Home Shop Classified News, Stories Events Education Ridecamp Videos Cartoons AERC
Endurance.Net Home 2013 FEI Controversy
Quick Links
Endurance-belgium.com
Clean Endurance Facebook page
Telegraph.co.uk/sport - Pippa Cuckson
FEI.org

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


Home
ALL NEWS ARCHIVE - REALLY - 6 YEARS OF IT!!!

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


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


2016

October 3 2016

Equestrian Australia Pens Letter to FEI Regarding Slovakia WEC

October 3 2016

Equestrian Australia has sent the attached letter to the FEI, on behalf of the EA Endurance Committee, following on from the running of the World Endurance Championships.

The letter offers suggestions for ways that completion rates for Championship events can be increased, and the level of horse welfare improved.

They include compulsory walk in/walk out water points on each loop to slow horses down and let them catch their breath a bit; institute lower heart rate and recovery times on flat courses; and encourage more technical courses requiring more horsemanship.

The full letter can be seen here:
http://www.endurance.net/international/UAE/2013FEIControversy/Oct2016AustraliaLetter.pdf


September 26 2016

AERC President and AERC International Committee Chair Pen Letter Regarding Slovakia WEC

September 26 2016

AERC President Michael Campbell, and chair of AERC's International Committee Dr Meg Sleeper, have written a letter in response to the recent World Endurance Championship in Slovakia.

Addressed to USEF's President, Chrystine Tauber, Campbell and Sleeper express their great disappointment at both the outcome of the WEC - a needless equine fatality, and numerous eliminating due to over-riding - and at FEI's appearing to initially "spin" a story about the breakdown, instead of stating what happened.

AERC "is very concerned about ongoing abuses in international endurance riding" and requests several recommendations be forwarded to FEI, including designing championship courses with technical variations, instead of flat for speed only; continued stringent drug testing, including sensitivity tests on horses' legs to detect nerve blocking agents; more emphasis on the goal of "fit to continue"; crewing on trail should be drastically reduced or eliminated all together; significantly increased and serious suspensions for stables, owners, trainers, and riders whose horses have been metabolically compromised from over-riding.

While veterinary standards and rules appear to have improved over the past year, events at the 2016 WEC show there is still a long way to go with horse welfare in FEI endurance events.

The full letter can be read here:
http://www.endurance.net/international/UAE/2013FEIControversy/USEFLetSept2016.pdf


September 23 2016

INVESTIGATION INTO UAE DEAD HORSE DUMPING



Was fatally injured endurance horse taken to livestock crematorium?

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
18:46 - 23 September, 2016

The FEI’s equestrian community integrity unit is to investigate allegations that the body of Ajayeb, the mare who broke a leg at the world endurance championships at Samorin, Slovakia, was diverted to a livestock crematorium instead of being taken directly to a pathology lab for her compulsory autopsy.

The FEI ordered the investigation on Friday afternoon after hearing allegations that Ajayeb, the ride of UAE team member Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum, was traced to the crematorium by vets suspicious about her whereabouts..

As part of tougher rules for endurance imposed in 2014, the FEI has insisted autopsies be held for all at-competition fatalities...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/was-fatally-injured-world-endurance-championships-horse-ajayeb-taken-to-livestock-crematorium-598436#RRRkkqVcVF1KddKY.99


September 19 2016

UAE Endurance: The Shameful Saga Continues

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | September 19, 2016

Hands-up anyone who seriously thought the UAE would be on best/better behaviour at Saturday’s world endurance championship (WEC) ride in Samorin, Slovakia?

Having learned nothing whatsoever from the litany of criticism, FEI suspensions and legal agreements, the UAE delivered even worse results than at WEG 2014 and managed to kill their stable star. Not one individual got round by using their trademark burn-out strategy.

Yet all were mounted on seasoned troopers, some prepped by their trainer-mentor Juma Punti Dachs, who steamed through to take two WEC golds for his native Spain with Twyst Maison Blanche. The defending champion Sheikh Hamdan went out for lameness at gate 4 having led with Ramaah.

Only 47 finished out of a field of 134. The sport should be ashamed by both the 35% completion rate and that the provisional first three were eventually ruled out, two for lameness and one for metabolics. Two were Emiratis, one a Uruguayan, another nation fixated on the racing-style sport.

There was some good riding but the overall picture was dire. At Rio, experienced Paralympic dressage rider Philippa Johnson-Dwyer was eliminated for a small spur mark on her horse’s flanks under the blood rules. Philippa lost the use of an arm and has spinal injuries, so any tiny abrasion could possibly have been caused by a totally understandable momentary loss of balance on her part. Yet at a world title endurance ride, for every sympathetic rider you’ll see another that has barely mastered rising trot yet is permitted to crash along for 100 miles hanging on to a mouthful of hardware that would shame the Spanish Inquisition. But then again, large numbers of the public are less likely to watch endurance than an arena sport on TV like dressage: silly me.

The UAE also lost Ajayeb, ride of Sheikh Rashid Dalmook al Maktoum. Ajayeb sustained an open fracture of the cannon bone, the sort seen too often in the desert rides. To add to the catastrophe, witnesses tell me that Ajayeb broke free from a makeshift screen made of sheets and tried to run on three legs after her companions whose riders had continued on their way. She had been up with the front-runners in loops 1, 2 and 3.

Ajayeb was clearly a very special robot who has been passed round the wider Maktoum clan so they can all win something big. Yamamah, winner of WEG 2014, is a previous holder of this dubious honour. Ajayeb won the 2015 Europeans, also at Samorin under Punti Dachs. In January she won Dubai’s most prestigious ride, the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup under Sheikh Hamdan...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/uae-endurance-the-shameful-saga-continues/?utm_source=Enews+Sept+19%2C+2016&utm_campaign=EnewsSept192016&utm_medium=email

‘A very tough day’: horse dies at world endurance championships

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Rachael Turner
11:58 - 19 September, 2016

A horse has been put down at the FEI world endurance championships at the weekend (15-18 September).

Ajayeb, ridden by UAE rider Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum, tripped and fell on the fourth loop of the 160km track in Samorin, Slovakia.

The 15-year-old chestnut mare suffered “an irreparable leg injury” to her off fore and had to be put down.

“It was a very tough day”, said Spanish rider Jaume Punti Dachs, who took team and individual gold at the competition.

“There were magnificent horses in front of me, but endurance sometimes happens like this. You do everything right and then something goes wrong. It’s like life..."

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/tough-day-horse-dies-world-endurance-championships-597513#162v67m4eM6Ub5Ox.99


June 15 2016

Longines FEI World Endurance Championships 2016 Allocated to Slovakia

FEI.org

15 Jun 2016

The Longines FEI World Endurance Championships 2016 will be held in Samorin (SVK) following a decision at yesterday’s FEI Bureau monthly teleconference meeting. A unanimous proposal from the FEI Endurance Committee recommending the Slovakian venue received the support of the full Bureau.

Three bids to host the Championships were received when the bid process was reopened in April of this year following the decision to reallocate the event. Also bidding were Fontainebleau (FRA) and San Rossore, Pisa (ITA), but the Bureau ruled that neither of these two venues were suitable due to concerns over welfare and safety. Both venues proposed mid-October dates, meaning that the rides would start and finish in the dark, potentially putting horses and riders at risk. There is also increased potential for heavy rain in these areas at that time of year.

Samorin Equestrian Centre, the brain-child of Slovakian businessman Mario Hoffmann, staged very successful FEI European Endurance Championships last year. The 2016 World Championships will run from 15-18 September, with the qualification period ending on 16 July.

The Championships had originally been allocated to Dubai and were scheduled to be held in December of this year, but at its spring in-person meeting on 6-7 April, the FEI Bureau voted to remove the Championships from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as it felt that the UAE National Federation is not currently in a position to guarantee that horse welfare would be fully protected.

“We were very happy to receive three bids and appreciate the willingness to support the FEI at such short notice for this year’s World Championships”, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said, “but the Bureau had no hesitation in opting for Samorin. Horse welfare has to be the most important element in the allocation of these major events and Samorin has a proven track record, having already run both the young horse and European Endurance Championships very successfully.

“The timing of the Championships was also important and, with the three bids all coming from Europe, the Bureau felt that a September date was more appropriate. Both Fontainebleau and San Rossore were proposing mid-October when the reduced daylight hours could potentially have an impact on safety. Safeguarding the safety and welfare of the equine and human athletes is our top priority in all our disciplines.”

Driving Championships

Additionally, the Bureau allocated the FEI World Driving Championships for Young Horses 2016 to Mezöhegyes (HUN). The Championships, which were reallocated following the withdrawal of original host venue, Conty (FRA), will run from 8-11 September.

Slovakia steps in to host FEI World Endurance Championships after Dubai's axing over horse welfare - Insidethegames.biz

Slovakia to host world endurance championships - Horsetalk.co.nz

2016 WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIPS ALLOCATED TO SLOVAKIA - Horse-canada.com


June 13 2016

Will the FEI break its own rules?

Fair-endurance.com - Full Article

June 9 2016

5. No NFs shall be allocated two (2) consecutive FEI World or FEI Continental Championships in the same Discipline for the same Category of Athletes, unless there are no other suitable applications.

How do you understand this point?

Option 1: No country is allowed to host 2 consecutive World Championships or 2 consecutive European Championships, right? If World Endurance Championship 2014 was held in France in Normandy, so, World Endurance Championship 2016 can’t be held in France again, right?

Option 2: Or can we interpet this point as “no country is allowed to host the Championships for 2 consecutive years”? If Samorin was the host of European Championship 2015, it can’t be the host of World Championship 2016, isn’t it?

As we know now, there are three bidders for the World Endurance Championship 2016: Fontainebleau (FRA), Samorin (SVK), San Rossore (ITA).

If we interpret the Article 106.5 in first supposed way, then Fontainebleau is ineligible, because in such case France will host two consecutive World Championships (2014 and 2016).

If we interpret the Article 106.5 in second supposed way, then Samorin is ineligible, because in such case the same venue will host the Championships for two consecutive years (2015 and 2016).

Both Fontainebleau and Samorin are ineligible, because we have another application from third bidder: San Rossore.

So, if the FEI Bureau will announce the new venue of WEC 2016 in Fontainebleau or Samorin, it will be the violation of own rules of the FEI...

Read more here:
http://fair-endurance.com/will-the-fei-break-its-own-rules/


June 3 2016

FEI announces two banned substance positives for UAE Riders

FEI.org

3 Jun 2016

The FEI has announced two adverse analytical findings involving prohibited substances.

Samples taken at the CEI1* in Doha (QAT) on 22 April 2016 from the winning horse Centurion, FEI ID 102RM71/QAT, ridden by Abdulla Mubarak Rashed Al Khaili, FEI ID 10076760/UAE, have returned positive for the banned substance human Erythropoietin (EPO). EPO is a banned substance under the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs).

Samples taken at the same event from the horse SUR (Mabrouk), FEI ID UAE01796/QAT, ridden to second place by Mohd Butti Ghemran Al Qubaisi, FEI ID 10092584/UAE, also returned positive for human EPO.

EPO is a peptide hormone that is produced naturally in the body. It is released from the kidneys and acts on the bone marrow to stimulate red blood cell production. An increase in red blood cells improves the amount of oxygen that the blood can carry to the body’s muscles.

Under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Rules, EPO has been banned as a performance enhancing substance for human athletes since the early 1990s, but a reliable testing method was not in place until 2000. EPO has been banned for equine use under the FEI’s EADCMRs since 2010.

“EPO is well known in human endurance sports in which an increased number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells is an advantage, but the substance has little benefit in equestrian sport and this is the first time we have seen FEI horses testing positive for EPO”, FEI Veterinary Director Göran Akerström said. “Horses have a large natural reserve of red blood cells stored in their spleen, and the use of EPO would actually have a negative effect in many horses as the increased level of red blood cells would slow down blood circulation.”

“Clean sport is a top priority for all governing bodies”, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said, “and a key part of that is protecting our clean athletes. So we will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that there is no room in our sport for those who attempt to gain a competitive advantage through the use of prohibited substances.”

Both athletes have been provisionally suspended from the date of notification (2 June 2016). The two horses have also been provisionally suspended for a two-month period.

Further details on these cases can be found on this page.


April 25 2016

FEI suspend United Arab Emirates from equestrianism following spate of scandals

April 25 2016

A Facebook group, "Fair Endurance," for "Endurance riders, horses, trainers and owners of the horses," has created a petition on Change.org.

Countering the 6600-plus-signature petition that was started in February to remove the WEC from Dubai - which the FEI subsequently did - the Fair Endurance group, citing "FAIR PLAY FOR ATHLETES," initiated the petition to reinstate the 2016 FEI World Endurance Championship in Dubai as it was legally appointed by the FEI Bureau in December 2014. "Play sports, not politics!"

The petition further states:

On 7 April 2016 the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI - the International Federation for Equestrian Sports) suddenly cancels the 2016 World Endurance Championships in Dubai that was legally appointed in December 2014.

Read official statement of the FEI Bureau.

Two months ago the FEI and Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) made an agreement that established stricter conditions of all Endurance competitions in the UAE.

Trying to punish UAE riders, indeed the FEI punished all riders from all the world that come to the UAE to start in Endurance competitions.

SO FEI PLAYS POLITICS, NOT SPORTS!

We ask all equestrian people to sign this petition, because that agreement between FEI and EEF should be voided as illegal. Any amendments to the FEI Endurance Rules must be approved by all the National Federations at FEI General Assembly, not by separate agreement between FEI and EEF.

--------------------------------------------

We hereby petition the FEI to revoke the unwarranted and prejudicial ‘Final Exams Maximum Pulse between 56 and 60 bpm within 10 and 15 minutes’.

• These rules are not practical and affecting us as riders, negatively.

• We are unable to compete in such unfair situations, without achieving the goal of successfully finishing the ride.

• There is no level-playing field by implementing such stringent measures for the purpose of punishing any country or any region.

• FEI published Endurance Rules to be followed in all international competitions, Article: 814.1.5.5: “At the Final Inspection, the Maximum Pulse shall be 64 bpm within 30 minutes”.

Furthermore, we request the FEI to reinstate the FEI World Endurance Championships to take place from 10-17 December 2016 at the Dubai Equestrian Club (UAE).

If a different venue be chosen, we as riders will be affected because of the following reasons:

• Advancing the qualification dates and the event dates, will in turn put the pressure on riders and horses to qualify within such a short period.

• This will not give enough time to qualify the riders & horses, which is not fair.

• Training plans will have to be changed, based on the climatic conditions & track.

• Deciding the venue, just two or three months prior to the event, will affect horses results and welfare of horses will be of high concern.

• The terrain and climatic conditions will not be known until the 14 June 2016, for a high level championship happening in September/October 2016.

• Planning the budget is more crucial and now it is too late and almost impossible to find the money to prepare all arrangements for a different venue, which is still not known yet.

For more information see:
https://www.facebook.com/fairendurance/


April 13 2016

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
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...

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


April 12 2016

US endurance body welcomes removal of world champs from UAE

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 12 April 2016

The removal of this year’s world endurance championships from the United Arab Emirates has been welcomed by the body that runs the discipline in the United States.

The event was to have been run in Dubai in mid-December, but the FEI Bureau decided to remove it amid a background of ongoing welfare concerns in the discipline in the region.

American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) president Michael Campbell said his organization was pleased the FEI had taken strong steps to ensure the welfare and safety of endurance horses by moving the event from Dubai to another venue.

“AERC understands that this is a painful lesson for Dubai, but we believe it serves the best interests of endurance riding worldwide,” he said...

Read more at: http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2016/04/12/us-endurance-body-world-champs-uae/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SocialWarfare#axzz45gas5DOi


April 10 2016

Does a 2016 WEC Serve Anyones Best Interest?

Awarewelfare.net - Full Article

by John Crandell
April 9 2016

Many of the worlds equestrian enthusiasts are heartened by the FEI’s recent withdrawal of its 2016 World Endurance Championship (WEC) from Dubai. Before we emotionally declare a victory and hurry to re-organize a WEC in another location, some objective consideration of the current state of international endurance racing is in order. There is a lot to be gained or lost for the discipline hinged on just how we proceed.

This is a moment of great opportunity. It’s a chance to do much more than simply put the discipline back on the same tracks from which it has been derailed. We have a delicate moment here to create a fundamental shift in the guidance of international endurance racing. If we act with wise conviction now, we can ensure that the dysfunctions of the recent past cannot return, and secure an enduring future for the discipline...

Read more here:
https://awarewelfare.net/2016/04/09/does-a-2016-wec-serve-anyones-best-interest/


April 9 2016

AERC Responds to FEI Decision to Remove the World Endurance Championships from UAE

AUBURN, California – April 9, 2016

As the governing body for endurance sport in the United States, the American Endurance Ride Conference has long been a proponent for fair play and a custodian of horse welfare in endurance sports worldwide. In the past year, the AERC has been a vocal supporter of the FEI’s sanctions against the UAE, proactively leading the condemnation of widespread violations in the UAE.

AERC’s Board of Directors and the AERC International Committee have been united with their 5,000 members across the U.S. and Canada in expressing their outrage at the cheating and abuse at many rides in FEI’s Region VII, while praising those ride managers and riders who uphold the strict standards that are the norm for the sport around the globe.

Today AERC President Michael Campbell issued a statement, speaking on behalf of the organization in response to the FEI’s decision to remove the World Endurance Championships, originally scheduled for December 2016, from the UAE and to reopen the bidding process for the event.

“AERC is pleased to note that the FEI has taken strong steps to insure the welfare and safety of endurance horses by rescheduling the World Endurance Championship 2016 from Dubai to another venue. AERC understands that this is a painful lesson for Dubai, but we believe it serves the best interests of endurance riding worldwide. AERC further applauds the United States Equestrian Federation in accurately relaying the sentiments of American riders to the FEI. AERC joins other countries throughout the world in expressing gratitude to FEI for taking this courageous and considered action. FEI President Ingmar De Vos received a petition that was circulated worldwide and included over 6500 signatories from riders, trainers and owners from dozens of countries recommending this action. FEI listened to the outraged cries from around the world and responded appropriately.”

The AERC will continue to monitor the situation and keep members apprised of developments.

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.


April 8 2016

World endurance championships: The UAE vets out

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 8 April 2016

The Emirates Equestrian Federation will undoubtedly be distressed that its plans to host the World Endurance Championships in Dubai this December have been scuppered by the FEI Bureau.

The bureau, meeting in Switzerland this week, decided that the United Arabs Emirates (UAE) still had welfare concerns in endurance that needed to be resolved before it could host the event.

Or, to frame it in the bureau’s own words: “The FEI Bureau is of the opinion that the UAE national federation is not currently in a position to guarantee that horse welfare would be fully protected at an FEI World Endurance Championship in the UAE this year.”

Stripping a world championships from a nation in such circumstances is a pretty big deal, and I don’t doubt that the Emirates Equestrian Federation will be smarting from the news for some time.

The event had been under a cloud over welfare concerns in the sport in the UAE for a while, and in recent weeks several strong endurance nations signalled that they were unlikely to go if was held in the country...

Read more: http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2016/04/08/world-endurance-championships-uae-vets-out/#ixzz45FLjgbN6


April 8-10 2016

2016 World Endurance Championships Removed From UAE

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 8 April 2016

The Emirates Equestrian Federation will undoubtedly be distressed that its plans to host the World Endurance Championships in Dubai this December have been scuppered by the FEI Bureau.

The bureau, meeting in Switzerland this week, decided that the United Arabs Emirates (UAE) still had welfare concerns in endurance that needed to be resolved before it could host the event.

Or, to frame it in the bureau’s own words: “The FEI Bureau is of the opinion that the UAE national federation is not currently in a position to guarantee that horse welfare would be fully protected at an FEI World Endurance Championship in the UAE this year.”

Read more:
http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2016/04/08/world-endurance-championships-uae-vets-out/#ixzz45YdRtMvl

UAE stripped of endurance worlds over horse welfare concern - Centredaily.com



UAE loses event over horse welfare concern - Toledoblade.com



UAE stripped of endurance worlds over horse welfare concern - Dailymail.co.uk



UAE NO LONGER HOSTS THE WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIPS AFTER FEI DECISION - Equnews.com



United Arab Emirates stripped of world endurance championships - Horsetalk.co.nz



Dubai stripped of World Endurance Championships - Horseandhound.co.uk



UAE stripped of endurance worlds over horse welfare concern - Newsobserver.com



UAE stripped of endurance worlds over horse welfare concern - NZHerald.co.nz



International Equestrian Federation strips UAE of World Championship over horse welfare concerns - Insidethegames.biz



WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIPS REMOVED FROM DUBAI - Horse-canada.com



Equestrian: UAE stripped of world endurance event over horse abuse - Globalpost.com



UAE stripped of endurance worlds over horse welfare concern - Valdostadailytimes.com



UAE STRIPPED OF WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIPS OVER HORSE ABUSE


April 7 2016

2016 World Endurance Championships Removed From UAE

April 7 2016

At the FEI in-person Bureau meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland on April 7, 2016, the FEI made a key decision regarding endurance and the UAE.

From the report:

The FEI Bureau acknowledged the efforts that have been made by the United Arab Emirates National Federation (UAE NF) in Endurance since the reinstatement of the National Federation in July 2015. However, despite the hard work and progress to date, the FEI Bureau is of the opinion that the UAE NF is not currently in a position to guarantee that horse welfare would be fully protected at an FEI World Endurance Championship in the UAE this year.

As a result, the Bureau decided to remove the FEI World Endurance Championships 2016 from the UAE. The Championships, which were scheduled to take place from 10-17 December 2016 at the Dubai International Equestrian Centre (DEC), were originally allocated to the EEF by the Bureau in December 2014.

The bid process will now be reopened to find a replacement venue outside the UAE for the Championships. The deadline for receipt of bids is 18 May and the allocation to a new host will be made during the Bureau teleconference on 14 June. It is expected that the Championships will now take place in September or October, so the qualifying period will be moved back by two months and results starting from October 2014, instead of December 2015, will now count for qualification. At the same time, there was also unanimous agreement among the Bureau Members that rule breaches are absolutely unacceptable and that the FEI must work even more closely with the UAE NF to guarantee the National Federation’s full implementation of FEI Rules and Regulations as well as on the July 2015 agreement which will guarantee the welfare of the horse in National and International events. Additionally, and until further notice, the FEI will not sanction any events organised by the DEC.

The full FEI report can be seen here:
http://www.endurance.net/international/UAE/2013FEIControversy/FEI_Bureau_7 April_2016_report.pdf


April 4 2016

New Fair Play of the FEI

Equestrian.center - Full Article

28 March 2016
Equestrian.Center

CEI 3* 140 WAS CANCELLED IN DUBAI ON 19 MARCH 2016 Exclusive Story About What Happens Behind This Cancellation

Dubai International Endurance City hosts big event that brings the curtains down on Dubai’s endurance season – Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup.

As you may know, during last month there were some tensions between FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale) and EEF (Emirates Equestrian Federation).

After the juniors and young riders 120 km ride that was held in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi on 30 January, where “gross offenses” have occurred, FEI suspended remaining CEI rides in UAE until EEF to set an agreement on the proposed measures, with the caveat that no further events would be held in the region until agreement on these measures had been reached.

So, FEI decided to punish UAE riders by doing this. On 13 February FEI and EEF were set this agreement that contains twelve approved measures, which will be applied for the rest of the UAE Endurance season.

Among those 12 measures there are two significant changes:
3. Heart rate presentation times reduced to between 56 and 60 bpm for all loops in one-star competitions, and in the final loop for two- and three-star CEIs and CENs.

4. Recovery time reduced to between 10 and 15 minutes for all loops in one-star and in the final loop for two-and three-star CEIs and CENs.

Again, these restrictions were set to slow down UAE riders. But overseas riders and horses, that arrived to UAE just a week before the date of start, are never raced with such fast speeds.

Long flight from Europe, America and other continents to UAE, sharp change of climate and very hot temperature are the great stress for overseas horses. Their goal are not to race with a speed of 30-35 km/h, their goal are just to successfully finish in competing against the new terrain, hot temperature and unusual climate without having an enough time for acclimatization.

So, these new restrictions should not be applied to invited overseas riders and horses, competing in UAE. Overseas riders are just guests. They are not even trying to chase for local riders because they know it is just impossible to finish with a speed that they never show in Europe and other continents...

Read more here:
http://equestrian.center/fei/new-fair-play-of-the-fei/


April 3 2016

Endurance: How Much Longer Can the FEI String Out the Agony?

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | April 1, 2016

An occupational hazard of journalism is that when you ask a tricky question of a governing body, the answer often bears no resemblance to the points raised. Quite a few of us compare notes, and frequently receive identical replies even when we have all asked quite different questions. Needless to say, this applies especially to endurance in the Middle East.

There is still considerable speculation about what really went on at Dubai International Endurance City (DIEC) on March 19th. If even half of what I have heard from normally reliable sources is true, surely this time the UAE has behaved badly enough to be suspended indefinitely (though that would be a tough call on Bouthieb, and might be complicating any such decision) and for DIEC to be stripped of the world endurance championship in December.

The petition calling for the world championships to be moved, by the way, has now reached 5,632 signatures; pretty good for a niche interest area.

Worryingly though, the FEI does seem to be giving the UAE federation (EEF) an increasingly amount of latitude, notwithstanding the strenuous efforts of its endurance director, Manuel Bandeira de Mello...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/uae-endurance-how-much-longer-can-the-fei-string-out-the-agony/


April 1 2016

UAE: Bouthieb 2015 - 2016: The unbelievable season

Full piece with photos archived at http://www.endurance.net/international/UAE/2013FEIControversy/

Bouthieb 2015 - 2016: The unbelievable season

A noticeable impact

In HH Sh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan's very words, what has been achieved in the Bouthieb Endurance Village (Abu Dhabi, UAE) is simply "unbelievable". Clearly he did not expect such a result in one single season, same as those around him who put all their energy into the project. At Bouthieb, indeed, endurance has changed course and what the FEI has called the "Bouthieb Protocol" has travelled around the world.

The FEI itself has used this project to impose similar rules on the country. It is yet only partially successful, but the FEI has not said its last word. The off-season (April to October) will clearly be exploited to reach further agreements and obtain full satisfaction.

The winners of these new rules are certainly the horses. The number of horses in health care has dropped dramatically throughout the season in Bouthieb. This rate has reached unprecedented low levels and the last day was like the first when the new rules were enforced: an empty clinic with rare and short appearances of horses. This is a direct consequence of the new rules implemented and it was also one of their goals. The saturated Bouthieb Clinic with buildings surrounded by horses that must be treated outside because there is no more space available is now an old and sad memory.

In Bouthieb, it was shown that by rolling up one's sleeves, one could, with simple but sensible ideas, do what some people around the world had decided to believe impossible, namely, change the game and return to the path of a healthy sport in the UAE with horses as respected partners.

Manuel Bandeira de Mello, head of the FEI endurance department, was present in person for the last session which was held from March 7th to 13th. He could see, appreciate and analyze by himself the progress made in Bouthieb. He was obviously pleased to see the strong commitment of Sh. Sultan, without whom this would have been impossible. His approach is to move positively rather than the contrary. Too many people tend to expect the opposite of the FEI. Being poorly informed and seeing the situation from too far away they have a distorted understanding of a locally complex situation which, obviously, does not prevent them from having a severe and always negative opinion - with few exceptions-.

The number of riders of the National Federation of the UAE (EEF) represents 10.8% (or 957) of all the FEI riders in the world. This places it in the 2nd position after France which accounts for 22.7% (or 2,012 riders). What happens there is therefore neither insignificant nor without an impact on the entire discipline and we understand why the FEI takes particular care in having endurance properly performed there. Therefore Bouthieb is in this sense a new, positive and indispensable ally in this regard.

Flawless support

March 13th 2016 was the last day of the 2015 - 2016 season in Bouthieb. It was the day of the arrival of the CEI 3* 240 km in 3 days which was the main event of the 10th "Sh Sultan's Equestrian Festival".

Full Article here


March 30 2016

UAE Endurance: The real-life soap opera continues

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 30 March 2016

Television soap operas are a pretty poor substitute for the ongoing dramas we have seen unfolding in endurance in the United Arab Emirates.

In the latest gripping episode, we are left second-guessing events that unfolded around the Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup, raced over 120km on March 19.

The FEI has said precious little about it, which has left the endurance community pondering whether a great deal of trouble is brewing or whether the FEI has its head buried in the desert sand.

My personal view is that another endurance storm is looming, and it could well blow up in the next few days.

Read more: http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2016/03/30/uae-endurance-soap-opera/#ixzz44OqrjqqT

More Endurance Deaths in UAE?

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

March 29, 2016
by: Horse-Canada.com

Three closely-spaced endurance rides in March at Dubai International Endurance City in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) saw at least two suspected and unreported horse deaths, and the downgrading of a scheduled CEI*** to a CEN, likely to avoid the FEI’s strict new measures regarding endurance.

Endurance racing in the UAE had been suspended earlier this year over continued concerns of horse welfare, including several equine deaths and video evidence of multiple cases of horse abuse. The FEI permitted the sport to resume under the FEI banner after the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) agreed to 12 welfare measures.

Despite the agreement, however, the Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup held on March 19th was downgraded to a national event, but had previously been listed on the FEI calendar as a CEI*** and a qualifying event for the 2016 World Endurance Championship hosted by Dubai this December. The FEI does not have jurisdiction over national competitions...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/horse-news/more-endurance-deaths-in-uae/


March 22 2016

UAE endurance: Gauging the depth of frustration

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 22 March 2016

Petitions have been a time-honored way to highlight a cause, and the one that seeks to have this year’s World Endurance Championships moved from the United Arab Emirates has certainly done that.

Petitions can be treated purely as a numbers game, but the internet has changed the terrain somewhat.

What constitutes a good number of signatures on a petition about an equestrian discipline that is little known outside the horse world? A thousand? Two thousand? Fifty thousand?

Who knows? The Change.org petition that targets the Dubai event had 5385 at the time of writing, which I would suggest is a solid show of support, indeed, for a sport with a modest international profile.

The first tranche of 4000 online signatures went to FEI President Ingmar De Vos on February 10.

For me, the comments posted by the mix of individuals who signed the petition provide valuable insight into the prevailing views on this matter.

One hopes that De Vos and the FEI’s endurance chiefs have taken the time to read the responses, for they paint a picture of a very angry horse community...

Read more: http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2016/03/22/uae-endurance-depth-frustration/#ixzz43eAU49lR


March 14 2016

Endurance: Tales from the FEI’s X-Files

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 14 March 2016

Many years ago, when I was at the bottom of the pecking order in a newsroom, it was my job to sort the morning mail and distribute it to the reporters.

I worked with a lovely woman named Gaynor Loriman. Every month or so, Gaynor received a mailed newsletter from the South Korean embassy in New Zealand. It was addressed to Gay Nor Fori Mar.

Years later, when I was picture editor at another newspaper, I got my very own letter from the Korean embassy. In the days before digital pictures, they had kindly sent me an updated head-and-shoulders file photograph of their beloved president. I opened the cardboard cylinder and pulled out a poster, measuring 1 metre by 1.5 metres.

This is the same nation that went on to give us Psy and Gangnam Style. That, I guess, is just how the quirky South Koreans roll.

I have been pondering these past few days about how the FEI rolls, as we digest the two FEI Tribunal decisions relating to the series of rides in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in which the results inexplicably mirrored those of previous races...

Read more: http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2016/03/14/endurance-tales-fei-x-files/#ixzz42tRCANmz


March 13 2016

Endurance in UAE has outpaced skills of trainers and riders, expert suggests

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 13 March 2016

Endurance in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has grown faster than the skills of trainers and riders, an American specialist in the discipline who once worked as a trainer in the region told an international conference.

Emmett Ross told delegates to the inaugural International Bou Thieb Endurance Conference of the need for education to further the sport in the region.

Ross is a past chef d’equipe to the US Endurance Team and is shortly to take on the organization of the endurance section for the upcoming World Equestrian Games in Bromont, Canada.

Ross suggested that the intense pressure to win from many owners and the high levels of prize money had given rise to many of the region’s problems...

Read more: http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2016/03/13/endurance-uae-outpaced-trainers-riders-expert/#ixzz42ndpjafN


March 11 2016

UAE Suspensions: Return of the Bogi

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | March 11, 2016

News that Dr Hallvard Sommerseth has been suspended for a mere two years for his role in the submission of over 500 sets of bogus endurance results to the FEI makes you wonder exactly what heinous crime a senior figure in global equestrianism has to commit to get the possible lifetime FEI ban for fraud. I guess that holding up the FEI accounts department and demanding all the Longines money would result in little more than polite escort from the King Hussein building and a nice box of Swiss chocolates to eat on the way home.

Abdul Aziz Mohammed Yasin Sheikh, head of the endurance department at the UAE federation, is also suspended for just 18 months for his part in this fiasco. Both will also have to re-qualify as four-star judges before they are allowed to officiate again. Well, that’s an extra bummer for them – not.

To introduce some much needed levity when unravelling the Bogus Rides scam 12 months ago, my plucky helpers christened the perpetrators “the Bogi.”

Well, it looks like the Bogi will return soon. As they receive credit for time served already, Sommerseth can return to judging next year. He has no doubt been able to claim back his derisory 4,000 Swiss francs fine as a business expense from his employers...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/return-of-the-bogi/

2 UAE equestrian officials banned in endurance race scandal - KentuckyNewEra.com



FEI Tribunal Issues Decisions in UAE Endurance Cases - Thehorse.com



UAE rider’s ban extended over breaches of suspension - Horsetalk.co.nz



FEI Tribunal rules against two officials in UAE endurance scandal - Horsetalk.co.nz



Boudheib Endurance Rules Put Welfare of the Horse First

Horsereporter.com - Full Article

by Pamela Burton

"Reform or stop, no compromise," said HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan

11 March, 2016, Abu Dhabi ~ The 1st International Boudhieb Endurance Conference was held on 10 March, 2016 outside Abu Dhabi at the Boudhieb Endurance Village. Disrupted by extraordinary storms and a deluge of rain, the 1st International Endurance Seminar had to be postponed for a day, but this did not stop participants and guests from enjoying a most interesting and thought provoking event which set out to discuss and expand on what has become to be known as the Boudhieb Rules.

His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nayhanthe moving spirit for not only the Conference but also for the Boudhieb Rules was present throughout, and he was delighted by the attendance and appreciated the strong support his ideas received from the speakers and guests.

The Boudhieb Rules have sparked an intense debate both Nationally and Internationally about the meaning of endurance, whether the long distance flat races run against the clock as seen in UAE can legitimately be called endurance or whether other criteria which ensure the welfare of the horse are not more relevant to the spirit of the sport. For His Highness there is no doubt and the Boudhieb Rules reflect his ideals. He issued an ultimatum, “Reform or stop – no compromise...”

Read more here:
http://www.horsereporter.com/boudheib-endurance-rules-put-welfare-of-the-horse-first/

FEI Tribunal publishes decisions in UAE Endurance cases

FEI.org

11 Mar 2016

The FEI Tribunal has this week published decisions in three Endurance cases in the United Arab Emirates involving Dr Hallvard Sommerseth, Abdul Aziz Sheikh and Ali Mohammed Al Muhairi.

Dr Hallvard Sommerseth, former Head of the Veterinary Department at the United Arab Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF), has been suspended as an FEI Official for a two-year period for non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations and his involvement in a number of events from which duplicate results were submitted to the FEI.

The FEI Tribunal found that Dr Sommerseth had been “grossly negligent with regards to his duties as an FEI Official” during the events. Dr Sommerseth had been provisionally suspended by the FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez since 31 August 2015.

The FEI Tribunal suspension, which prevents Dr Sommerseth from acting as an FEI Official or having any involvement in FEI activities at a national or international level, runs through to 15 April 2017. The FEI Tribunal, which also fined Dr Sommerseth CHF 4,000 and ordered him to pay CHF 1,500 towards the costs of the legal procedure, took into account the ongoing provisional suspension imposed by the FEI Secretary General and the period from 12 March to 27 July 2015 when the EEF was suspended.

Dr Sommerseth has 21 days from the date of notification (10 March 2016) to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The full decision is available here.

Abdul Aziz Sheikh, former Head of the EEF Endurance Department, has been suspended from acting as an FEI Official or having any involvement in FEI activities at a national or international level by the FEI Tribunal for an 18-month period.

Mr Sheikh was provisionally suspended by the FEI Secretary General on 13 October 2015 for consistently failing to observe the FEI Rules and Regulations over a period of several years and for allowing a number of Endurance events to proceed without accurate timing systems.

The FEI Tribunal has now suspended him until 12 April 2017, taking into account the provisional suspension imposed by the FEI Secretary General. Mr Sheikh has also been fined CHF 3,000 and ordered to pay CHF 1,500 towards the costs of the legal procedure.

Mr Sheikh has 21 days from the date of notification (10 March 2016) to appeal the decision to CAS.

The full decision is available here.

The FEI Tribunal has also issued a decision in the case against Ali Mohammed Al Muhairi (UAE) regarding breaches of the terms of a four-year suspension imposed in March 2012 following an Equine Anti-Doping Rules violation. Under the terms of the suspension, Mr Al Muhairi was not allowed to participate in any capacity or be present at any Event authorised or organised by the FEI, other than as a spectator. The FEI Tribunal extended the period of ineligibility through to 21 April 2016 and ordered Mr Al Muhairi to contribute CHF 500 towards the costs of the legal procedure.

The Parties have 21 days from the date of notification (10 March 2016) to appeal the decision to CAS.

The full decision is available here.


February 26 2016

New UAE endurance rules fail to slow down riders

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson10:55 - 26 February, 2016

“Strong” new measures applied in the UAE from 13 February failed to reduce speeds in the first two endurance rides to apply them.

The Gamilati Cup for mares on 18 February, and a juniors’ race the next day both recorded some of the fastest aggregate speeds over 120km this season.

Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum won the Gamilati Cup with a final loop speed of 32.11kph and average speed of 27.05kph...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/speed-still-an-issue-in-uae-endurance-despite-rules-527979#KCSheMfEP5EOm0Wl.99


February 22 2016

UAE: Just Who is in Charge?

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | February 22, 2016

Well, as an American endurance chum put it, that was as useful as a bucket of warm spit.

I don’t know a single sceptic who wouldn’t have been ecstatic to be proved wrong about the efficacy of the “strong new measures” put in place on February 13th for the remainder of the UAE winter season.

There has been no dancing for joy this week among the “clean” endurance community, though. The FEI’s stated aim is to reduce the speeds associated with catastrophic injury. But at the first two rides last week under the “new” constraints, some of the fastest aggregate speeds of any national or FEI 120km ride this season were recorded, with completion rates as dire as ever.

Endurance is about training horses for recovery, and thus a mystery to most other horse disciplines. I have only recently grasped enough of it to appreciate why the correlation is so fascinating and absorbing to those who love classic endurance.

But in the UAE, it’s taken to extremes. They can afford to buy the very best selectively-bred Arabian super-horses. Their agents round the world target horses who are not just fast but that can present at vet gates within minutes, a trait the UAE trainers then refine through methods the rest of us can only imagine.

But presumably the FEI’s own endurance experts don’t understand it, because otherwise they would have foreseen this: if you set a lower heart recovery rate (60bpm in final loop compared with 64 before), but with no other complementary constraint as enacted at Bou Thib, riders will simply delay a few minutes in presenting, having belted along even faster on the loops!...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/just-who-is-in-charge/

Bouthieb (UAE): Why and how does it work?

Enduroonline.com.br - Full Article

Summary of the situation

In Bouthieb, there are no more dead horses during the competitions or horses put down due to redhibitory fractures.

In Bouthieb, the speed is not the main obsession at the expense of the horses.

In Bouthieb, we obtain a rate of no-treatments that would make many organizers, many federations around the world green with envy.

In Bouthieb, ensuring above all the welfare of the horses is about to become again commonplace.

In Bouthieb, the horse has left the status of a tool to become a partner with whom we play.

Bouthieb is the rebirth place by means of the establishment of a concrete way of doing based on obvious facts, all this being made possible by the courage and determination of a prince who is not afraid to upset the world in order to "simply" return to the fundamentals of endurance.

Is it so hard to do the same somewhere else?

ORGANIZING ENDURANCE COMPETITIONS in the UAE

Every year, the National Federation of the UAE publishes the calendar of the season which will be amended if necessary as the weeks go by. It is the result of negotiations between the three organizing committees and the federation.

The resulting official calendar is made in such a way that the distribution of the rides is balanced equally. There are 22 competitions in each of the three venues for the 2015/2016 season, totaling 66 for the country (January 1st 2016 edition).

Bouthieb alone represents 33% of the UAE competitions for the current season. So it is not a minor venue. We could even add that the "qualifiers" being more numerous, the number of horses that pass through Bouthieb make it the most important venue. A more detailed study would probably show that for an average year this site has between 40 and 45% of the overall number of horses in competition.

Then we must stop focusing on Dubai and Al Wathba thinking that Bouthieb represents a small thing in a corner of the UAE. Yet this is what surfaces in the news we can read here and there over the world.

It must be said that many articles are written from far away, and everyone knows that the longest the distance is, the more schematic, the more generalized the result is. And as sensationalism does not come from what is positive but almost always from what is negative, one darkens the picture, stigmatizes easily, turns over and over because of his resentment and forgets what is right and good, though it is necessarily where the future lies.

Without forgetting what is wrong and should not be, we will talk here of what happens in Bouthieb and the booming success of the new rules implemented, which have made the FEI move faster than any other measures had done before...

Read more here:
http://www.enduroonline.com.br/Bouthieb-Why-and-how-does-it-work.php


February 16 2016

Equestrian Australia demands action on endurance events - Weeklytimesnow.com.au



Endurance Stop Press? Don’t bother, I’ve heard it all before

HOrse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | February 15, 2016

wo days ago, the FEI wrested its latest second/third/fourth-chance agreement from the UAE over the breaking of endurance rules and the breaking of horses.

There is no black and white solution. After 20 years of doing exactly what they want, the UAE was never going to roll over in a matter of months.

At first glance, the Emirates federation (EEF) is still bluffing the FEI. The “new” measures agreed on February 13 for the rest of the winter season are a partial re-hash of extant rules that the UAE has cheerfully flouted for years.

But the UAE still hasn’t been quite brave enough to walk away and start its own desert racing governing body (I use the word “governing” loosely.) We can assume they want to stay in the FEI, and so I hope stripping Dubai of the 2016 world championship event remains a live threat that can yet have an effect.

I recently asked the FEI if the likely difficulty in finding a replacement championship venue was influencing its handling of the crisis. I received an unequivocal No...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/endurance-stop-press-dont-bother-ive-heard-it-all-before/


February 15 2016

Death by a thousand cuts in equestrian sport

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 16 February 2016

It’s summer in the southern hemisphere – the season for sand and sandals. In horse sport, it seems to be the season for sand and scandals.

Yes, we’re living the dream. Or is it a nighmare? Followers of horse sport will be well aware of the endurance troubles in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that hit the headlines this past month.

We now have a new deal and, who knows, maybe the dust will finally settle around UAE endurance and the FEI can return to happy families.

It is now a matter of waiting to see if the new measures will make any significant difference, which provides a nice window to look at the issue of reputational damage to horse sport.

Scandals are never far away in any number of sports, it would seem. And the damage can be very real...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/02/16/death-thousand-cuts-equestrian-sport/#ixzz40HVxlywT


February 14 2016

Dozen measures agreed to enable endurance racing to continue in United Arab Emirates - Insidethegames.biz



FEI and Emirates Equestrian Federation agree on 12 endurance measures - Horsetalk.co.nz


February 13 2016

FEI and EEF Agree Endurance Measures for 2016 Season

FEI.org

13 Feb 2016

The FEI, as part of its continued efforts to ensure strong measures for Endurance in the UAE are taken, has today held talks with the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) in Abu Dhabi (UAE).

FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello met with EEF Vice President Mohammad Alkamali, EEF Secretary General Taleb Dhaher Al Mheiri and EEF Executive Board Member Faisal Al Ali to work through the exact measures that will be implemented at international (CEIs) and national (CENs) Endurance events in the UAE for the remainder of the current season, which runs until early April.

These talks follow recent meetings between the FEI and the EEF in both Switzerland and the UAE, after which the EEF postponed four Endurance events so that agreement could be reached on proposed measures to urgently address a number of serious issues in Endurance in the region. The CEI1* in Dubai on 8 February was postponed, along with national events on 4, 5 and 6 February. In addition, the EEF took further action, suspending five riders and five trainers for a six-month period and imposed fines following what they termed “gross offences” at the national junior and young rider 120km ride at Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, on 30 January.

The FEI had set the deadline of 11 February for the EEF to come back with an agreement on the proposed measures, with the caveat that no further events would be held in the region until agreement on these measures had been reached.

The CEI 3* 160km HH The President of UAE Endurance Cup, attended by Mr De Mello, took place today in Al Wathba, following agreement with the FEI on the measures. The event, held at the Emirates International Endurance Village, was well organised with the winning combination averaging a speed of 26.3 kph and all horses crossing the line in good health.

The twelve approved measures, which will be applied for the rest of the UAE Endurance season, are:

1. Reduced number of events for the rest of the season. *Events for the rest of the international season will be confirmed on the FEI Calendar; the EEF will confirm its national events in due course

2. Limit the number of horse and rider combinations entered into each international and national event to 150.

3. Heart rate presentation times reduced to between 56 and 60 bpm for all loops in one-star competitions, and in the final loop for two- and three-star CEIs and CENs.

4. Recovery time reduced to between 10 and 15 minutes for all loops in one-star and in the final loop for two-and three-star CEIs and CENs.

*Heart rates and recovery times will be monitored closely by the FEI and EEF, with action taken where needed (if athletes exceed these limits they will be eliminated)

5. Rest periods between loops will be reviewed by Veterinary Officials to determine whether 50-minute holds will be more beneficial to the horses.

6. The last 2-5 kms of the final loop will be designated and controlled so that no cars or crews can access.

7. In the final loop, crewing in the form of offering cooling water bottles will only be allowed at designated crewing points every 2-5 kms - no other crewing will be allowed.

8. In all CEI 3* and CEI 4* events, all horses will be confined in Secure Overnight Stabling, in accordance with FEI Regulations.

9. The Official TV Broadcasters have been named; as such the film/video recordings are the official record of the event and hence legal actions may be taken against the violators of any regulation viewed on this footage.

10. Crews will be identified with numbered bibs that match the number of the horse to enable easy identification; should a horse be eliminated from the competition, the bibs will be surrendered immediately; only those people with a numbered bib matching that of the horse still in competition will be allowed to crew or to accompany the horse at any time during the event.

11. A ride briefing will be held at each event to review regulations, and to update everyone involved of any changes in regulations for the event; attendance will be compulsory; failure to attend shall result in immediate elimination from the event.

12. All officials will now be appointed by the EEF instead of Organising Committees; no non-EEF appointed officials will be able to officiate at international and national events.

“We need to change hearts as well as minds, and the solution lies in education and dialogue, as well as taking a tough line with sanctions,” explained FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez.

“The Emirates Equestrian Federation has been bold, taking stringent action as seen recently with the suspension of events and sanctioning athletes and trainers, clearly demonstrating their commitment to work together with the FEI to eradicate the incidents that have tarnished the sport. We will continue to work together to ensure progress.

“Protecting horses comes first and we are determined that this specific value is upheld at international and national level Endurance competitions. While the FEI does not have jurisdiction over national events, we will continue to do our utmost to ensure that changes at an international level are also felt nationally.

“It is clear for everyone what is at stake, and the FEI is working closely with the EEF to make sure that any challenges to run the sport within the FEI’s clearly mapped rules are overcome, and that everyone in the sport understands the importance of standing by the measures implemented for the rest of the season.

“By continuing to work together we feel we can greatly impact the sport in the region long term.”

Final roll of the dice for UAE endurance

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 13 February 2016

Today, endurance racing resumes in the United Arab Emirates, with 10 four-wheel-drives up for grabs in a 160km contest at Al Wathba, in Abu Dhabi.

It all seems rather hasty. The Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) has forwarded its list of proposed changes, and the FEI seems happy enough at this stage.

It will be a busy day. On a day when one of biggest rides of the season in the United Arab Emirates unfolds, its endurance people will be meeting with FEI officials to finalise the exact details of the measures.

So, understandably, details are still a little sketchy...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/02/13/final-roll-dice-uae-endurance/#ixzz404V6ZzCe

Australian Statement Regarding Horse Welfare

Equestrian.org.au

11 February 2016

Statement 11 February 2016

Equestrian Australia (EA) continues to advocate for an end to the horse welfare issues occurring in endurance internationally.

EA has maintained regular dialogue with the FEI regarding this matter and has been assured by the FEI in a letter to national federations this week that action is being taken.

EA will continue to lobby the FEI to ensure that horse welfare remains a paramount consideration of all national federations and their equestrian events, regardless of discipline or classification.

The Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee, Australian Veterinarian, Dr Brian Sheahan, is addressing the EA endurance committee Thursday evening (11 February) regarding the progress of horse welfare issues in the United Arab Emirates.

FEI welcomes “bold decisions” by UAE in endurance - Horsetalk.co.nz



Endurance racing adopts Sheikh''s own rules - Telegraph.co.uk


February 12 2016

UAE endurance rides to resume under new measures

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
12 February, 2016

Endurance rides in the UAE have been allowed to resume in time for the prestigious 160km President’s Cup tomorrow (Saturday, 13 February), on th condition that new measures are applied that bear close resemblance to the “Bou Thib initiative”.

Sport was halted last week after a further escalation of horse welfare issues. The Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) was given until Thursday 11 February to propose new controls and gain agreement from the FEI.

The FEI has tightened its own endurance rules twice in 18 months to try to curtail the doping, horse fatality and cheating scandals that have blighted the sport in the UAE. However, they have proved largely ineffective during the current season...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/uae-endurance-rides-to-resume-under-new-measures-526675#6pXJlMPYi6LuadZG.99

Emirates Equestrian Federation lifts temporary ban from rides

Khaleejtimes.com - Full Article

Filed on February 12, 2016

At least five trainers who were overseeing the horses and riders have been banned, while the grooms of the five horses had forfeited their licences.

The Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) has announced the lifting of the temporary ban on endurance rides in the UAE starting today.

Mohammed Al Kamali, Chairman of the Executive Board of the EEF reiterated that the executive board has taken stock of the situation and found the conditions favourable to re-start the endurance rides with immediate effect.

Last week, the EEF had handed out a temporary ban valid till Feb.11 on all activities related to horse endurance based on short-comings noted during the UAE Youth Endurance Ride (120 kms) held on Jan. 30. As many as 55 horses had participated in this ride, and five riders and their mounts were eliminated after some offences had been discovered.

At least five trainers who were overseeing the horses and riders have been banned, while the grooms of the five horses had forfeited their licences. Each of the five stables involved in the violations had also been slapped with fines of $100,000 (Dhs 365,000) each.

After imposing the ban, the EEF conducted its own internal enquiry to ensure the sport does not come into further disrepute in the eyes on the world. "We will never compromise on the safety of the horses or the riders, and compliance with all rules and regulations is of utmost importance to the integrity of our sport. We owe it to the future generations that our remains authentic and welfare of the sport," Mohammed Al Kamali said at the conclusion of a meeting late on Wednesday...

Read more here:
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/sport/horse-racing/emirates-equestrian-federation-lifts-temporary-ban-from-rides

The Bouthieb initiative: The new way ahead for endurance?

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Contributor | 11 February 2016

Endurance is again embroiled in controversy, with welfare concerns in the United Arab Emirates again taking centre-stage. One of its venues, Bouthieb, has taken a different approach, with rules designed to safeguard horse welfare. It has been stunningly successful. Four-star endurance judge François Kerboul, who was involved in setting up the Bouthieb initiative, explains how it works, and provides some insights into UAE endurance.

Endurance competitions at Bouthieb essentially ensure that speed is not the main obsession at the expense of the horse.

Its rules, in which speeds are GPS-monitored and the majority of prize-money is allocated to the best-conditioned horses, have resulted in remarkably few horses requring veterinary treatment, and even then for only minor issues.

Bouthieb’s rules were made possible by the determination of the venue’s owner, Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was not afraid to return to the fundamentals of endurance.

Is it so hard to do the same elsewhere?...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/02/11/bouthieb-initiative-new-way-ahead-endurance/#ixzz3zyrVppS0

Olympic riders among top names to campaign against endurance scandals

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
10 February, 2016

An online petition demanding the FEI removes the December 2016 world endurance championship from Dubai reached 4,000 signatures over night (Tuesday 9 – Wednesday 10 February).

It has also attracted high-profile support from outside endurance, with British Olympic rider Jennie Loriston-Clarke among signatories from all over the world.

The petition was launched by the continental-based “clean endurance” community last Friday afternoon (5 February). The group says it will advise FEI president Ingmar de Vos of the interim results before the FEI meets the Emirates Equestrian Federation tomorrow (11 February) to discuss solutions to the latest welfare scandals that brought UAE endurance to a halt on 4 February.

However, the petition will remain open...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/olympic-riders-among-top-names-to-campaign-against-endurance-scandals-526455#WL7cd5jcy4ddTQxI.99

Swiss Demand New Venue for 2016 Endurance Championships

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

February 10, 2016
by: Swiss Equestrian Federation

Following further incidents during the endurance season in Group VII of the FEI in the Middle East, the Swiss Equestrian Federation (SEF) is strongly opposed to the intended venue for the Elite Endurance World Championships in December 2016, namely Dubai (UAE).

Since the beginning of the season in October 2015, 10 Catastrophic Injuries have been reported to the FEI, with seven horses confirmed dead.

After persistent criticism from around the globe, the FEI amended the regulations for endurance competitions in 2014, with the protection and welfare of horses as well as equal treatment for all competitors as the main objectives...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/horse-news/swiss-demand-new-venue-for-2016-endurance-championships/


February 11 2016

Swiss federation wants endurance world champs moved from Dubai - Horsetalk.co.nz


February 9 2016

UAE under pressure as host of Endurance Horse-racing Championship over abuse scandal


February 8 2016

Pressure mounts to strip Sheikh Mohammed's Dubai venue of 2016 world championship endurance event

Telegraph.co.uk - Full Article

American Endurance Ride Conference – pioneers of the “classic” sport since 1972 – is demanding that the FEI relocate over cruelty to horses

By Pippa Cuckson, Equestrian Correspondent
8:39PM GMT 07 Feb 2016

The International Equestrian Federation is under pressure to strip Sheikh Mohammed’s Dubai International Endurance City of the 2016 world championship event, as the horse welfare crisis in the United Arab Emirates sport escalates.

The FEI and Emirates Equestrian Federation halted all UAE long-­istance race-rides last Wednesday until at least Feb 11 while further solutions were sought. The flogging of five exhausted horses by riders and their grooms during in a 120-kilometre youth ride at Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi on Jan 30 was witnessed by thousands of horrified viewers on the event’s live-stream.

Now, the American Endurance Ride Conference – pioneers of the “classic” sport since 1972 – is demanding that the FEI relocate the 2016 world title event, and imposes a new, minimum one-year suspension on the EEF.

The Swiss federation has suggested a boycott, while the Dutch announced on Friday that if the FEI could not wrest back control, it would consider its own measures...

Read more here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/12145562/Pressure-mounts-to-strip-Sheikh-Mohammeds-Dubai-venue-of-2016-world-championship-endurance-event.html

Petition asks FEI to move world endurance champs from Dubai - Horsetalk.co.nz



Requests Mount For Relocation Of World Championships After Additional UAE Endurance Infractions - Chronofhorse.com



Petition Against Endurance in the UAE - Horse-canada.com


February 7 2016

US endurance officials baulk at world champs in Dubai

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 7 February 2016

The United States is unlikely to be represented at this year’s World Endurance Championships should it go ahead in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) president Michael Campbell, writing to the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) on behalf of its membership and board of directors, said it wanted the world championships to be removed from the UAE to a “more suitable location”.

Campbell said the AERC was of the view that, should the FEI resist moving the venue from Dubai, the US Equestrian Federation should forego plans to send an endurance team to the championships...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/02/07/us-endurance-officials-baulk-world-champs-dubai/#ixzz3zV2cf28H

And the dying goes on... - In-The-Focus.com


February 6 2016

Endurance Day of Reckoning

Equinerescuefrance.org - Full Article

Posted by ERF on Feb 6, 2016

Apologies for this being a blog of links. There is so much information currently flying about that it’s easier to collate in one place.

The EEF have cancelled all races until the 11th February 2016 as a result external pressures from the rest of the world having viewed the appalling scenes and news of abused, exhausted and vanished horses coming from the Dubai ride at the weekend. Unsurprisingly, the restrictions just stop short of the high profile President’s Cup, due to be held on the 13th of February 2016.

More info below:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/02/04/fei-uae-eadline-serious-endurance-issues/#axzz3zNZ12D7I

The initial purpose of this blog is to share the petition far and wide about stopping the UAE and other Group VII countries from the ongoing extreme abuse to horses, and taking the privilege of hosting the WEC away from them.

Primarily, please sign and share the below link:

https://www.change.org/p/ingmar-de-vos-president-fédération-equestre-internationale-say-no-to-2016-world-endurance-championships-in-horse-hell

Read more here:
http://www.equinerescuefrance.org/2016/02/5759/

Dutch KNHS has Contact with FEI on Recent Endurance Events

KNHS.nl

[google translate]

February 5, 2016

The KNHS once again in the international equestrian federation FEI expressed its concern to the FEI to take action against the recent controversial practices during endurance races in the UAE.

The KNHS noted improvements in recent months, but is nevertheless shocked by the [Young Rider] race in Al Wathba, UAE. The FEI worked last year, imposing all new regulations to improve the welfare of the horses in the Middle East. In that process should, according to the KNHS, more stringent steps to be put.

KNHS will support any upcoming FEI measures. If these, in the opinion of the KNHS, prove ineffective, the KNHS will take its own measures.

Source: KNHS

Emirates Equestrian Federation suspends 5 endurance riders



Emirates Equestrian Federation suspends 5 endurance riders - WTop.com


February 5 2016

Petition to Stop 2016 World Endurance Championships in Dubai Circulates

READ THE PETITION

Owing to the most recent endurance debacles in Dubai, UAE, a petition has sprung up and circulated on the internet to remove the 2016 World Endurance Championships from Dubai, and have them "staged in a country which upholds the values of Clean Endurance."

The controversy involving the UAE over endurance horse welfare, cheating, horse swapping in mid-race, and more, has continued for 3 years and outraged people from around the world.

FEI suspended the UAE at the end of last year's endurance racing season, warning them to clean up the abuses. UAE was reinstated at the beginning of this year's racing season, yet the abuses and horse deaths continue, with the latest debacle coming from the finish of a Junior/Young Rider Endurance Cup where 3 of the first finishers were disqualified for overriding and beating their exhausted horses, and grooms ran onto the track to haze them. All was caught on the live video stream of the race.

The FEI has taken rather quick action to suspend races in the UAE for the next few days, but it is not enough action for the endurance world outside Group VII, since this same action last season proved to have little effect in ultimately protecting horse welfare in endurance races in Dubai. This petition, started by Clean Endurance, targets the World Endurance Championship in Dubai in December 2016.

"The 2016 World Endurance Championships have been awarded to Dubai despite the fact that horses continue to suffer or die at every endurance competition there. Despite the UAE's previous suspension for abuse and cheating, horse welfare has not been improved. Please sign if you agree the World Endurance Championships, scheduled for December 2016, should be removed from Dubai and staged in a country which upholds the values of Clean Endurance."

To read or sign the petition, see
https://www.change.org/p/ingmar-de-vos-president-f%C3%A9d%C3%A9ration-equestre-internationale-say-no-to-2016-world-endurance-championships-in-horse-hell?recruiter=482965402&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink

$100,000 fines for stables involved in endurance horse-beating incidents

Horseandhound.co.uk

Five endurance stables involved in the horse-beating incidents at Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, last weekend (30 January) have been locally fined $100,000 dollars each, with their trainers suspended, as the horse welfare crisis in the United Arab Emirates escalates.

The FEI is also under growing public pressure to reallocate the 2016 world championships from Dubai.

Today, a petition calling for a new venue was launched on Change.org.

The Swiss Equestrian Federation has publicly suggested a boycott, while the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) also wants the venue moved.

In a letter to the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), AERC president Michael Campbell said: “The suspension imposed on UAE by FEI last year has not made a lasting impression, with the exception of Dr Sheikh Sultan in Bou Thib.

“As the endurance affiliate in the US, AERC requests that USEF register strenuous objections with the FEI regarding the over-riding and equine abuse that continues in the UAE.

“This continued abuse is a blight on the sport of endurance riding throughout the world. The desert-style racing of UAE is not endurance riding as most other countries define it. Endurance communities in many other countries are expressing the same feelings to their national governing bodies.”

Five riders, including the first three past the post, were disqualified on Saturday from a 120km youth event, where a horse also died. Shocking footage showed the youngsters, abetted by numerous grooms illegally on the field of play, bullying and shoving exhausted horses to the finish.

[Read More ...]

‘We are deeply concerned and shocked’: Endurance GB calls for further action in UAE welfare case

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Amy Mathieson
5 February, 2016

Endurance GB (EGB) has responded to scandals in the sport in the UAE, saying the organisation is “deeply concerned and shocked” by recent footage that has emerged.

On 30 January five riders — including the first three over the line — were disqualified from a junior/young riders 120km ride at Al Wathba for beating their exhausted horses.

A video clip of the final stages of the race went viral, leading for many calls on social media for the UAE to be resuspended immediately (news, 4 February).

“The board has been closely following with interest the progress of the FEI in improving horse welfare in the UAE, in accordance with the agreement put in place with the Emirates Equestrian Federation [EEF],” read a statement.

“While there have been reports of numerous improvements, especially at the Bou Thib venue, we are deeply concerned and shocked by the video that has emerged from a CEN [national] event at Al Wathba on the 30 January...”

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/we-are-deeply-concerned-and-shocked-endurance-gb-calls-for-further-action-in-uae-welfare-case-526017#hr4x8EIQw2XRrTRG.99

UAE: Five endurance riders, trainers suspended

Gulfnews.com

EEF chairman Al Kamali says compliance with all rules and regulations of utmost importance

Staff Report
February 5, 2016

Dubai The head of the Emirates Endurance Federation (EFF) has emphasised that a zero tolerance policy in the sport will be implemented after the suspension of at least five endurance riders that has led to a temporary suspension of all endurance related activities in the UAE.

Mohammad Al Kamali, Chairman of the Executive Board of the EEF and General Secretary of the UAE National Olympic Committee (UAE NOC) told Gulf News that any violation of rules and regulations laid out by the sport’s governing, the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), would not be tolerated.

“The safety of horses and compliance with all rules and regulations is of utmost importance to the integrity of any sport. Endurance riding is comparatively new and it is essential and crucial that we maintain its authenticity to ensure a bright and healthy future for the sport,” Al Kamali told Gulf News following a closed-door meeting of the EEF Executive Board on Wednesday.

“The EEF is closely monitoring the situation of our riders, horses and stables and we will show zero tolerance towards any breach of rules and regulations.”

The swift action was initiated following lapses and violation of rules and regulations during the 120km UAE Youth Endurance Ride held on January 30.

As many as 55 horses participated in the ride, and five riders and their horses were eliminated due to the contravention of FEI rules wherein they were deemed to have excessively whipped their horses in the final stages of the ride.

On Thursday, the EEF suspended the five endurance riders and temporarily suspended all endurances rides and allied activities in the UAE till February 11.

Additionally, at least five trainers who were overseeing the horses and riders have been temporarily banned, while the grooms of the five horses have forfeited their licences.

Each of the five stables involved in the violations have also been handed fines of Dh100,000 each.

The Executive Board also asserted that all Endurance Villages, Endurance Riding Clubs and Stables must adhere to a uniform process of registering all personnel, including service crew associated with the sport.

All personnel will be issued permits which must be displayed during the course of the rides in the future.

“What has happened is unfortunate, not just for the riders, the horses and the stables. But the rules and regulations are clear and as sportsmen it is the obligation of everyone involved to simply adhere to the rules,” Al Kamali said.

“The ultimate objective of this exercise is to protect the sport of endurance riding, and one of the ways to do so is to ensure that all rules and regulations are followed by one and all.”

American Endurance Ride Conference Responds to Latest UAE Controversy

Letter from AERC to Will Connell, USEF International Disciplines Council Liaison

Dear Mr. Connell,

On behalf of the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) membership and Board of Directors, I am writing to request that the United States Equestrian Federation register the outrage of the endurance community in the United States over the appalling mistreatment of horses at the Al Wathba endurance ride in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last weekend, January 30, 2016. Evidence of this equine abuse has been widely circulated on social media around the world.

The suspension imposed on UAE by FEI last year has not made a lasting impression on most of the venues in the UAE, with the exception of Dr. Sheik Sultan in Bouthieb. As the endurance affiliate in the U.S., AERC requests that USEF register strenuous objections with FEI regarding the overriding and equine abuse that continues in UAE.

This continued abuse is a blight on the sport of endurance riding throughout the world. The desert style racing of UAE is not endurance riding as most other countries define it. I know that endurance communities in many other countries are expressing the same feelings to their national governing bodies.

AERC further requests that stricter sanctions be imposed on UAE to drive home the lesson that mistreatment of horses in endurance rides is intolerable to the United States and the rest of the endurance world. At this point, a one year suspension would be reasonable.

Finally, AERC requests that the venue for the World Endurance Championship be removed from the UAE to a more suitable location. Should FEI resist moving the venue, AERC requests that USEF forego plans to send an endurance team to the WEC.

Sincerely,

Michael Campbell, Ph.D.
President
American Endurance Ride Conference

Endurance Great Britain weighs in on UAE controversy

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 5 February 2016

The board which oversees endurance in Britain has voiced its concerns over the controversy unfolding in the United Arab Emirates, saying the FEI has a duty to address a culture of riding horses beyond their means in the discipline.

The board, in a post on the endurancegb.co.uk website, said it had been closely following the progress of the FEI in improving horse welfare in the UAE under an agreement between the world governing body and the Emirates Equestrian Federation.

The board said that while there had been reports of many improvements, especially so at the endurance venue in Bouthieb, where local “house” rules are in place to effectively safeguard the welfare of horses, it was deeply concerned and shocked by the video that emerged from a CEN event at Al Wathba on January 30...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/02/05/endurance-great-britain-uae-controversy/#ixzz3zJGrOSKz

Endurance racing in UAE brought to halt as FEI seeks assurances about horse protection

Telegraph.co.uk - Full Article

Emirates Equestrian Federation told it has until February 11 to explain how it will solve its “serious issues"

By Pippa Cuckson
3:41PM GMT 04 Feb 2016

Endurance racing in the UAE has again been brought to a halt as the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) tries to wrest further undertakings about horse protection from the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF).

Four upcoming race-rides were notified to EEF members as “postponed” on Tuesday night, with no reason initially offered.

However FEI endurance director Manuel Bandeira de Mello flew into Abu Dhabi for an emergency meeting on Wednesday. He later told Telegraph Sport the EEF has until February 11 to explain how it will solve its “serious issues.” Until then, rides are called off, including three at Sheikh Mohammed’s venue, Dubai International Endurance City (DIEC).

Last March, the UAE was suspended for four months, after a catalogue of doping scandals and horse fatalities. Endurance horses race over 80km-160km in a single day – though in the desert sport, many of them under jobbing jockeys who have never seen their mounts before, and over punishing, fast sand tracks.

Many scandals have been exposed by the Telegraph, including the running of ringers by sons of Sheikh Mohammed, and extensive falsifying of results by the EEF...

Read more here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/horseracing/12140747/Endurance-racing-in-UAE-brought-to-halt-as-FEI-seeks-assurances-about-horse-protection.html

UAE Endurance stables fined $100,000 each for abuse - Telegraph.co.uk



Emirates Equestrian Federation given February 11 deadline after new welfare scandal in endurance racing - Insidethegames.biz



Emirates Equestrian Federation metes out $500,000 in fines - Horsetalk.co.nz



EEF suspends five endurance riders




February 4 2016

Letter from Endurance Great Britain regarding UAE

Endurancegb.co.uk

04 February 2016

The Board has been closely following with interest the progress of the FEI in improving horse welfare in the UAE, in accordance with the agreement put in place with the EEF (Emirates Equestrian Federation). Whilst there have been reports of numerous improvements, especially at the Bou Thib venue, we are deeply concerned and shocked by the video that has emerged from a CEN event at Al Wathba on the 30th of January.

We have today written to the BEF [British Equestrian Foundation] to share our concerns and have asked that they are passed to the FEI. We have requested that further action be taken and that this is made public as soon as possible. The FEI have a duty to address a culture of riding horses beyond their means in the sport of endurance.

The Board fully support the FEI to intervene and implement new measures that protect horses and the sport worldwide.


February 3 2016

FEI gives UAE a deadline to remedy “serious” endurance issues

Horsetalk.co.nz

The FEI has given the United Arab Emirates (UAE) until February 11 to come up with an agreement that will remedy what the world governing body calls serious issues in endurance in the region.

The FEI issued a statement early today from its endurance director, Manuel Bandeira de Mello, who is understood to be in the UAE.

It said the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) had postponed four endurance events in coming days “so that agreement can be reached on proposed measures to urgently address a number of serious issues in endurance in the region”.

The EEF’s calendar shows it has also postponed a fifth ride, a 100km ride restricted to private stables and individuals, set to be run in Dubai.

The four postponed events are the Rashidiyya Ladies Cup, which was to be run today; the Jumairah Endurance Cup for private owners, set for tomorrow; the Emirates Championship, scheduled for February 6; and the AlBarsha CEI 1* endurance ride on February 8.

[Read more ...]

UAE endurance rides ‘postponed’ with no explanation

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
3 February, 2016

Five endurance rides in the UAE due to be staged in the next few days were announced as “postponed” last night (Tuesday 2 February), as worldwide outrage over the horse welfare crisis continues to escalate.

And while H&H was waiting for official confirmation from the FEI this morning (Wednesday 3 February), in another surprise move all remaining rides in Dubai for the rest of the season have disappeared from the calendar of the Dubai Equestrian Club.

The Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) emailed the postponements to its members overnight on Wednesday, without giving a reason.

However, earlier that day FEI endurance director Manuel Bandeira de Mello flew into Abu Dhabi for an emergency meeting. The week before, the EEF was summoned to FEI headquarters in Lausanne.

The FEI has yet to provide reason, though speculation is growing on social media that the season’s most prestigious ride, the 160km Presidents Cup, the following weekend, must also now be at the risk and that a further suspension is imminent...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/uae-endurance-rides-postponed-with-no-explanation-525745#ZEqhOmeEHBdFs7bm.99

Next five endurance rides on UAE calendar postponed

Horsetalk.co.nz

The next five endurance rides on the Emirates Equestrian Federation’s calendar have been postponed.

The development comes amid ongoing controversy in the sport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Two rides set down for February 4 have have been postponed in Dubai – one a 100km ride restriced to private stables and individuals; the other a CEI 1-star event over 80km.

A CEN 100km ride for women set down for February 5, also in Dubai, has similarly been postponed.

A CEN 120km ride at Al Wathba on February 6 and a CEI 1-star over 80km in Dubai on February 8 round out the list.

The reasons for the postponements have not been posted on the Emirates federation’s website – or at least not in the English version.

The news comes amid reports that the FEI’s endurance director, Manuel Bandeira de Mello, has arrived in Abu Dhabi as the world governing body pushes for endurance reforms in the UAE.

His arrival follows a meeting last week at FEI headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, with members of the Emirates Equestrian Federation to discuss the endurance issue.

The FEI is hoping that the UAE will adopt rules similar to those adopted at Sheikh Sultan Al Nahyan’s endurance facility at Bouthieb in Abu Dhabi.

The local rules are designed to keep speeds, which are GPS-monitored, down to 20kmh. The majority of prize-money goes to the best-conditioned horses, judged on the accumulation of scores from each vet gate.

[More ...]

UAE Endurance Races "Postponed"


February 2 2016

FEI endurance boss understood to be in the UAE

Horsetalk.co.nz

The FEI’s endurance director, Manuel Bandeira de Mello, is understood to be in Abu Dhabi as the world governing body pushes for endurance reforms in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

His arrival follows a meeting last week at FEI headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, with members of the Emirates Equestrian Federation to discuss the endurance issue.

The FEI is hoping that the UAE will adopt rules similar to those adopted at Sheikh Sultan Al Nahyan’s endurance facility at Bouthieb.

The local rules are designed to keep speeds, which are GPS-monitored, down to 20kmh. The majority of prize-money goes to the best-conditioned horses, judged on the accumulation of scores from each vet gate.

The results have been stunning, with only a handful of horses requiring moderate veterinary assistance among more than 1000 which have competed under the rules so far.

Bandeira de Mello, in a statement last month, acknowledged the six fatalities that had occurred in UAE endurance up to that point.

“It is abundantly clear,” he said, “that speed is a major factor in these incidents and that it is necessary to introduce measures to slow down the horses in order to reduce the number of catastrophic injuries.

“The FEI is in urgent discussions with the Emirates Equestrian Federation and individual event organisers to introduce similar protocols to those used so successfully at the recent event in Bouthieb to reduce the speed.

[More ...]

UAE endurance: Come on FEI, you’ve got to be kidding me

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 2 February 2016

Normally, when my colleague calls me over to her computer to watch a video, it’s going to show a fluffy kitten doing something insanely cute, a horse unlatching his stable door, or a dog proving that he’s smarter than his master.

But yesterday I was instead subjected to 7 minutes and 53 seconds of endurance from the United Arab Emirates. More specifically, the Sheikh Zayed Bin Mansoor Al Nahyan Junior & Young Riders Endurance Cup, raced over 120 kilometres on Saturday at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi.

I wrote about this particular race the day after the event, having read the results.

The results, I felt, spoke for themselves in terms of the issues with UAE endurance. There were 55 starters, only 18 of whom successfully completed the four-loop race. Of the 37 eliminations, 19 were recorded as going out because of an irregular gait (including one before the race even started); another because of an irregular gait and metabolic issues; three were listed as failing to complete; five were retired by the rider; one was disqualified for departing 10 minutes early; one was listed as being out of time; and six were disqualified for beating their horse. A horse named Ainhoa Catharissime, a grey Arab mare, went out on loop three after suffering a catastrophic injury.

Now, having watched the video, which shows the closing stages of the race, I find myself almost lost for words. There is no point in me providing a forensic analysis of the video – you can watch it for yourself – but it is not pretty. In fact, it’s appalling...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/02/02/uae-endurance-fei-kidding-me/#ixzz3z1kAvPXY


February 1 2016

UAE: Endure or Disappear

Equinerescuefrance.org - Full Article

Posted by ERF on Jan 31, 2016

In the video in this article, it shows the end of the 120 km Endurance ‘competition’ at Al Wathba in Dubai. FIVE riders were disqualified for beating horses. One rider/crew wasn’t reported in time for beating his horse, so wasn’t disqualified. There is no further punishment. This is difficult viewing, but it must be seen. One horse is reported as having sustained a CI (catastrophic injury) the end result for which should necessarily be euthanasia. Several horses just ‘vanished’ mid ride. No vet saw them, they didn’t return to the gates.

Here are some stills from the video – all these people chasing individual horses that are so tired they are close to collapse. Imagine if this happened in eventing or racing in the UK? Or even anywhere else in Europe. The ariel view has ONE horse in it. ONE.

The FEI have to act – how can they entertain the Endurance World Championships being held in Dubai with these levels of abuse, never mind the blatant rule breaking that is going on?

Below is a take on why this is happening, from Rachel Marty, a Dutch Endurance rider. Although a fascinating read, it doesn’t offer much hope for the horses in the Group VII countries. A huge thanks to Rachel for taking the time to write this.

Norm Change and UAE Endurance

This video shows exactly what the problem is with UAE endurance: the horse is solely seen as a means to an end. A machine carrying riders/trainers/owners to a desirable result. A thing that is used until it breaks. Nobody of the visible spectators seems to care about the fate of these animals. There is a mass of people that simply chooses to ignore that these horses are simply too tired to go on. Mass of people that even participates to their destruction.

Personally, I find this video more disturbing to see than the pictures of poor Bundy who was photographed stranded in the UAE sand during the Al Reef Cup last year with his two broken forelegs. Yes, of course I also found that disturbing, don’t get me wrong. But this video shows even more clearly the lack of any kind of humanity, decency or empathy towards the horses. And then I ask myself: is it even possible to change such characteristics and turn them around into the norm we would so much like to see employed: the endurance horse as a partner, companion and priority to its rider/trainer/owner? Is the step from one to the other not simply too big?...

Read more here:
http://www.equinerescuefrance.org/2016/01/endure-or-disappear/

UAE: They Are Not Worthy

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | February 1, 2016

I am sorry, folks, to write about endurance three blogs in a row, but I cannot deny my rising anger at the FEI’s abject failure to get a grip of the UAE.

After just eight rides over three weekends, Sheikh Sultan Al Nahyan has achieved significant improvements – well documented on this blog and elsewhere – at his own Bou Thib venue by the simple but genius expedient of attaching best condition criteria to 70% of the prizes. (Why did the FEI’s much vaunted, six-figure budget strategic planning group not think of that?)

But elsewhere, the catalogue of rule-breaking, land-speed record attempts, knackered horses and brutal harassment (“hazing”) of horses by hooligans in four-wheel drives with no business to be on the piste, is worse than last season and all caught on camera by the official live stream, YAS. I am utterly bewildered why a renewal of the UAE suspension has not already been applied.

By the way, the 10th Catastrophic Injury of the current UAE season was recorded at this same ride, another landmark moment – not. We have been hastily advised that some CIs listed since October are mistakes and downgraded to Irregular Gait (IG). Is that all right then? Not really, as it says rather a lot about the competence of a vet who can’t spot the difference between a snapped cannon bone poking through the skin and a bit of unlevelness.

But this is not what has upset me most this weekend. Of course I am distressed about the latest CI, though if Ainhoa Catharissme really is dead then at least her miserable existence is over and she has found peace in horse heaven, where she has, no doubt, already hooked up with old chums from the barn.

No, I and a host of others are sickened by the closing stages of the Sheikh Zayed Al Nayhan Junior and Young Riders Cup at the infamous Al Wathba track...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/they-are-not-worthy/

UAE: Endure or Disappear

Equinerescuefrance.org - Full Article

Posted by ERF on Jan 31, 2016

In the video in this article, it shows the end of the 120 km Endurance ‘competition’ at Al Wathba in Dubai. FIVE riders were disqualified for beating horses. One rider/crew wasn’t reported in time for beating his horse, so wasn’t disqualified. There is no further punishment. This is difficult viewing, but it must be seen. One horse is reported as having sustained a CI (catastrophic injury) the end result for which should necessarily be euthanasia. Several horses just ‘vanished’ mid ride. No vet saw them, they didn’t return to the gates.

Here are some stills from the video – all these people chasing individual horses that are so tired they are close to collapse. Imagine if this happened in eventing or racing in the UK? Or even anywhere else in Europe. The ariel view has ONE horse in it. ONE.

The FEI have to act – how can they entertain the Endurance World Championships being held in Dubai with these levels of abuse, never mind the blatant rule breaking that is going on?

Below is a take on why this is happening, from Rachel Marty, a Dutch Endurance rider. Although a fascinating read, it doesn’t offer much hope for the horses in the Group VII countries. A huge thanks to Rachel for taking the time to write this.

Norm Change and UAE Endurance

This video shows exactly what the problem is with UAE endurance: the horse is solely seen as a means to an end. A machine carrying riders/trainers/owners to a desirable result. A thing that is used until it breaks. Nobody of the visible spectators seems to care about the fate of these animals. There is a mass of people that simply chooses to ignore that these horses are simply too tired to go on. Mass of people that even participates to their destruction.

Personally, I find this video more disturbing to see than the pictures of poor Bundy who was photographed stranded in the UAE sand during the Al Reef Cup last year with his two broken forelegs. Yes, of course I also found that disturbing, don’t get me wrong. But this video shows even more clearly the lack of any kind of humanity, decency or empathy towards the horses. And then I ask myself: is it even possible to change such characteristics and turn them around into the norm we would so much like to see employed: the endurance horse as a partner, companion and priority to its rider/trainer/owner? Is the step from one to the other not simply too big?...

Read more here:
http://www.equinerescuefrance.org/2016/01/endure-or-disappear/


January 31 2016

The problems in UAE endurance are far from over

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 31 January 2016

It does us all good, from time to time, to ponder the challenges we present to the horse.

We ask a lot of these animals. For the most part, they are compliant in partnering with us in our many riding endeavours.

Horse sport is unique. We join with a horse to race, jump, dance, pull chuckwagons, race around barrels, and any number of other athletic pursuits.

It is our responsibility as guardians – from the president of the FEI right down to the horse owner – to ensure that everything we do in these pursuits begins and ends with respect for the horse.

Those who watch horse sport, and wider members of the public with an affinity for animals, don’t much care for seeing them breaking their legs on racetracks or tumbling over jumps in any discipline.

Horse-sport administrators recognise this and have been doing what they can to lower injury and mortality rates in most horse-related disciplines, albeit with mixed success.

Any horse-related discipline that fails to tackle its welfare obligations head-on is on course for deep trouble.

Followers of endurance will be familiar with the controversies that have plagued the sport for years. Most of these headline-grabbing problems have centered on the United Arab Emirates, where I believe the fast desert courses, jockey-style riders, and high stakes have proven to be a dangerous combination for the endurance horse...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/01/31/problems-uae-endurance-far-from-over/#ixzz3yq0Xp7gP


January 30 2016

Bouthieb (Abu Dhabi – UAE): The Revolution Goes On

Enduroonline.com.br - Full Article

Text and photos: François Kerboul - FEI 4*

The new rules introduced in Bouthieb under the leadership of HH Sh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Representative of the President and Chairman of the Emirates Heritage Club (EHC), have, so far, been implemented on three events totaling eight competitions -from December 31, 2015 to January 23, 2016, i.e. over a period of 3 weeks and two days – involving 1077 horses.

Of that number only 5 horses, whose neither life nor athletic future were in danger, required significant care. These horses all left the clinic in the afternoon.

We can only welcome such a result both because it is exceptional and also because it's simply unprecedented.

This dramatic decline in the number of horses requiring unavoidable clinical care, this disappearance of horses who died of exhaustion or were put down because of fractures, is certainly the most important and most visible consequence of the revolution taking place in Bouthieb.

But do not forget that this is part of an ongoing broad programme of education / rehabilitation which has several other aspects.

Here are a few of them.

On the Track

What can I say except that it's just as different as night and day from what went on before?

The cars have access only if they have the badge (authorization) that was given to them. Their number is limited to one vehicle for 5 horses per trainer. In order to ensure effective control, the badge is not a small discreet label that gets stuck in a corner of the windshield and that the stewards or the police will have no time to read, but a big sticker (30 cm x 30 cm) which does not allow fraud.

The riders' track is lined with linear mounds prohibiting crew vehicles to mix with horses and cross their path. Cars drive on the right or the left track, in principle, depending on the wind so as not to disturb the horses with dust. It is the third year that this provision has been introduced in Bouthieb, but it is only a first step because they are thinking of improving the tracks by making them more technical and by separating them from the vehicle assistance for the next season. The contact points (crew points) would then only be water points as in the rest of the world. Riders would be even more responsible, being no longer practically guided by their trainers. This can only be beneficial for the horses as by becoming more independent, riders will be more responsible and will certainly be more attentive to their horses.

The prohibition of continuous watering and the creation of water points has put an end to the dangerous and unreasonable 4WD race cutting and intersecting the trajectory of the horses at the mercy of the crews fantasies. We no longer see ten 4WD for one horse slaloming 5 or 6 abreast and watering continuously throughout the track...

Read more here:
http://www.enduroonline.com.br/bouthieb-abu-dhabi-the-revolution-goes-on.php

Bouthieb turns its back on “insane gymkhana” of UAE endurance

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 30 January 2016

Bouthieb continues to be an oasis in the tough world of desert endurance racing in the United Arab Emirates.

The Bouthieb endurance facility in Abu Dhabi is owned by Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who has spearheaded stringent local rules designed to safeguard the welfare of horses.

Speeds must be kept in check and are monitored by GPS. Bouthib particularly rewards the conditioning of the horse over speed, which is reflected in the distribution of prize money.

The results have been stunning in terms of horse welfare...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/01/30/bouthieb-turns-back-insane-gymkhana-uae-endurance/#ixzz3ykEZPmbA


January 25 2016

Enduring Bullwarp

Equinerescuefrance.org

Posted by ERF on Jan 24, 2016 in Association News

As has been documented elsewhere, despite the FEI short term suspension of the UAE in order for them to clean up their act, nothing has radically changed. At least 5 deaths so far this year. No information forthcoming on what happened to horses attributed the generic FTC, or horses that didn’t reach vet gates and are down as RET, or more remarkably horses that have sustained a catastrophic injury (CI) and magically not been euthanased? Even taking into account the horses whose exits are documented clearly in the results, many of those are out lame by the second vet gate. The appalling completion rates, 40kmph average speeds on loops in 160km races, footage of illegal practices such as ear twitching in vet gates and the somewhat bizarre belief that horses don’t need to drink on track if they’re sloshed with water indicates the welfare issues are still very significant.

There is one lone participant, Dr. Sheikh Sultan, who is attempting to use his influence and facilities to alter the status quo. A top class article by Pippa Cuckson details the situation HERE.

Social media has been used to highlight the cruelty in the UAE, and there has been a strong push to inform those still selling to Group VII countries of the horrors awaiting horses sent over there. As ever, there are those that prize the dollar and self-interest over the horse as a sentient being.

The big sellers suggest that those highlighting the abuse are somehow determined to destroy the sport of Endurance by creating divisive feeling within the sport. One very interesting diatribe by someone who sells a lot to the UAE concentrated entirely on how much this person and family enjoyed endurance, how selling abroad allowed them to continue and how wonderful the sport was. Not only is that entirely missing the point of endurance being at heart about partnership of rider and horse, but there is no real understanding of the sport’s financial dynamic as a result of selling the good horses abroad. Any equestrian sport wishing to be healthy nationally, and successful globally, has to keep it’s best horses within the country’s NF. This encourages flourishing competition and attracts sponsorship to grow the sport and support the grass roots whilst giving young riders something to aim for. If top horses continually leave a country, competition becomes poor, interest will wane and the sport will deteriorate. That has been proven in other countries, in other equestrian sports...

Read more here:
http://www.equinerescuefrance.org/2016/01/enduring-bullwarp/


January 21 2016

Bouthieb (Abu Dhabi): The Mutation

Enduroonline.com.br - Full Article Coming closer for a better understanding

May 10 2014
by François Kerboul

From far away, we often see undefined blocks, groups, masses, and we end up very quickly - if not invariably - making snap judgments and deciding, once for all, that "they are like that". Thus we have "Indians", "Blacks", "Arabs", "Chinese", etc.

From far away we see an anonymous figure, which as it gets nearer, becomes a man who is actually a woman and we soon discover that she is not the unknown one we had suspected... In short, when getting closer we become aware that reality is always more complex than the idea we had of it before.

For the Yemeni who has never left his native mountain, or for his Chinese counterpart, "Europeans" (or "Westerners ") are seen as a global and undifferentiated entity. For us, Europeans, it is clear that this is an absurd shortcut because we know that there is little relationship between a Sami (Lapp) and a Basque or even a Southern Californian. But seen from afar...

It's the same in reverse for us and we cannot completely avoid the trap created by distance.

Group VII, The Emirates, The Arabs, etc.

For many Europeans all that is about the same and one is satisfied with the recent global anathema (doping, cheating) without further questioning. You can even hear some people talk of the need for their exclusion from the FEI, which would in itself mean the beginning of the end of the international federation.

So take a magnifying glass and come closer to understand better.

Here we will talk of what is happening today in Bouthieb, one of the three endurance villages in the UAE (and also the oldest), as you would do for example to explain what we are trying to do and how we do it in Fontainebleau (FRA) or Rascafría (ESP) to an Indonesian.

Doing so, we will leave Manichaeism and monolithic thinking to replace it by the description of the real men and their intentions. A little bit of information, a gust of fresh air on the issue.

Brief And Essential Background

When in the 50s it was discovered that the underground of the northern Arabian Peninsula was full of oil, SH Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, ruler of Abu Dhabi, understood very quickly that this resource required the emirates to unite (unity is strength) and that the country would inevitably be overwhelmed by the sudden change induced by this extraordinary resource and the new era to come with it.

He managed to convince his counterpart neighbors to form a federation whose name is the one we know today: UAE (United Arab Emirates).

His second priority task was to set up a body to preserve the cultural heritage for the future generations. This great idea took shape under the name of Emirates Heritage Club (EHC). Its purpose is extensive. It spreads from the preservation of the culture of the past to the latest study on the environment, youth training and education, promotion of tolerance and peace, etc.

In this context horses were of course present.

Sh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, second son of the UAE founder, the late Sh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, currently a member of the government, is the president of the EHC. He created in Bouthieb the first endurance village in the UAE, some 100 km inland among sand dunes, not far from his palace.

Each year five to six weekends of endurance competitions are held there. It is currently the largest center in the world by the number of participating horses each time. For example, on January 23rd to 25th 2014 nearly 800 horses over three days with 340 on the second day participated in the competitions.

The Prince's Will of Renewal

A few years ago, the prince told us his annoyance at seeing that the UAE had created a new type of endurance race he called "flat endurance race" in which speed was privileged at the expense of the horses' safety. That was far in advance of the recent controversy. His voice was not heard despite his conviction...

Read more here:
http://www.enduroonline.com.br/endurance_news_bouthieb_the_mutation.php


January 19 2016

Epiphany 2: FEI Grasps the (UAE) Bou Thib Initiative. Yes, Really!

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | January 19, 2016

Well, I thought I’d never see it, but little pink porkers genuinely have sprouted wings.

The measures drawn up by Sheikh Sultan Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi to reform endurance at his Bou Thib venue gained massive credence in a short time, but did anyone seriously think the rest of the UAE would join him voluntarily in respect for the horse?

But now, in the wake of yet another chaotic death on Saturday, they might just have to, for something extraordinary has happened. The FEI has grown a pair of something that isn’t wings and wants all UAE rides to adopt similar measures to Bou Thib, to reduce the killer speeds.

Yes folks, it’s true. For all the FEI working groups, strategic planners, consultancy exercises, seminars, rule reviews, and no doubt hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of legal fees over the past two years to sort out the travesty in the UAE, the FEI has now resorted to a single page of commonsense from by a wise, genuinely horse-loving Sheikh...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/epiphany-2-fei-grasps-the-bou-thib-initiative-yes-really/


January 11 2016

How an Unsung Sheikh has Forced an Epiphany in Endurance

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | January 11, 2016

Only keen students of Middle Eastern politics have probably heard of the intriguingly named Dr. Sheikh Sultan, but 2016 could be the year in which his body of admirers spreads far outside the Emirates.

First, though, some background for those whose geography etc. is a bit scratchy.

The UAE comprises seven sheikhdoms (or emirs), of which Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the most powerful, ruled by the Nahyan and Maktoum families respectively.

Dubai is perhaps the more famous, as a business hub and tourist magnet and because of the stratospheric profile of its Thoroughbred racing through the involvement of Sheikh Mohammed, ruler of Dubai. However, the overall UAE presidency is with the Al Nayhans, currently Sheikh Khalifa. So Sheikh Mohammed is not the quite the most senior person in the Emirates, being overall UAE vice president and UAE prime minister.

One of Sheikh Mohammed’s daughters is married to famed soccer patron Sheikh Mansour Al Nahyan, UAE deputy Prime Minister, though despite this romantic alliance there is rivalry between the two families.

Mohammed and Mansour also own the two busiest endurance venues – Dubai International Endurance City (DIEC), due to host the 2016 world championships unless the UAE gets suspended again, and Al Wathba.

One Sheikh is moving mountains to reform endurance. Sadly it’s neither of these two.

Our unsung hero is His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Al Nahyan, a former deputy UAE prime minister, Mansour’s much older half-sibling and three-quarters sibling of president Khalifa. Sultan was part-educated outside the UAE, including a spell at Millfields, a famous British school renowned for its sporting prowess and values.

Sheikh Sultan is keen on endurance too, and owns the UAE’s third busiest venue, Bou Thib.

For eons he has despaired about the evolution of the desert racing and yearned for “classical” endurance, or indeed anything that doesn’t view the horse as expendable. But he was a voice in the wilderness, quite literally...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/how-an-unsung-sheikh-has-forced-an-epiphany-in-endurance/

UAE: 'Disaster' in Bouthieb - Empty clinic, result of the new parameters enforced

Enduroonline.com.br - Full Article

Text and Clinic Photo: François Kerboul - FEI 4 *

Thursday, December 31 was a historic day in Bouthieb Endurance Village (Al Khatem, Abu Dhabi, UAE): During the CEN 1* 90 km Emirates Heritage Club for Ladies with 59 competitors, the clinic remained desperately empty, which, according to officials, had never happened since the beginning of endurance in the UAE. HH Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan - Representative of the President and Chairman of the Emirates Heritage Club (EHC) -, the organizing committee, the officials, the participants, etc. everyone felt authorized to say, with undisguised pleasure and black humor, that this was a true disaster ... for the employment of treating veterinarians, who were overwhelmed with joy having spent a very boring day.

It's clean, it's all ready, it's empty. In the background, a "desperate" veterinarian is waiting.

The second day of competition, January 1, was similar with 2 events (CEI 1* 80 km Emirates Heritage Club Cup in 3 phases and 89 competitors, plus a CEN 1* 100 km Emirates Heritage Cup for Pvt. Owners in 4 phases with 39 competitors) accumulating a total of 128 horses on the track. The day passed with a single mild metabolic case receiving only a treatment of 5 liters of fluid without any additives, a sort of comfort treatment. And nothing else.

The third day, January 2, there was a CEIJY 2* 120 km Emirates Heritage Cup in 5 phases with 55 starters on the track. Only 3 horses were presented, they had lost their riders who had fallen down on the first phase in the light sandstorm with reduced visibility and which were caught and taken to the clinic, then immediately released as nothing justified their presence. On the third day 3 there were 3 metabolic cases, 2 without any treatment and 1 receiving 10 liters of fluid without any additives, plus 3 lamenesses of which one only was treated with a small dose of anti-inflammatory. And that's all.

So, in three days of racing, four competitions, 242 horses, only 3 horses received a light medical treatment mainly out of caution.

This was a remarkable way to end 2015 and start 2016 in Bouthieb Endurance Village. The new competition parameters, implemented regularly for the first time (including 10 minutes of recovery time, even for the finish with a maximum heart rate of 56 bpm and hold time of 50 minutes each loop) produced more effect than we all hoped and there reigned an unprecedented atmosphere of surprise, satisfaction, analysis and research, intellectual ferment mixed with a previously unknown joy. For the first time HH Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan (photo), who usually did no more than pay one or two visits per season, remained permanently on the site during the three days and even chaired the Wednesday briefing of the first competition.

The new president of the national federation – a show jumping rider - came many times, to visit the clinic, going around the venue, to go on the tracks, unlike its predecessor who had never been seen there...

Read more here:
http://www.enduroonline.com.br/Disaster-in-Bouthieb-Empty-clinic-result-of-the-new-parameters-enforced.php


January 7 2016

UAE: Endurance riders to vie for unique new one metre high trophy

Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News Gulfnews.com - Full Article

London jewellers craft Wimbledon salvers, FA Cup and ICC trophies too

January 7, 2016 Gulf News
Leslie Wilson Jr, Racing & Special Features Writer

Dubai: Competitors in the ninth annual HH Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup, presented by Longines on Saturday, will be vying for the honour to lift a unique trophy that will be awarded to the winner of the renowned 160km contest.

The trophy, created by Royal Jewellers Asprey of London, stands one metre in height and weighs 20 kilograms.

It is topped by a three-dimensional horse and rider - the figure representing the victory by HH Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. in the 2012 FEI Longines World Endurance Championships held in Euston Park, England.

Shaikh Mohammad’s arm is raised overhead in victory and holds a single .32 carat diamond in his hand...

Read more here:
http://gulfnews.com/sport/horse-racing/endurance-riders-to-vie-for-unique-new-one-metre-high-trophy-1.1649934

Uneventful time for vets at recent UAE endurance gathering

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 7 January 2016

A four-star judge and technical delegate says only three horses required light medical treatment among the 242 who took part in three days of endurance racing in the United Arab Emirates recently.

François Kerboul provided an account of racing at Bouthieb. The first day, on December 31, saw the staging of a CEN 1* race over 90km for women. It attracted 59 competitors.

The veterinary facilities remained unused through the day, which had not happened since the beginning of endurance in the UAE, he said...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/01/07/uneventful-time-vets-uae/#ixzz3wZfGJIuF


January 4 2016

Great Strategy Ensures Top Endurance Rider Challenge Win in UAE

Horsereporter.com - Full Article

by Pamela Burton

4 January 2016, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ Outside Abu Dhabi, the Boudhieb Endurance Village hosted several endurance rides over 3 days on the weekend of 1-3 January to celebrate both the 2016 New Year and HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s new scheme designed to support the general welfare of horses and good equestrianism. The Top Endurance Rider Challenge (ERC) makes awards placing great emphasis on the technical skill of the rider and trainer through strict management of heart rate and recovery presentation time rather than just pure speed was a great success.

The main event of the weekend was the 120km CEIYJ** ERC Endurance Cup for Juniors & Young Riders which incorporated the new Top Endurance Rider Challenge for the first time. The race was won by Ahmed Yousef Al Baloushi riding Bac Dayre for Nad Al Sheba Stables trained by Yousef Ahmed Al Baloushi. Young rider Baloushi was supervised by assistant trainer Mohammed Nasser and was carefully guided through strategy to take this prestigious award. Meanwhile the winner of the speed version of the ride was Ali Mohammed Al Hosani riding Shanelli Park Judaan for Al Reef Stables...

Read more here:
http://www.horsereporter.com/2016/01/04/great-strategy-ensures-top-endurance-rider-challenge-win-in-uae/