordmann@bluewin.ch


March 13 2015

UAE suspension reflects seriousness of endurance situation – charity

Horsetalk.co.nz | March 14, 2015

The suspension of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from the FEI will hopefully end a dark period in international endurance, World Horse Welfare says.

The British-based international charity said it welcomed the suspension of the UAE following a catalogue of significant horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI rules and regulations in endurance.

The charity, which is an independent welfare adviser to the FEI, said it was ready and willing to help the UAE Equestrian Federation implement the changes necessary to bring it back into the international fold.

“In many ways this is a sad day,” World Horse Welfare chief executive Roly Owers said of the suspension.

“However, the FEI’s drastic move to suspend the UAE federation is a reflection of the seriousness of the situation within endurance.

“We hope that this action will be the end of a dark period in international endurance and demonstrate to all that the FEI Welfare Code of Conduct must be at the heart of international equestrian sport.

Read more...

American Endurance Ride Conference Requests New Venue for 2016 World Endurance Championship

MARCH 13, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

In the wake of unprecedented scandal and corruption in the sport of Endurance Riding coming from the United Arab Emirates, the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) has formally requested that the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) remove the 2016 World Endurance Championship from Dubai to another venue or cancel the event altogether.

Reports this week indicate that the Emirates Equestrian Federation falsified the results of at least 12 endurance rides in reports to the FEI in an attempt to fraudulently qualify inadequately prepared horses and riders for international competition. This action puts horses in peril by making it appear that they have been properly trained and conditioned for long distance competition when that may not be the case. Horses that are not properly conditioned and qualified are at risk for fatal injury such as that experienced by Splitters Creek Bundy, a horse who was photographed at the January 2015 Al Reef Cup ride in Abu Dhabi with both front legs fractured.

Last year, the AERC Board of Directors unanimously passed a motion expressing its outrage at these violations. AERC vowed to explore other options for international competition unless measurable progress was shown by FEI in curbing these offenses.

AERC applauds the action of FEI in removing two UAE rides from their calendar of competition for the remainder of the 2015 season and suspending UAE endurance competition in FEI events. AERC also commends FEI for retaining Lord Stevens to investigate the latest travesty. However, the AERC Board of Directors does not believe that these sanctions go far enough in protecting horses and the sport of Endurance Riding. The AERC Board unanimously voted last week to request that FEI take the further step of canceling the 2016 World Endurance Championship in Dubai, reopening bids for the venue and denying the UAE the opportunity to bid on the venue.

Denmark and Switzerland have already indicated that they would not send teams to compete in Dubai. Germany is likely to follow suit. AERC invites other like-minded countries and equine disciplines as well as the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) to join us in repudiating the UAE distortion of Endurance Riding. We especially look to USEF for strong leadership in supporting fairness and safety in Endurance Riding. Since its inception in 1972, AERC has supported equine welfare and longevity as well as fair play for all competitors. AERC stands for clean endurance.

More information on the American Endurance Ride Conference is available by visiting www.aerc.org or by calling the AERC office at 823-2260. By request, the office will send out a free information packet to prospective members.

Chronofhorse.com: AERC Requests New Venue For 2016 World Endurance Championship



USEF Response to Suspension of UAE National Federation

RELEASE: March 13, 2015
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: USEF Communications Department

Lexington, Ky. - In an unprecedented move, the FEI has suspended the national federation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) following a thorough investigation into major horse welfare issues and rule non-compliance. UAE has been suspended for an "indeterminate period" from attending FEI meetings, organizing international events, and participating in international events. However, UAE athletes - in disciplines other than endurance - competing in international competitions outside of the UAE may participate under the FEI flag.

This decision to suspend the UAE was made after extensive efforts to curb catastrophic horse injuries and rule non-compliance failed. The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has and will continue to support fully the actions of the FEI and applauds their positive and aggressive action. As President Ingmar De Vos states, "Sadly, this is the only option left...Where horse welfare is concerned, the FEI has to show leadership and solve problems in a structural way without making any concessions." "Having spent many years addressing this issue within the FEI Bureau, the USEF is proud to stand with the international equestrian community in condemnation of horse abuse," stated Chris Welton, USEF CEO.

High Noon for world endurance

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson
March 13, 2015

The pistols finally came out of their holsters today as the FEI moved to head off ongoing endurance controversies.

The world governing body announced it had suspended the national federation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), citing what it called major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with the rules of endurance.

The announcement is the latest chapter in a remarkable few days in the sport, as the UAE – arguably the best-resourced endurance nation in the world – came under ever-increasing scrutiny...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/03/13/high-noon-world-endurance/


March 12 2015

FEI suspend United Arab Emirates from equestrianism following spate of scandals

Telegraph.co.uk - Full Article

Concerns over horse welfare, doping, the use of 'ringers’ and phantom races in the Middle East country lead to shock decision

By Pippa Cuckson, Equestrian Correspondent
10:30PM GMT 12 Mar 2015

World equestrianism’s governing body (FEI) took the dramatic step on Thursday of suspending the United Arab Emirates from the sport following scandals over horse welfare, doping, the use of 'ringers’ and phantom races.

The full ramifications of the FEI’s shock decision to exile the UAE federation and all its athletes in the discipline of endurance racing may not emerge for weeks, but Ingmar de Vos, FEI president, said that “indeterminate suspension“ was “the only option left” after UAE riders – many from stables owned by the ruling families of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the Maktoums and the Nayhans – failed to reduce catastrophic horse injuries or adhere to FEI rules during their current winter season.

Attempts to address the crisis through diplomacy have failed, and the FEI is understood to have been considering suspension even before Telegraph Sport’s revelation on Thursday that 12 races staged in the UAE since 2012 carried duplicated results data, which suggests they never took place...

Read more here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/equestrianism/11468943/FEI-suspend-United-Arab-Emirates-from-equestrianism-following-spate-of-scandals.html

FEI suspends UAE National Federation

Endurance.net

FEI PRESS RELEASE
Lausanne (SUI), 12 March 2015

The FEI Bureau has suspended the National Federation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for an indeterminate period following an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in the discipline of Endurance.

The Bureau, chaired by FEI President Ingmar De Vos, was unanimous in its decision to suspend the UAE National Federation.

Under the terms of the suspension, which has been imposed immediately, the UAE National Federation may not attend or be represented at any session or meeting of any body of the FEI, may not organise any international events, and its members cannot participate in any international events. However, the Bureau has ruled that UAE athletes from disciplines other than Endurance may compete under the FEI flag in international competitions organised outside the UAE.

The Bureau has clearly outlined to the UAE Federation that any potential reinstatement to FEI membership is dependent on the UAE Federation signing an agreement with the FEI under which the UAE Federation pledges to take such action as the FEI Bureau deems necessary to assure the FEI and all stakeholders that the UAE Federation is protecting the welfare of the horse and complying fully with the FEI Rules and Regulations.

"The decision to suspend a National Federation is not something that is taken lightly and we only should do this if no other remedy can be found,” the FEI President said. “Sadly this was the only option left, but we have to take our responsibility and must never be afraid of tackling major issues head-on. Where horse welfare is concerned the FEI has to show leadership and solve problems in a structural way without making any concessions.

"We were confident that strict enforcement of the new rules implemented on 1 August 2014 following adoption of the recommendations from the Endurance Strategic Planning Group would be effective in reducing the numbers of catastrophic injuries and fatalities in the UAE, but regretfully this has not been the case. There have also been other major non-compliance issues, so in the end we had no other choice than taking this drastic measure to deal with an unacceptable situation.”

As an interim emergency measure to protect horse welfare and preserve the integrity of FEI rules and regulations at FEI events while the FEI Bureau was considering the Executive Board’s recommendations for further action, the Secretary General Sabrina Zeender removed the two remaining Endurance events in the UAE from the FEI calendar two weeks ago, a move that garnered widespread support from National Federations and welfare groups.

The UAE National Federation has been notified of the suspension by the FEI Secretary General today, 12 March 2015. The UAE Federation has 30 days to appeal the suspension to the FEI Tribunal.

Separately, the FEI has requested the Equestrian Community Integrity Unit to conduct a full investigation into allegations of fake events and the duplication of results at FEI Endurance events in the UAE.

*Breaking news* FEI suspends UAE equestrian federation

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Horse & Hound
12 March 2015

In an unprecedented move, the FEI has suspended the national federation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for an “indeterminate period” following an investigation into “major horse welfare issues” and “non-compliance with FEI rules and regulations” in endurance.

The decision was made unanimously by the FEI bureau — which was chaired by president Ingmar De Vos — and the suspension has been imposed immediately.

The suspension means the UAE national federation cannot attend or be represented at any session or meeting of any body of the FEI, may not organise any international events, and its members cannot participate in any international events...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/breaking-news-fei-suspends-uae-equestrian-federation-477414#UZkrMBgTTc0fyly2.99

A dozen endurance races in UAE now called into question

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | March 12, 2015

An investigation by equestrian writer Pippa Cuckson, aided by a small team of experienced endurance riders who helped her scan through official results, has unearthed evidence that raises serious doubts over the running of 12 races in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Cuckson, writing last week in the Daily Telegraph, raised questions about the results officially posted on the FEI website in respect of two races in the UAE.

One was a 120km race on January 21 in Dubai; the second an 80km event on December 23 in Abu Dhabi. She identified some remarkable similarities between finishing times and loop times with previous races.

In fact, the results logged on the FEI website for the leading 47 horses in the December 23 race were identical to those of the 10th to 56th-placed horses from a race at Bou Thib on November 21-22. In the case of the January 21 race results, Cuckson identified extraordinary similarities with finishing data from riders in a contest in Dubai on December 19...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/03/12/dozen-endurance-races-uae-question/

UAE suspended by International Equestrian Federation over concerns about horse welfare following Al Reef Cup scandal

Dailymail.co.uk - Full Article

By MARTYN HERMAN, REUTERS
PUBLISHED: 08:55 EST, 12 March 2015

*Three horses died at 74-mile Al Reef Cup in Abu Dhabi on February 1
*Pictures showed one appearing to have broken both front legs
*Two endurance races in the UAE were cancelled after Al Reef Scandal
*Now the IEF have suspended UAE indefinitely

The United Arab Emirates have been suspended by the International Equestrian Federation indefinitely over horse welfare and rule infringements in endurance events.

Under the ban UAE riders will not be allowed to compete for their country in any international events, although they will be allowed to compete under an FEI flag in non-endurance disciplines outside of the Emirates.

There has been growing concern over the treatment of endurance horses in the UAE and the world body recently stepped in to remove two endurance events in UAE from the winter season.

Three horses were reported dead at the 74-mile Al Reef Cup in Abu Dhabi on February 1 and one, Splitters Creek Bundy, appeared to have broken both front legs.

FEI president Ingmar de Vos said the FIA's Bureau had been unanimous in suspending the UAE federation.

'The decision to suspend a National Federation is not something that is taken lightly and we only should do this if no other remedy can be found,' he said in a statement...

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-2991576/UAE-suspended-International-Equestrian-Federation-concerns-horse-welfare-relation-endurance-races.html#ixzz3UDNYJMlH

BBC.com: UAE suspended from equestrian events over endurance races

Ledger-Enquirer.com: UAE equestrian body suspended for abuses in endurance events

SanLuisObispo.com: UAE equestrian body suspended for abuses in endurance events

GreenfieldReporter.com: World equestrian body to investigate United Arab Emirates for alleged fake endurance races

Cambridgetimes.ca: UAE investigated for alleged fake endurance horse races

IdahoStatesman.com: UAE equestrian body suspended for abuses in endurance events

Insidethegames.biz: United Arab Emirates suspended by FEI following alleged horse welfare abuses

Daily Racing Form: United Arab Emirates banned from endurance races

Kentucky.com: UAE equestrian body suspended for abuses in endurance events

Metronews.ca: UAE equestrian body suspended for horse abuse, doping in endurance events

Ca.Sports.yahoo: UAE equestrian body suspended after probe into 'major horse welfare issues' in endurance races

DailyMail.co.uk: Equestrian-UAE suspended over horse welfare issues

NZHerald.co.nz: UAE investigated for alleged fake endurance horse races


March 11 2015

Sensational twist in the tale of ‘bogus’ UAE endurance rides

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

by Pippa Cuckson
11 March 2015

The “bogus” endurance ride mystery has taken a sensational new twist with the FEI decision to investigate allegations that results of a number of UAE races were “lifted” from previous FEI rides.

Last week H&H reported allegations from sources in the UAE that a ride listed for Dubai on 21 January did not take place.

Now at least 12 rides in recent UAE seasons have been discovered to have identical data to previous rides on the FEI database.

When first asked about the “bogus” race on 21 January, the FEI explained it was properly entered in the calendar as a Presidents Cup qualifier and that paperwork was in order.

After evidence of duplicate data was shown to the FEI, it asked the Equestrian Community Integrity Unit, Quest, to investigate. The data for 21 January, a 120km 2* race, is embedded in a 230-starter race from 19 December 2013. The speed and loop data of the “top three” are identical to the 13th, 14th, and 16th placed horses from 19 December, with the remaining 39 identical to completions further down the list...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/fake-uae-endurance-rides-477224#zk3SQoDaY1FXpWsA.99

Endurance Wars: The Phantom Menace

Neil Clarkson. March 11 2015. Horsetalk.co.nz

There has been a disturbance in the Force – an anomaly so extraordinary that the endurance community is still trying to comprehend exactly what it could mean for the sport.

Social media has been abuzz since British equestrian journalist Pippa Cuckson unearthed what would seem to be an impossible coincidence in the results of two races in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Cuckson, in her March 6 piece published by the Daily Telegraph, raised questions about the results officially posted on the FEI website in respect of the two races, both of which provided qualifiers for the rich President’s Cup, run over 160km.

One was a 120km race on January 21 in Dubai; the second an 80km event on December 23 in Abu Dhabi. Cuckson noted that finishing rates for the fixtures were much higher than the local average.

But, most controversially, she identified some quite remarkable similarities between finishing times and loop times with previous races.

In fact, the results logged on the FEI website for the leading 47 horses in the December 23 race are identical to those of the 10th to 56th-placed horses from a race at Bou Thib on November 21-22.

[Read more ...]

UAE: Equestrian corruption crisis: Lord Stevens to lead investigation into 12 separate 'phantom' races

Telegraph.co.uk - Full Article

Endurance racing facing huge scandal as Telegraph finds evidence UAE-hosted events never actually took place

By Pippa Cuckson, Equestrian Correspondent

11 Mar 2015

The global body governing equestrian sport has ordered an independent investigation after Telegraph Sport uncovered 12 separate allegedly 'bogus' UAE-hosted endurance races.

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) asked Quest, the integrity services agency run by former Met police chief Lord Stevens, to examine evidence compiled by the Telegraph that none of the 12 races were ever run, even though detailed results data from them appears on the FEI's official website.

Telegraph Sport exposed last week that 'bogus' or 'phantom' races were the latest scandal to hit the crisis-torn sport of endurance racing, detailing how two races purportedly staged on December 23 and January 21 appeared to exist only as sets of results, and were never actually staged...

Read more here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/equestrianism/11463573/Equestrian-corruption-crisis-Lord-Stevens-to-lead-investigation-into-12-separate-phantom-races.html

FoxSportsNews.com: UAE investigated for alleged fake endurance horse races

YahooNews.com: UAE investigated for alleged fake endurance horse races

Hutchnews.com: UAE Investigated for alleged fake endurance horse races

TheNewsTribune.com: UAE investigated for alleged fake endurance horse races

March 10 2015

Equine Canada Supports Endurance Reform

Equinecanada.ca

March 10, 2015
by: Equine Canada

As the national governing body for equestrian sport and recreation, horse welfare is paramount to Equine Canada (EC). Therefore, EC strongly supports the recent actions taken by the FEI to reform the sport of endurance in Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Region Group VII.

EC also fully supports the FEI in its decision to cancel the remaining international endurance events scheduled to take place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in March 2015.

EC feels that these emergency measures implemented by the FEI are necessary to protect horse welfare, and uphold the integrity of the rules governing FEI competitions.


March 6 2015

UAE: Further questions raised over legitimacy of endurance races

Telegraph.co.uk - Full Article

Allegations have arisen that two President's Cup qualifying races in the UAE never actually took place

By Pippa Cuckson
7:09PM GMT 06 Mar 2015

The crisis in endurance racing took a further twist on Friday night, as questions were raised about whether two races recorded as having taken place in the UAE were actually run.

The races both provided qualifications for last month’s 160km President’s Cup, the richest race in the Middle East winter season. The first of the rides in question was a 120km race on January 21 in Dubai, which independent sources in the UAE have alleged did not take place; the second an 80km race on December 23 in Abu Dhabi.

The results and data from both have been recorded on the official website of the equestrian world's governing body (FEI) and last night remained there despite the concerns over their authenticity. That data includes detailed speeds and loop (ride segment) times identical to data from other previous races which definitely did take place...

Read more here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/horseracing/11455916/Further-questions-raised-over-legitimacy-of-endurance-races.html

UAE: Too Good to be True?

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | March 5, 2015

My phone has been red hot this past week, with colleagues keen to discuss the politics behind the FEI’s unprecedented cancellation of two UAE CEI’s as the endurance crisis escalates. So it was a relief when one buddy called with this practical query: will disaffiliating these rides affect horse and rider FEI qualifications for anything important?

I replied: “It’s funny you should ask.” Because I was just completing enquiries into a 120km CEI qualifier (for last month’s President’s Cup) whose results listings on the FEI database suggest that when you are short of qualifications for something important, one simple solution might be to apply a bit of creativity!

A few weeks ago, colleagues at Horse & Hound and myself were tipped off, by different people, that a scheduled ride in Dubai on January 21at was not all it seemed. I then asked further local sources who were genuinely surprised to learn that a FEI 2* qualifier took place on January 21st and could not understand how they had managed to miss it. Everything about it reads oddly...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/too-good-to-be-true/


March 5 2015

UAE: Doubts raised over ‘bogus’ endurance race

Horse & Hound

Pippa Cuckson, March 5 2015

Allegations that a qualification race held in Dubai last month (21 January) was bogus has led to questions on how the FEI verifies the authenticity of competition results.

Sources in the UAE have told H&H that a 120km CEI listed ride did not take place. It was a late addition to the FEI calendar, and records a completion rate of 91% (41 horses out of 45), which surpasses any ride in Europe during 2014 and is nearly three times the normal completion rate in a Middle East CEI.

No overseas riders or officials were listed as participating, despite the large winter presence of visiting riders. No pictures can be traced and it is not mentioned on the UAE federation or Dubai Equestrian Club websites.

A FEI spokesman told H&H: “The CEI2* Dubai, which took place on 21 January 2015, was run as a qualifier for the President’s Cup (CEI3* Abu Dhabi, Al Wathba). The event was properly entered in the FEI calendar and, as per FEI requirements, a draft schedule was submitted and approved by the FEI headquarters. The results, officials’ reports, and vet cards were received on time and validated by the FEI headquarters.

“There was certainly a high completion rate at this particular event, but the efficacy of any set of rules in any discipline cannot be judged on the basis of a single event.

“The FEI is constantly assessing its rules to ensure that they remain relevant.”

[More ...]


March 2 2015

Middle Eastern endurance: Do not pass Go, do not collect $200

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | March 2, 2015

My friends gave up playing Monopoly against me many years ago. Apparently, I’m not much fun to play against.

It wasn’t about cheating. Apparently, I’m too officious and determined, and revel in the fact I’m slowly grinding my opponents into poverty with my hefty rents and expansive property holdings.

It was a case of going directly to the doghouse without passing Go and without collecting $200.

The lesson, learned rather belatedly, is that if you don’t play nice, eventually no-one will want to play with you.

It seems, after several years of controversy around welfare issues, doping infractions, and what would seem to be a pretty loose interpretation of the rules, the nations at the centre of the endurance controversy in the Middle East might have to learn this lesson, too...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/03/02/middle-eastern-endurance-do-not-pass-go-do-not-collect-200/

Endurance GB halts sponsorship with Meydan

Horseandcountry.tv - Full Article

By Charlotte Ricca-Smith on 2nd-Mar-2015

Endurance GB has announced its sponsorship negotiations with Sheikh Mohammed’s Meydan corporation have been put on hold.

Sensitivities

The news follows the FEI’s decision to remove United Arab Emirates (UAE) endurance events from its 2015 calendar.

Endurance riding in the Middle East has been under scrutiny for some time, with concerns over doping and equine welfare. Things finally came to a head, following the footage of a horse breaking both his front legs in a race in the Al Reef Cup in Abu Dhabi.

“In view of current national and international sensitivities and pressures surrounding the sport of endurance, the board of Endurance GB has decided to suspend sponsorship negotiations with Meydan until further notice,” John Hudson Chairman Endurance GB...

Read more here:
http://www.horseandcountry.tv/news/2015/03/02/endurance-gb-halts-sponsorship-meydan


March 1 2015

British endurance officials back away from Meydan sponsorship proposal

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz
March 1 2015

Endurance officials in Britain have suspended negotiations with the Dubai-based Meydan Corporation over a major sponsorship deal for the sport.

The decision was made by the board of Endurance Great Britain following fresh controversies around horse welfare within the sport in the Middle East, centred on the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The latest controversy blew up with the widespread circulation within social media of an image showing an Australian-bred endurance horse, Splitters Creek Bundy, stricken with two broken forelegs during the Al Reef Cup in Abu Dhabi, which, like Dubai, is one of emirates...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/03/01/british-endurance-cans-meydan-sponsorship-proposal/


February 28 2015

Rrench Equestrian Federation backs the FEI’s endurance move

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson
February 28 2015

The French Equestrian Federation has voiced its approval of the FEI’s decision to remove two international endurance events from its calendar that are set to be run in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in March.

The world governing body calls the move an emergency measure to protect horse welfare and preserve the integrity of its rules at FEI events, as the fallout from events in the Al Reef Cup, run in Abu Dhabi late in January, continues...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/02/28/french-equestrian-federation-backs-the-feis-endurance-move/

British endurance racing rips up Sheikh Mohammed sponsorship deal

Telegraph.co.uk - Full Article Endurance GB takes 'difficult' decision because of horse welfare crisis in Middle East

By Pippa Cuckson, Equestrian Correspondent
4:05PM GMT 28 Feb 2015

Endurance GB has dropped a proposed “blanket” sponsorship deal from Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum’s Meydan corporation for this season, as the crisis about horse welfare in the Middle East sport rages on.

EGB’s decision represents a second major setback for the UAE in 48 hours, following the International Equestrian Federation’s (FEI) cancellation of the UAE’s FEI rides scheduled for March, in the wake of widespread flouting of the rules, welfare concerns and global outrage about Splitters Creek Bundy, the horse who fatally broke both forelegs in a race ride on January 31.

EGB chairman John Hudson told members: “Sponsorship negotiations with Meydan will be suspended until further notice. This has been an extremely difficult decision but we believe, in view of the current national and international sensitivities and pressures surrounding the sport of endurance, it would not now be in Endurance GB’s interests to enter into a sponsorship agreement...

Read full article here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/11442015/British-endurance-racing-rips-up-Sheikh-Mohammed-sponsorship-deal.html

Endurance Great Britain Suspends Meydan Negotiations

Endurancegb.co.uk

Update on the Meydan sponsorship negotiations - (Published:28 February 2015)

We regret to inform you that, after much deliberation, taking into account the recent announcement by the FEI and following consultation with the BEF, the Board of Endurance GB has decided that the sponsorship negotiations with Meydan will be suspended until further notice. This has been an extremely difficult decision but we believe, in view of the current national and international sensitivities and pressures surrounding the sport of endurance, it would not now be in Endurance GB’s interests to enter into a sponsorship agreement at this time.

As a consequence of this decision, we are unable to proceed with the three rides scheduled for Euston Park in 2015.

I hope you will understand and respect our decision which has not been taken lightly. We will be looking at ways to try and deliver at least some of our exciting plans to improve the sport of endurance for all Members, although without sponsorship this will be a significant challenge. However this does not affect our normal activities which will continue to offer a wide range of local, national and international rides at all levels throughout England and Wales.

Best regards

John

John Hudson
Chairman EGB
For and on Behalf of the EGB Board


February 27 2015

French Endurance Federation (FFE) Supports FEI Cancellation of UAE Races

FFE.com

27/02/2015

(translated from google)

Temporary removal of Equestrian Endurance Race

The French Equestrian Federation approves the action taken by the International Equestrian Federation removing from the official calendar the next two international Endurance races Endurance in the United Arab Emirates. This decision follows the incidents where trained horses died in the sands of the Emirates during endurance races.

FFE has been involved for many years in a policy of respect for the health of horses, including the establishment of appropriate national sporting regulations. The federal teams of technical staff working in the coasts of the FEI on this subject. Future work will focus on the development of rules on the responsibility of the competitor Endurance rider.


February 27 2015

Australia: Statement Endurance

Equestrian.org

Posted by Equestrian Australia on 27/02/2015

Equestrian Australia (FEI) welcomes the announcement from the FEI overnight, advising of the removal of UAE international endurance events from the official calendar (see statement HERE).

At a meeting to discuss the recent horse welfare incident involving Australian bred horse ‘Splitters Creek Bundy’ and the current state of horse welfare in endurance internationally, the national endurance committee and EA have resolved to maintain a close dialogue with the FEI and other national federations on this matter.

EA supports the FEI’s course of action in investigating this issue and will continue to push for swift action to ensure horse welfare remains a priority for all sectors of the equestrian community. EA is encouraged by the action taken by the FEI to curb some of the ongoing horse welfare issue through changes to the endurance rules and encourages all national federations to adopt stringent horse welfare protocols at all equestrian events.

EA also remains in contact with the Australian Endurance Riders Association regarding this issue.

FEI Removes UAE Endurance Events from Official Calendar

Thehorse.com

By Edited Press Release Feb 27, 2015

Following the first meeting of the new Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) executive board, Secretary General Sabrina Zeender has removed the two remaining international endurance events scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in March 2015 from the FEI calendar in an emergency measure to protect horse welfare and to preserve the integrity of the federation's rules and regulations.

The move follows a mandate from the FEI Bureau to the executive board to urgently investigate horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI rules and regulations in the UAE. The executive board will now finalize its recommendations to the bureau.

“We have made this our top priority and will make our conclusions as speedily as possible so that the recommendations can be presented to the bureau for urgent consideration,” recently elected president Ingmar De Vos said after the meeting.

In addition to De Vos and Zeender, the meeting was attended by 1st vice president and chair of the Jumping Committee John Madden (USA), 2nd vice president and chair of FEI Regional Group VII HE Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa (BRN), chair of the Dressage Committee Frank Kemperman (NED), and chair of the Athletes’ Committee Maria Gretzer (SWE). Luiz Roberto Giugni (BRA), chair of FEI Regional Group VI, was unable to attend due to meetings in Brazil on the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The endurance rules were strengthened last year specifically to protect and promote horse welfare following recommendations from the Endurance Strategic Planning Group. The widely supported measures include additional doping testing, injury surveillance and reporting, athlete penalties for equine injuries, and extended rest periods. Other measures increase the responsibility and accountability of riders, trainers, and officials, as well as steps to address any conflicts of interest.

FEI strips two international endurance events in UAE from its calendar

Horsetalk.co.nz | February 27, 2015

Two international endurance events set to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next month have been removed from the FEI calendar in what the world governing body calls an emergency measure to protect horse welfare and preserve the integrity of its rules at FEI events.

Secretary general Sabrina Zeender took the action following the first meeting of the new FEI Executive Board, chaired by president Ingmar De Vos.

The move follows a mandate from the FEI Bureau to the Executive Board to urgently investigate horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI rules and regulations in the UAE...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/02/27/endurance-events-uae-stripped-fei-calendar/

Belgium ponders whether to go to endurance champs in Dubai

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | February 27, 2015

Belgium equestrian officials are pondering whether to send riders to the world endurance championships in Dubai next year as the fallout from the death of Splitters Creek Bundy continues.

A statement from the Royal Belgian Federation for Equestrian Sports (FRBSE) came as the FEI announced that it was stripping two international endurance events to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next month from its calendar. It called the move an emergency measure to protect horse welfare and preserve the integrity of its rules and regulations at FEI events.

The furore over the death of Splitters Creek Bundy in the Al Reef Cup in Abu Dhabi late last month has been raging since harrowing images of the stricken horse emerged and circulated widely in social media...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/02/27/belgium-ponders-endurance-champs-dubai/


February 26 2015

FEI cancels UAE races in 'emergency measure' over horse welfare

Telegraph.co.uk - Full Article

Escalating concerns over the treatment of endurance horses in the United Arab Emirates leads to equestrianism's governing body stepping in

By Pippa Cuckson
10:38PM GMT 26 Feb 2015

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has removed the remaining two FEI endurance rides of the winter season in the United Arab Emirates from its official calendar as an “emergency measure” in the wake of escalating concerns about horse welfare.

The FEI has been sharply criticised for its reactive stance to regular horse abuse scandals in the Middle East sport. But in a surprise move its newly elected executive board, chaired by FEI president Ingmar de Vos, has disaffiliated the two FEI rides scheduled for next month “to protect horse welfare and to preserve the integrity of the FEI rules and regulations at FEI events”. According to a statement, the move follows a mandate from the FEI Bureau, which is responsible for the FEI’s general direction, to the executive board “to urgently investigate horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI rules and regulations in the UAE”.

“We have made this our top priority and will make our conclusions as speedily as possible so that the recommendations can be presented to the bureau for urgent consideration”, said De Vos, who was FEI secretary-general before succeeding Princess Haya as president in December.

Doping scandals, fatal injuries, rule-breaking and the running of “ringers” in Middle Eastern endurance, many of which have been exposed by Telegraph Sport, have centred around the many large stables owned by Princess Haya’s husband, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed, and other members of the Maktoum family...

Read more here:
a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/telegraphsportnews/11438699/FEI-cancels-UAE-races-in-emergency-measure-over-horse-welfare.html">http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/telegraphsportnews/11438699/FEI-cancels-UAE-races-in-emergency-measure-over-horse-welfare.html

Shock FEI decision to cancel UAE international endurance events

by Sophia Heath
26 February 2015

The FEI has removed United Arab Emirates (UAE) international endurance events from its official calendar in an “emergency” move to “protect horse welfare”.

The announcement comes after a series of serious issues involving doping and injuries during races in the region.

The decision was taken at the first meeting of the new FEI executive board, chaired by recently elected president Ingmar De Vos. The FEI has confirmed that secretary general Sabrina Zeender has removed the two remaining international events scheduled to be held in the UAE in March.

“The move follows a mandate from the FEI bureau to the executive board to urgently investigate horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI rules and regulations in the UAE,” a spokesman said.

The executive board will now finalise its recommendations to the bureau.

“We have made this our top priority and will make our conclusions as speedily as possible so that the recommendations can be presented to the bureau for urgent consideration,” the FEI president said after the meeting...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/fei-endurance-uae-475957#eRz067TZGI5r4h8i.99

FEI scrap endurance events in United Arab Emirates after horses die at Al Reef Cup in Abu Dhabi

Dailymail.c.uk - Full Article

* Three horses were reported dead at the Al Reef Cup earlier this month
* Two events scheduled for March have been scrapped
* The FEI is investigating despite initially saying the event was outside the governing body's jurisdiction

By DAVID KENT FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 11:28 EST, 26 February 2015

The FEI has reacted to the Al Reef Cup scandal and removed the two remaining international endurance events due to be held in the United Arab Emirates from the calendar following a string of serious issues during races in the region.

Three horses were reported dead at the 74-mile Al Reef Cup in Abu Dhabi on February 1 and one, Splitters Creek Bundy, appeared to have broken both front legs.

The decision to cancel the March events, according to the governing body, is 'an emergency measure to protect horse welfare and to preserve the integrity of the FEI rules and regulations at FEI events.'

'The move follows a mandate from the FEI bureau to the executive board to urgently investigate horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI rules and regulations in the UAE,' a spokesman said.

The board is now due to finalise its recommendations to the bureau.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-2970526/FEI-scrap-endurance-events-United-Arab-Emirates-horses-die-Al-Reef-Cup-Abu-Dhabi.html#ixzz3StXnsvjP

FEI removes UAE international Endurance events from official calendar

Aroundtherings.com - Full Article

02/26/15

Following the first meeting of the new FEI Executive Board, chaired by recently elected President Ingmar De Vos, Secretary General Sabrina Zeender has removed the two remaining international Endurance events scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in March 2015 from the FEI calendar in an emergency measure to protect horse welfare and to preserve the integrity of the FEI rules and regulations at FEI events.

The move follows a mandate from the FEI Bureau to the Executive Board to urgently investigate horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI rules and regulations in the UAE. The Executive Board will now finalise its recommendations to the Bureau.

“We have made this our top priority and will make our conclusions as speedily as possible so that the recommendations can be presented to the Bureau for urgent consideration”, the FEI President said after the meeting, which was held at FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI)...

Read more here:
http://www.aroundtherings.com/site/A__50322/Title__FEI-removes-UAE-international-Endurance-events-from-official-calendar/292/Articles

Horse abuse leads world body to drop UAE endurance races

http://news.yahoo.com/horse-abuse-leads-world-body-drop-uae-endurance-154431728.html

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The International Equestrian Federation has acted on reported horse abuse in endurance racing by removing two meetings in the United Arab Emirates from its calendar.

The FEI says its executive board "took an emergency measure to protect horse welfare and to preserve the integrity of the FEI rules."

The international races in March were scheduled at Bou Thib, Abu Dhabi and the Crown Prince Cup in Dubai.

The FEI board was asked to "urgently investigate horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI rules and regulations in the UAE..."

Read more here:
http://news.yahoo.com/horse-abuse-leads-world-body-drop-uae-endurance-154431728.html

Endurance races dropped on reports of horse abuse in UAE

The Associated Press Published Thursday, February 26, 2015 10:57AM EST

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- The International Equestrian Federation has acted on reported horse abuse in endurance racing by removing two meetings in the United Arab Emirates from its calendar.

The FEI says its executive board "took an emergency measure to protect horse welfare and to preserve the integrity of the FEI rules."

The international races in March were scheduled at Bou Thib, Abu Dhabi and the Crown Prince Cup in Dubai.

Read more here:
http://www.ctvnews.ca/sports/endurance-races-dropped-on-reports-of-horse-abuse-in-uae-1.2254635

Belgium Considers 2016 World Endurance Championships Boycott

Horse-canada.com

February 26, 2015
by: Royal Belgian Equestrian Federation

The Royal Belgian Equestrian Federation (FRBSE) has released a statement to express their disappointment in the state of endurance racing in the UAE. In it, they urge their members not to participate in any events held in these countries, and note that they may not send a team to the 2016 World Endurance Championships.

To follow is a translated version of the FRBSE’s statement:

The Royal Belgian Equestrian Federation has, for years, worried about the evolution of endurance races (CEN and IEC), and especially in some countries in the Persian Gulf, and regrets the incidents that occurred on January 31st, in Abu Dhabi at the Al Reef Cup, where three horses were killed, including at least one in terrible conditions.

Because the FRBSE finds that it is not a one-off event, they can only conclude that the United Arab Emirates does not estimate correctly the situation, despite the efforts of the FEI, who are making extra efforts to find a positive solution to these abuses through the formation of the Endurance Strategic Planning Group, and Task Force, as well as by making changes to regulations and officials for example.

The FRBSE wishes to state its commitment to participating in a sport where animal welfare and respect for the rules are adhered to. Consequently, pending a complete reversal of the situation, the FRBSE strongly discourages its members from participating in any endurance race organized in one of the countries concerned. At the same time, they are considering whether or not to send a Belgian team to the next World Endurance Championships in 2016, which was awarded to Dubai.

FEI removes UAE international Endurance events from official calendar

26 Feb 2015 - FEI.org

Following the first meeting of the new FEI Executive Board, chaired by recently elected President Ingmar De Vos, Secretary General Sabrina Zeender has removed the two remaining international Endurance events scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in March 2015 from the FEI calendar in an emergency measure to protect horse welfare and to preserve the integrity of the FEI rules and regulations at FEI events.

The move follows a mandate from the FEI Bureau to the Executive Board to urgently investigate horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI rules and regulations in the UAE. The Executive Board will now finalise its recommendations to the Bureau.

“We have made this our top priority and will make our conclusions as speedily as possible so that the recommendations can be presented to the Bureau for urgent consideration”, the FEI President said after the meeting, which was held at FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI).

The Executive Board meeting was attended by the FEI President, 1st Vice President and Chair of the Jumping Committee John Madden (USA), 2nd Vice President and Chair of FEI Regional Group VII HE Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa (BRN), Chair of the Dressage Committee Frank Kemperman (NED), Chair of the Athletes’ Committee Maria Gretzer (SWE), and FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender (SUI). Luiz Roberto Giugni (BRA), Chair of FEI Regional Group VI, was unable to attend due to meetings in Brazil on the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The Endurance Rules were strengthened last year specifically to protect and promote horse welfare following recommendations from the Endurance Strategic Planning Group. The widely supported measures include additional dope testing, injury surveillance and reporting, athlete penalties for equine injuries, and extended rest periods. Other measures increase the responsibility and accountability of riders, trainers and officials, as well as steps to address any conflicts of interest.

Notes to Editors:

The removal of international events from the FEI calendar is covered in the FEI General Regulations. Article 112 states: "The Secretary General shall have the authority to remove any Competition and/or Event from the Calendar if justified circumstances relating to a Competition or the Event are established."


February 25 2015

FEI must find ways to impose sanctions, says Swiss federation

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | February 25, 2015

The Swiss Equestrian Federation has responded to the furore in endurance following the death of Splitters Creek Bundy in the Al Reef Cup race in Abu Dhabi, saying the FEI must find ways to apply sanctions against national federations.

The Swiss body, responding to what it called the dramatic incidents of recent weeks, especially during the Al Reef Cup, expressed its outrage...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/02/25/fei-sanctions-swiss-federation/


February 24 2015

Swiss Threaten to Boycott 2016 World Endurance Championships in Dubai

February 24 2015

Statement of the Swiss Equestrian Federation regarding various incidents in endurance races

(English version of the Swiss press release)

The Swiss Equestrian Federation SEF is outraged by recent dramatic incidents that have arisen in endurance, especially during the Al Reef Cup in Abu Dhabi. It calls upon the International Equestrian Federation FEI to examine the conditions, both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (UAE), to take immediate and effective measures as well as to continue to act accordingly. It is paramount that the welfare of the horse comes first. As the governing body of equestrian sports, the FEI must find ways to enable the application of sanctions against national federations, which tolerate mistreatment during their national races. Furthermore, the SEF reserves therefore the right under these circumstances to not attend the Elite Endurance World Championships 2016 in Dubai.

In recent weeks the endurance season (group VII of the FEI) in the Middle Eastern countries has been in full swing. Some events left strong traces in the media and on other social platforms and have indicated again in dramatic proportions, that the new regulations of the FEI have not been adopted by all national associations and have respectively not been sufficiently enforced by the FEI officials.

The SVPS is outraged with regard to the horrific events i.e., (multiple fractures in racing, positive doping tests, prohibited manipulations, various rule infringements, as well as too many grooms and vehicles per horse etc...) in various national and international events. It calls urgently upon the FEI, to take immediate and effective measures and to act accordingly.

Given the dramatic incidents of recent weeks, the Danish Federation has already issued a conditional start ban for its riders on events of the group VII of the FEI. The SVPS also strongly advises its endurance riders not to start in eventual races in these countries. Taking part in such races is currently incompatible with Membership of the Swiss elite team.

Under the circumstances, the SEF finds it at this moment also impossible and incompatible with its mission statement for the welfare of the horse, to participate in the next Elite World Endurance Championships 2016 in Dubai (UAE). The SEF, therefore, reserves the decision, to not attend the WEC 2016 and to not send any riders.

Additional Information:
- Dr. Charles F. Trolliet, President of the Swiss Federation for Equestrian Sports,
Tel. +41 79 205 32 91, e-mail: trolliet@swissonline.ch
- Dr. Claude Nordmann, International Relations, Swiss Federation for Equestrian Sports
Tel. +41 79 353 75 54 E-mail: claude.nordmann@bluewin.ch


February 20 2015

Five Ways to Torment an Endurance Horse, with Total Confidence so that Officials will Look the Other Way

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | February 20, 2015

In Middle East endurance, the number of FEI disqualifications and yellow cards dished out are inversely proportional to the number of offences occurring.

Dip randomly into any live-stream from the Middle East winter season, or any collection of photographs, of which thousands are archived on the websites of commercial snappers, and you’ll come across aberrations like this without even trying. No wonder no one bothers to attempt enforcement amid all this mayhem. You’d hardly know where to start.

No, this is not a scene from Arachnophobia. This horse is looking like an insect due to the bizarre Group 7 fad for duct-taping blinkers and visors to limit vision to a weeny slit. Admittedly, there is not much to look at the desert, so he’s not missing out, but it’s no time for flippancy. This is an unkind means of de-sensitising the horse (note also the earplugs), resulting presumably from his rider’s inability to keep the horse’s mind on the job through sympathetic means. This poor fellow, Embrujo, completed the 160k Presidents Cup in this blinding garb, though some shots from the later stages show the slit had been widened by about an inch.

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/five-ways-to-torment-an-endurance-horse-with-total-confidence-so-that-officials-will-look-the-other-way/


February 17 2015

Australian officials to meet over demise of Splitters Creek Bundy

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | February 17, 2015

Senior endurance figures in Australia will meet with board members from Equestrian Australia this week, as the fallout from the death of Splitters Creek Bundy from two broken front legs in an Abu Dhabi endurance race continues.

The Australian-bred horse suffered the fatal injuries late last month in the Al Reef Cup, with harrowing images of his plight before euthanasia causing outrage in the global endurance community...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/02/17/australian-officials-demise-splitters-creek-bundy/

NZ adds voice to rising tide of concern over death of Splitters Creek Bundy

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | February 17, 2015

The head of Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ), responding to the harrowing demise of Splitters Creek Bundy in an Abu Dhabi endurance race, says her organisation will take a strong stance against any individual or organisation that fails to endorse high standards of horse welfare.

Chief executive Vicki Glynn added her voice to the rising tide of international concern over the death of the Australian-bred horse, who suffered two broken forelegs during the Al Reef national endurance event late last month.

“Endurance is an extreme sport and protecting our horses has to be the highest priority, always over and above the importance of the competition,” Glynn said...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/02/17/nz-voice-global-concern-death-splitters-creek-bundy/


February 15 2015

Crisis Mis-Management

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | February 13, 2015
by Pippa Cuckson

Two weeks after the Al Reef double fracture scandal, the FEI president has finally managed to say something, in this email today to national federations, a cut-and-paste embellishment of something sent to the many individuals and groups who have already written in to complain.

Call me a cynic, but it’s funny how the damage limitation machine only started to crank into action after the Daily Mail‘s Martin Samuel, a top sports columnist in the UK, queried on Monday if there was any sports body “less effective” than the FEI, and opined it was time for the International Olympic Committee to intervene.

I criticized the deafening silence from the FEI earlier this week, but maybe I should take it all back; it’s better for the morale of the global equestrian community to hang on to the hope that the FEI is taking this all seriously, than to see written confirmation that there is no such hope.

Here is Ingmar De Vos’s statement in full, with my comments bracketed in italics as we go along:...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/crisis-mis-management/#.VN4mj-ME4iU.facebook

Ninth global equestrian discipline announced: FEI Bashing

Horsetalk.co.nz

Neil Clarkson | February 15, 2015

Today is a red-letter day in international horse sport, with the first formal recognition of FEI Bashing – the ninth equestrian discipline to fall under the jurisdiction of the world governing body.

The FEI Bureau is expected to meet in coming days to form a committee which will develop the rules and formulate the all-important Code of Conduct.

The new sport already has a small band of hardened professionals playing within its ranks, with legions of amateurs, armed with keyboards and social media accounts, making a pretty good fist of it, too.

The new discipline is expected to enter the FEI’s ranks in the top tier, in terms of the number of participants. There is no need for pesky horses, nor expensive tack. FEI Bashing represents fun for all the family, and can even be played by those who don’t know the biting end of a horse from the kicking end.

[Read more ...]


February 14 2015

Al Reef fatality: Investigation our top priority, says FEI president

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

By Horsetalk.co.nz on Feb 14, 2015 in News

FEI President Ingmar De Vos has written to national federations amid the growing storm around the Abu Dhabi endurance race in which a horse shattered his two front legs, assuring them that the world governing body’s investigation was a top priority.

Splitters Creek Bundy suffered his catastrophic leg breaks during the Al Reef Cup in Abu Dhabi late last month. The race was a national event run under the rules of the United Arab Emirates Equestrian Federation and was not under the jurisdication of the FEI...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/02/14/al-reef-fatality-investigation-priority-fei-president/#ixzz3RjZfrROJ

Danish equestrian body acts over Group 7 horse fatality

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

By Horsetalk.co.nz on Feb 14, 2015 in News

The Danish Equestrian Federation has imposed restrictions on the country’s riders wanting to compete in Middle Eastern endurance races staged under local rules, as the fallout from the death of a horse in an Abu Dhabi race continues.

The Dansk Ride Forbund says riders from the country will not be permitted to ride in Middle Eastern endurance races staged under national rules by any of the FEI’s Group 7 nations until the world governing body has provided clarifications around endurance practices in the region...

Read more here:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/02/14/danish-horsesport-body-acts-group-7-fatality/#ixzz3RjZKRfS6


February 13 2015

Crisis Mis-Management

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | February 13, 2015
by Pippa Cuckson

Two weeks after the Al Reef double fracture scandal, the FEI president has finally managed to say something, in this email today to national federations, a cut-and-paste embellishment of something sent to the many individuals and groups who have already written in to complain.

Call me a cynic, but it’s funny how the damage limitation machine only started to crank into action after the Daily Mail‘s Martin Samuel, a top sports columnist in the UK, queried on Monday if there was any sports body “less effective” than the FEI, and opined it was time for the International Olympic Committee to intervene.

I criticized the deafening silence from the FEI earlier this week, but maybe I should take it all back; it’s better for the morale of the global equestrian community to hang on to the hope that the FEI is taking this all seriously, than to see written confirmation that there is no such hope.

Here is Ingmar De Vos’s statement in full, with my comments bracketed in italics as we go along:...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/crisis-mis-management/#.VN4mj-ME4iU.facebook

Al Reef Cup Endurance Fatality Incites Outrage, FEI Investigation

Chronohorse.com - Full Article

By: Jasmine Wallace
February 1 2015

The death of Splitters Creek Bundy on course at the Al Reef Cup, a 120-kilometer endurance race in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), has caused international uproar. The Al Reef Cup, a national endurance event, was held on Jan. 31. Of the 100 horses that started the race, only 30 finished. The region’s desert courses are known for being flat and nontechnical, inviting fast-paced riding.

Splitters Creek Bundy collapsed on his second circuit of the track with two apparently fractured forelimbs. Reports indicate that fellow competitors and vehicles following the race passed him without stopping to offer aid during the 20 minutes it took for a veterinarian to arrive. The Australian-bred gelding was euthanized on the scene.

The American Endurance Ride Conference quickly reacted to Splitters Creek Bundy’s death and the two other unconfirmed equine fatalities at the Al Reef Cup.

“We’re trying to confront that tragedy, and we want to send a strong message that this is not something that this sport is about; this is not the kind of thing endurance riders around the world will tolerate,” said AERC President Dr. Michael Campbell. “Before you do a 100-mile race, you’ve probably been working that horse for a couple of years, and that’s three to four times a week. You know that horse very well, and he or she is a part of your life at that point. Treating them like so much cannon fodder is just disgusting to American riders...”

Read more here:
http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/al-reef-cup-endurance-fatality-incites-outrage-fei-investigation


February 12 2015

Horror endurance pictures continue to shock

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

by Pippa Cuckson
February 12 2015

The FEI and national governing bodies around the world have started to react to the Al Reef endurance scandal — as pictures of Splitters Creek Bundy, the horse with two broken forelegs, continue to cause a storm on social media nearly two weeks after the event.

Images captured from the Dubai Racing TV livestream showed Bundy collapsing over his shattered cannon bones towards the end of the second loop of the 120k Al Reef Cup in Abu Dhabi on 31 January.

Because the race was a CEN (national) event, a FEI spokesman said it was out of FEI jurisdiction and initially declined to comment...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/fei-reacts-shocking-endurance-pictures-474110#dK3o23XKswxcGsJd.99

American Endurance Ride Conference Board Expresses "Anger and Disgust" After Horse Fatalities in Abu Dhabi

Equusmagazine.com Blog - Full Article

AERC CONDEMNS RULE VIOLATIONS AND RACING OF HORSES AT BLISTERING SPEEDS, LEADING TO CHRONIC INJURIES, FRACTURES AND DEATH

By Fran Jurga | Feb 11, 2015

An international outcry is echoing around the world this week in protest to reports of the death of at least three horses in a non-FEI endurance event in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Particularly provoking have been photos said to show an Australian-bred mount with two broken front legs that did not receive immediate veterinary attention. The race had a low completion rate, and critics complain that there is no way to know how many horses that are removed from the event location die later off premises.

The FEI's response to critics demanding action has been that this particular event was not an FEI-sanctioned event but rather one governed by national rules that are not required to comply with FEI international standards of equine welfare.

The Board of Directors of the American Endurance Ride Conference published the following news release today. It is published here as issued by the AERC...

- See more at: http://equusmagazine.com/blog/american-endurance-ride-conference-aerc-protest-region-vii-horse-deaths-27394#sthash.zh2awsLt.dpuf

FEI must tackle endurance problems, say US officials

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

By Horsetalk.co.nz on Feb 12, 2015 in News

The governing body for long-distance riding in the United States wants the FEI and US Equestrian Federation (USEF) to show their commitment to endurance reform, following the distressing demise of a competition horse in Abu Dhabi with two broken front legs.

The harrowing image of 12-year-old Australian-bred Splitters Creek Bundy, circulated widely in social media and published by Britain’s Daily Telegraph, shows the horse standing helplessly, having snapped both his cannon bones in the Al Reef Cup, staged in Abu Dhabi on January 31...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2015/02/12/fei-tackle-endurance-problems-us-officials/#ixzz3RXsspZ4c


February 11 2015

AERC Board of Directors Appalled at Equine Deaths in Abu Dhabi CEN Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
American Endurance Ride Conference Board of Directors
Date: February 11, 2015

The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) Board of Directors is expressing anger and disgust following reports of three equine fatalities which occurred at a national Concours Endurance Nationale (CEN) event held in Abu Dhabi January 31, 2015.

Horrifying photographs show Splitters Creek Bundy, a 12-year-old Australian-bred gelding, collapsing into the sand with catastrophic fractures of both front legs, while vehicles and onlookers continue along the course. The bay gelding had failed to finish in his last three competitions, all held in the United Arab Emirates, but had previously been raced seven times at distances from 80 to 120 km (50 to 75 miles) at an average speed of 22.6 km/hr (14.04 mph).

The flat, non-technical courses in this region have been criticized worldwide for their emphasis on punishing speed and increasing rates of forelimb fractures, many of which remain unreported by relevant national and international governing bodies.

AERC’s president, Dr. Michael Campbell, said, “AERC is appalled at the Al Reef tragedy, and does not condone or support this type of riding or treatment of horses. Such abuse of equines is inexcusable and disgusting in the extreme. This is not what we stand for.”

Endurance riding, which AERC can claim originated in the United States almost 60 years ago as an organized sport, is sanctioned internationally by the Federation Equestre International (FEI). The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a member of FEI Regional Group VII, which has drawn harsh international criticism for repeated reports of equine abuse, positive drug tests, and illegal switching of both horses and riders during competition.

While FEI instituted new rules to improve equine welfare in August 2014, forward measurable progress remains slow. When pressed by journalists in regards to the three equine deaths at the Abu Dhabi competition, representatives of FEI stated that the Al Reef race was a national event and thus out of their jurisdiction.

At the March 2014 AERC Convention and Annual Board of Directors Meetings, John Long, then-CEO of the United States Equestrian Federation, met with the AERC Board of Directors to address the mutual concerns regarding reports of equine abuse, positive drug tests and blatant rule violations largely occurring within members of Group VII. At that time, AERC was considering a motion to withdraw from participation in international endurance competition until such time as FEI could demonstrate adequate control and reform of the crisis. After lengthy discussions, Mr. Long, who has since retired, stated USEF’s firm commitment to aggressively address change and improved rule enforcement within FEI. At that time, Mr. Long stated, “If we stay together and nothing good comes out of this over the next six months or a year, then we’ll walk away from it together. We’ll do it together.”

AERC’s board members strongly condemn the continuing trend within some Group VII participants towards rule violations and the racing of horses at blistering speeds leading to chronic injuries, fractures and death. The 26-member board urges USEF and FEI to demonstrate their previous commitments to change and reform the egregious offenses occurring within the international arena of endurance riding.

Contact: Troy Smith
American Endurance Ride Conference
www.aerc.org
endurancenews@foothill.net
866-271-2372, 530-823-2260


February 10 2015

The Silence of the Lambs

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

by Pippa Cuckson
February 10 2015

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s just as well, because the greater the scandal, the briefer the utterance we get out of the FEI.

I refer of course, to the hideous image of Splitters Creek Bundy perched on his shattered forelegs at the CEN in Abu Dhabi on January 31st, which the FEI said it could do nothing about because the Al Reef Cup was a national event.

Disgust on social media at the FEI’s inertia is still running a close second to the outcry at the grotesque fate of Bundy as the battalion of following vehicles ploughed on regardless, no doubt horns blaring and with one eye on the speedometer to see just how fast the remaining cannon-fodder could be hazed into running. No one has denied reports that it took a veterinarian 20 minutes to arrive...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/the-silence-of-the-lambs/


February 7 2015

Enduring to the End

Epona.tv/blog - Full Story

Written by Julie Taylor on 07.02.2015 in Welfare

In an article by Pippa Cuckson in yesterday's Daily Telegraph, the FEI claimed to be powerless to act in the matter of endurance horses keeling over with broken legs at unsanctioned endurance events in the United Arab Emirates. I'm thinking that can't be right. I'm thinking if the FEI can't do anything about this, the FEI needs to fix things so that it can.

The first aspect to strike me was that this prestigious 120 km race sounded kind of international to me. I went and checked the start list and sure enough, it featured riders of diverse nationalities: Uma Mencia Uranga (ESP), Charlotte Withofs (BEL), Gerda Petronella Burger (RSA), Catalina Basons (ARG) and Giulia Vigevani (ITA). Obviously in addition to those many international UAE riders who attended. In total, I count 36 non UAE riders out of 121 names on the start list.

I'm told that 120 km is an advanced distance which would mostly be covered in races by horse and rider combinations of international capacity. FEI riders are prohibited by the FEI General Regulations from participating in non FEI sanctioned international events.

"An Athlete and/or Horse, even if registered with the FEI, is not eligible to participate in an International Event or National Event (and so may not be invited by an OC to such Event or entered by an NF in such Event) if that Athlete and/or Horse has participated, in the six (6) months prior to the first day of the International Event or National Event in question, in an Unsanctioned Event."

- See more at:
http://epona.tv/blog/2015/february/enduring-to-the-end#sthash.iU3Q2Pf6.dpuf

FEI plays get-out-of-jail-free card in latest endurance controversy

HorseTalk.co.nz

It is hard to escape the conclusion that the FEI has chosen to play a get-out-of-jail-free card over the harrowing demise of an Australian-bred endurance horse in a race in Abu Dhabi.

An image which has circulated in social media, and was published by Britain’s Daily Telegraph on Friday, shows Splitters Creek Bundy standing helplessly, having snapped both his cannon bones in the Al Reef Cup, staged a week ago.

The problem? The race over 120km was not an FEI-sanctioned event. It was run under less stringent rules adopted by the United Arab Emirates’ equestrian federation for some domestic endurance races. On that basis, the FEI has no jurisdiction, or, as the Telegraph reported, the world governing body asserted it was “powerless to act”.

[Read More ...]


February 1 2015

Abu Dhabi: Argentinian jockey Sabrina rides Spaucay to victory in the Al Reef Cup

Khaleejtimes.com - Full Article

Hisham A Gizouli (Chief Reporter) / 1 February 2015

The race was attended by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Abu Dhabi: Top Argentinian rider Sabrina Magali Mendiz, astride 11-year-old Part Arab gelding Spaucay, representing Al Reef Stables, made a smooth progress to land the Al Reef Cup CEN 120km Endurance Ride at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Saturday.

UAE’s early leader Salem Hamad Malhoof, riding eight-year-old Anglo Arab gelding Du Bas Four, from Al Asafa 2 Endurance Stables, was relegated to second in the final loop and behind them came compatriot Saeed Ahmad Jaber Al Harbi onboard 10-year-old Unknown mare JJ Princess from the F3 Stables.

The race was attended by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai; Shaikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy National Security Advisor and Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

The race was held under the directives of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and sponsored by the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council.

The winner has covered the 120k distance in 4 hours, 12 minutes and 24 seconds at an average speed of 28,526 km/hour to lead by just six seconds ahead of the runner up...

Read more here:
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/sport/inside_sport.asp?xfile=/data/horseracing/2015/February/horseracing_February1.xml§ion=horseracing


January 28 2015

FEI Clean Sport Updates

Read the whole banana

FEI CLEAN SPORT UPDATES - 23 January 2015
Table of Contents

Introduction to the changes in the Human and Equine Anti-Doping Rules
FEI Anti-Doping rules for Human Athletes (ADRHA)
WADA's Prohibited List (Humans)
FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMR)
FEI Equine Prohibited Substances List
Supplements
New Worldwide FEI Equine and Human Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication
Program - Clarification

INTRODUCTION TO THE CHANGES IN THE HUMAN AND EQUINE ANTI-DOPING RULES

The World Anti-Doping Code 2015 has been substantially revised, resulting in a new version, effective 1 January 2015. To comply with the WADA Code, the FEI’s equine and human anti-doping rules have been significantly amended and approved by the FEI General Assembly. This FEI Update outlines the key changes made to the rules and some of the resulting practical implications. In addition, WADA has published a useful reference guide for Athletes and Athletes are encouraged to consult this.

More...


January 15 2015

Endurance Great Britain secures controversial funding with Meydan

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

15 January 2015

Endurance GB (EGB) has accepted a “blanket” sponsorship from Sheikh Mohammed’s Meydan corporation, following an unprecedented members’ ballot of 570 to 405.

“A majority of EGB’s members have voted ‘yes’ in the recent ballot regarding proceeding with a proposed sponsorship agreement with Meydan,” said John Hudson, chairman of EGB.

The overall turnout was 55.2% (1010 members), with 56.4% (570) votes in favour of accepting the sponsorship, with 40.1% (405) against and 3.5% (35) abstentions.

“The proposed agreement, which offers benefits for all levels of the EGB membership, will enhance EGB’s ability to realise its long-term strategy and vision: to enable more people and horses at all levels to enjoy the sport of endurance to the highest standard of excellence,” added Mr Hudson...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/endurance-gb-secures-controversial-funding-meydan-470945#iv4hqARMssCTEXOW.99


January 12 2015

Meydan Group Extends Support for Endurance Riding in 2015 and Beyond

Horsereporter.com - Full Article

January 8, 2015
by Pamela Burton

FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders & Juniors will be held under the sponsorship of the Meydan Group from 23-24 October in Chili

7 January 2015, Dubai ~ Meydan Group and the UAE’s support of endurance riding is to be extended in 2015 and beyond with significant announcements that include an International Endurance Series to be held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and sponsorship of the 2015 FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders & Juniors to be held in Chile.

Devised by Meydan Group and the organizing committees of four European countries, the concept for an International Endurance Series includes high-profile rides to be held during the Summer and Autumn of 2015. The rides will take place in key locations in Italy, England, France and Spain, culminating in Dubai. The top-finishing horse-and-rider combinations from the four European rides will earn automatic entries into the 2016 HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup presented by Longines, at Dubai International Endurance City.

Later in the year the endurance community will travel to Chile, where the FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders & Juniors will be held under the sponsorship of the Meydan Group. The championship will be staged on October 23-24 near the coastal town of Santo Domingo...

Read more here:
http://www.horsereporter.com/2015/01/08/meydan-group-extends-support-for-endurance-riding-in-2015-and-beyond/


January 9 2015

FEI appoints Endurance Independent Governance Advisors

FEI.org

9 Jan 2015

The FEI has named three Independent Governance Advisors (IGAs), with the first due to start work this weekend.

FEI 4* judge Roderick Fisher (GBR) will be the first IGA to attend an Endurance event in this new role, travelling to the CEI 3* Dubai (UAE) tomorrow, 10 January.

The IGAs were created following the recommendations of the Endurance Strategic Planning Group (ESPG). The IGAs will travel to CEIs and provide a detailed report to the FEI on the organisation of the competitions, the venue and the course, and the performance of the on-site officials. The IGA will also suggest areas for improvement if required.

The two other IGAs named by the FEI are Carlos Ponferrada (ESP) and Maurizio Stecco (ITA). The three Advisors have been appointed for a period of two years. In accordance with FEI Endurance Rules, during this period they cannot accept any other FEI officiating positions.

The IGAs will be travelling to selected events throughout the year.

“The FEI is diligently proceeding with the implementation of the recommendations made by the Endurance Strategic Planning Group,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos commented. “All three Independent Governance Advisors are highly experienced officials and I am confident that their input will be extremely valuable and will be beneficial for the entire discipline.”

FEI faces backlash after Maktoum 'ringer' inquiry ends with no disciplinary action

White out: Sheikh Juma’s horse (No 33) had different facial markings at the start and end of the race

Telegraph.co.uk - Full Article

Exclusive: Equestrianism's ruling body under pressure to explain lack of action over endurance racing's latest 'ringer' case

By Pippa Cuckson
9:57PM GMT 08 Jan 2015

Equestrianism’s governing body, the FEI, was under pressure on Thursday night to explain why an investigation into a new alleged case of a ‘ringer’ being used in endurance racing by members of Dubai’s ruling Maktoum family has failed to result in disciplinary action.

The FEI yesterday admitted that it had investigated allegations that a horse competing in an endurance race in Numana, Italy, in June 2012 was replaced by another during the 160km (99.4 miles) event. The race was sponsored by Maktoum-related companies.

But the FEI declined to answer further questions about the investigation and its outcome, instead referring The Daily Telegraph to its Equine Community Integrity Unit. The ECIU, established to deal with disciplinary cases on behalf of the FEI, is serviced by former Metropolitan Police commissioner Lord Stevens’ company Quest. It did not respond last night when asked for details of the investigation.

Pictures archived on the website of equestrian photographer Cidihna Franzao show rider 33, Sheikh Juma Dalmook al-Maktoum, starting Numana on a white-faced chestnut entered in the name of Pang. However, in later stages Sheikh Juma’s horse has minimal facial marks, apparently very different from the original Pang. He retired at the fourth “gate” (vet check area), failing to qualify for the World Championships at Euston Park, Suffolk, that August...

Read more here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/equestrianism/11334418/FEI-faces-backlash-after-Maktoum-ringer-inquiry-ends-with-no-disciplinary-action.html


January 8 2015

Dubai: Horse racing-Prize money for Endurance Cup boosted to $2.6 mln

dailymail.co.uk - Full Article

By REUTERS
PUBLISHED: 16:14 EST, 8 January 2015

DUBAI, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Dubai's government-owned developer Meydan Group has boosted the prize money for Saturday's Endurance Cup to almost $2.6 million and announced a series of European races to promote endurance riding, it said on Thursday.

"We feel that endurance has been left out so the prize money was enhanced to benchmark with other sports," said Saeed Humaid al-Tayer, chairman of the group that runs Dubai's opulent racecourse.

Each foreign rider, except Gulf Arab nationals, who completes the challenging 160km (99 mile) Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum Endurance Cup will receive 100,000 dirhams ($27,226). About 190 riders are expected to participate.

"For us the welfare of the horses is very important and we want to achieve the highest completion possible," Tayer told a news conference at the Meydan racecourse...

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-2902488/Horse-racing-Prize-money-Endurance-Cup-boosted-2-6-mln.html#ixzz3OL2JpQPj

Dubai’s 2015 Al Maktoum Cup: “To Finish is to Win”

January 8 2015

Perhaps reflecting the efforts to bring about change for the better in endurance racing in the UAE, and heavily promoting “To Finish is to Win,” it was announced at the press conference for the CEI*** 160-km HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup to be held in Dubai on Saturday, January 10, that every rider who completes the race will be awarded 100,000 Dirhams (approximately $27,000 U.S. dollars).

Kat Irvine, one of the Canadians participating in the ride on her mare Nightwind’s Savannah, commented, “It gives a whole new meaning to "To Finish is to Win" [fellow rider] Jess [Manness] says to me after the meeting. Once I had the hair on the back of my neck lay down, I realized that this, no doubt, was a gesture to show a change in attitude toward winning being the only thing.”

To follow the events of the race, see:
http://www.endurance.net/international/UAE/2015MaktoumCup/


January 6 2015

Endurance Great Britain Accepts Meydan Sponsorship Package

Endurancegb.co.uk

Correction issued. Date of original blog posting:

January 6 2015

An Update from The Board of Endurance GB - (Published:06 January 2015) A majority of Endurance GB’s Members have voted ‘Yes’ in the recent ballot regarding proceeding with a proposed sponsorship agreement with Meydan.

The overall turnout was 55.2% (1010 Members), with 56.4% (570) votes in favour of accepting the sponsorship, with 40.1% (405) against and 3.5% (35) abstentions.

The Board of EGB will therefore proceed to contract discussions with Meydan.

The proposed agreement, which offers benefits for all levels of the EGB Membership, will enhance EGB’s ability to realise its long term strategy and vision: to enable more people and horses at all levels to enjoy the sport of endurance to the highest standard of excellence.

John Hudson
Chairman EGB
Endurance GB Board
Category:General


Endurance GB members quit over sponsor controversy

Telegraph.co.uk - Full Article

Endurance GB votes to accept Sheikh Mohammed’s Meydan backing

By Pippa Cuckson
9:29PM GMT 06 Jan 2015

Endurance GB is to accept a “blanket” sponsorship from Sheikh Mohammed’s Meydan corporation, following an unprecedented members’ vote.

Debate has raged for months about the wisdom of allying the British national governing body with Dubai, where the Sheikh’s stables have been at the centre of doping and horse-injury scandals for more than a decade.

Voting in favour were 570 EGB members, with 405 against and 35 abstentions. This represents a 55.2 per cent turnout by a small membership organisation that is under-funded compared with show jumping, dressage and eventing. Already some “no” voters have taken to their members forum to announce they will not rejoin.

The three-year deal, for an undisclosed sum, covers EGB’s entire international calendar, the cost of new technology – required under new FEI rules directly aimed at combating types of rule-breaking such as horse-swaps and short cuts alleged to be common among Middle East riders – and training bursaries.

It also means the reinstatement of Euston Park, Suffolk, a ride venue long-leased by Sheikh Mohammed but closed in 2013 after media revelations about doping. It was at the Euston 2012 World Championships that Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum jnr rode a horse under the false identification of Marmoog...

Read more here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/equestrianism/11329077/Endurance-GB-members-quit-over-sponsor-controversy.html