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Swiss letter to FEI:
March 26 2012

Belgian letter to FEI:
October 2 2012

French letter to FEI:
October 12 2012

AERC letter to USEF
June 25 2013

Dutch letters to FEI:
June 19 2013
August 13 2013

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

John Crandell's letter to AERC:
October 30 2013

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

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

AERC's Recommendations to ESPG Plans:
December 9 2013

January 2014

AERC Proposes Temporary Suspension of Concurrent FEI Events:

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

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

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

May 2015

FEI Denies UAE Appeal of Suspension

May 2015

FEI Sports Forum Endurance WEG Change Proposal

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

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

2016 WEC Removed from UAE
April 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

AERC letter of concern to USEF Regarding UAE
January 2018

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

USA Letter to USEF Regarding Upcoming WEG
August 2018


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

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


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


2017

December 1 2017

FEI: New Endurance Rules Lost in Translation

Horse-Canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | December 1, 2017

British people, certainly my generation, can be very lazy about other languages. Much of the world has English as its first or second tongue, so we think we don’t have to bother. I was taught French in a very academic way in the 1970s, equipping me read Sartre without having to consult a dictionary too much, but not confident enough to chat for hours with an actual person.

I lost my nerve on a trip to Berlin years ago, when trying to give directions to a fellow tourist. After establishing we had a smattering of French in common I proudly escorted him to a watch shop a couple of blocks away. But he wasn’t saying he wanted a horlogerie. He was trying to find the Hard Rock Café.

Clumsy misunderstandings are not always a cause for levity. I have often felt that rules for horse sport drafted in English by someone who is not a native English speaker and then debated by people for whom English is also only a second or third language is a major handicap for the FEI. A number of FEI regulations do not actually say what people think they say.

All this came to a head at the FEI General Assembly in Uruguay last week where new endurance rules proposals were so incomprehensible, several delegates tell me, that after a closed debate they were all shelved till 2019 pending further discussions.

The official reason for delaying them is that it wasn’t fair on riders to introduce new rules part way through the qualifying period for the 2018 WEG. I don’t recall that ever being advanced as a reason for suspending new rules in other sports, even though jumping, dressage and eventing also have an Olympic qualifying cycle to cope with, unlike endurance.

The greater likelihood that the new endurance rules were shelved because they were not understood (also, I suspect, opening the door for a bit of brinkmanship from the UAE and others targeted by the welfare aspects.) This is evident in the final day’s debate that was held in public. If you have a spare half hour you can see the shambles in all its glory in this extract from the official livestream. I have watched it several times since and am still not sure what the hell was going on...

Read more/see video here:
https://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/new-endurance-rules-lost/


November 29 2017

2017 FEI General Assembly Meeting - Endurance DecisionsUAE: Boudheib Endurance Season Opener Puts the Welfare of the Horse First

HorseReporter.com - Full Article

by Pamela Burton

The Boudheib Initiative - Driving the Future of Endurance

26 November 2017, Boudheib, UAE ~ The first event of the 2017-2018 endurance season incorporating the Boudheib Initiative got underway at the Boudheib International Endurance Village outside of Abu Dhabi from 23-24 November 2017 with over 101 horses starting in the day one, 120km Open CEI** Al Ain Endurance Cup.

The idea to take back endurance and guard the welfare of the horse by reducing speeds to limit injuries on the endurance tracks is called the Boudheib Initiative and is sponsored enthusiastically by His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nayhan. The Boudheib endurance track features stretches of natural desert that work best if taken at the speeds recommended.

The two-day November program also included: 40km CEN & 80km CEN qualifiers, 80km CEI*, 120km JYR** & a 120 CEI**, and an 10km special introductory ride for young riders on Friday 24th...

Read more here:
http://www.horsereporter.com/boudheib-endurance-season-opener-puts-the-welfare-of-the-horse-first/


November 28 2017

2017 FEI General Assembly Meeting - Endurance Decisions

FEI held its General Assembly 2017 meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay on 21 November. Decisions in the sport of endurance are as follows:

The General Assembly approved changes to the Endurance Rules to be implemented on 1 January 2019.

The General Assembly voted separately on a proposal to reduce the minimum weight for CEI 3, 4 and 5* and Championships from 75kgs to 70kgs. This was approved.

The General Assembly also voted separately on raising the competition age of horses for 5*, CEIOs and Championships, where horses must now be at least nine years of age (previously eight years) and for Young Horse Championships and Championships under 130km, where the minimum age must now be eight years (previously seven). This was approved.

Other main amendments approved en bloc (also to be implemented as of 1 January 2019) include: Increases in mandatory rest periods, based on scientific presentations at the FEI Sports Forum last April and the FEI Endurance Forum last May. An additional rest period of seven days will apply for horses that reach average speeds of 20 km/hr or higher at completion. This rest period will also apply to horses which do not complete the competition whose average speed of completed phases is 20 km/hr or higher.

A new star system for Endurance events, CEI 4* and CEI 5*, will be introduced to have prime events and a higher standard of competition for horses and athletes. The new star system is not solely defined by prize money, but sets specific requirements for organisers to ensure compliance with FEI rules and high standards of horse welfare.

In order to avoid having minors registered as trainers, the minimum age of a registered trainer has been set at 18 years old.

Qualifying criteria established for new 4* and 5* events, proving the full experience of athletes and horses to guarantee a high standard of competition level, and clarification to novice qualifying criteria in relation to experienced horses and athletes. Plus a new set of rules to define qualifications of horses and athletes for Regional Championships.

New general requirements and test event rules for Championships.

These changes can be viewed here in due course.

More information from the meeting can be seen here:
https://inside.fei.org/fei/regulations/endurance


November 20 2017

UAE: Dead or Alive? The Not So Strange Case of Altered ResultsUAE: Latest Endurance Horse Deaths Raise Concerns About “Airbrushing” Results

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

November 20, 2017
by: Pippa Cuckson

Concerns that endurance horse deaths are being airbrushed out of official results have been raised again following two deaths at the 120km Al Marmoom Cup in Dubai Saturday.

Catswhiskers Tiro Centauri and Kurrajong Unique were listed as Catastrophically Injured (CI) in the early stages, both travelling at about 25kph. At the end of the day Tawqeet, the Dubai-owned timings operator, amended their listings to show the pair as Failed to Complete (FTC) instead. Yet on Sunday both were shown as dead on the updated horse database held by the FEI.

The Al Marmoom Cup was a UAE national ride, though was staged under FEI rules under the terms of the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EFF) legal agreement with the FEI, signed when the EEF’s suspension for horse welfare issues was lifted in July 2015.

Four other horses were listed FTC at Al Marmoom. Only 32 of the 129 starters finished...

Read more here:
https://www.horse-canada.com/horse-news/endurance-horse-deaths-results-concerns/

UAE: Dead or Alive? The Not So Strange Case of Altered Results


The CI notation was later removed and does not now show up on the race stats Credit : Screen shot

Grandprix-replay.com - Full Article

Sunday 19 November - 17h52 | Lulu Kyriacou

For the second weekend in a row, there have been fatalities in a United Arab Emirates endurance ride, this time in the AL MARMOOM ENDURANCE CUP – CEN 120 KM. But the two horses concerned here are particularly special. They rose from the dead when the results were altered an hour or two after being published on the official scorer's website, Tawqeet.

THE ORIGINAL RESULT

The ride was organised by the Dubai International Equestrian Club in association with the Emirates Equestrian Federation. Catswhisker Tiro Centauri, a ten-year-old chestnut gelding, and Kurrajong Unique a 16-year-old bay gelding were both listed on the original live scores as CI, Catastrophically Injured. Catswhisker Tiro Centauri apparently met his end on the second loop, and poor Kurrajong Unique did not even get as far as that, he was out the first gate. The horses are both registered in the UAE and both appear to come from the same training stable although Kurrajong Unique was ridden by a Bangladeshi national Nur Mohommod Ali Bablu. Catswhisker was ridden by a more experienced rider, Khalifa Mohammed Saeed Salem ALKHYELI.

NOT DEAD AFTER ALL........ ?

An hour or so after the race finished a check on the results found that the CI had been changed to FTC (Failed To Complete)...

Read more here:
http://www.grandprix-replay.com/uk/article/5092/dead-or-alive-the-not-so-strange-case-of-altered-results

UAE Endurance - Brand New Season, Same Old Story

Grandprix-replay.com - Full Article

Sunday 12 November - 18h08 | Lulu Kyriacou

The first endurance races of the new United Arab Emirates were completed in the last few days but despite plans for new rules to be considered at this week's FEI General Assembly and the sterling efforts of Sheik Sultan's Boudheib Initiative, another horse has ended up dead. The Spanish bred ESTEL DE MONTFLUQ (UAE) FEI number 103MW80 was competing in the CEI1* ridden by Saqar Hilal al Marouqi was originally listed on 8th November on the offical Tawqeet scores as FTC (Failed to Complete) but the horse was listed as deceased on the FEI database the same day. The horse's FEI record was subsequently updated by the FEI on November 10th to CI (Catastrophically Injured).

​On this occasion it does not look as if speed was the determining factor alone as the horse was recorded on the loops at speeds of between 14 and 16.7kph and finished at 20kph but at the second gate the gelding took 20 minutes for his heart rate to come down to acceptable parameters, indicating that there was already an issue and the horse should have been vetted out at that gate...

Read more here:
http://www.grandprix-replay.com/uk/article/5077/uae-endurance-brand-new-season-same-old-story


November 8 2017

Endurance: So Much Wrong I Hardly Know Where to Start…

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | November 7, 2017

More new rules that attempt to slow riders down in endurance will be presented to the FEI General Assembly in 10 days’ time, following “official” research which shows the bleedin’ obvious: go too fast for too long and you will break your horse’s leg.

One proposed rule will add a further seven days mandatory rest if the horse has exceeded 20kph. By a not very amazing coincidence, that is the top speed “window” adopted by the Boudhieb Initiative, which is quietly gaining support and reaping positive results in other parts of the world.

But does anyone seriously think an increased rest is going to give the Group 7 (Middle East) riders and their copyists around the world a moment’s thought when belting along at 37kph at the end of a 120km race? A slightly longer lay-off won’t matter one jot when you have hundreds more horses to drag out of the barn.

UAE current registrations have just topped 7,000 – 7015 to be precise – 48.92% of the global population of active FEI registered endurance horses (14,339), without including the hundreds of UAE-owned horses administered by other national federations. This has risen from 46.79% since I wrote about this alarming trend in September. Seriously, why bother to stage a world endurance championship? The other nations surely can’t have any competitive horses left.

Do Group 7 riders even know the 20kph/longer rest rule is coming in? If so, they are unfazed. In the first three weekends of this 2017-2018 desert season, the winners’ final loop speeds were on average 5kph faster than at the equivalent rides last year. It won’t be long till 40kph is the norm. The global sport is merely a conveyor belt producing horses for destruction in the desert...

Read more here:
https://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/endurance-much-wrong-hardly-know-start/


November 7 2017

Horse welfare and endurance: Is a 75kg minimum weight sensible?

Horsetalk.co.mz
November 7, 2017 David Marlin

As the FEI prepares to vote on imposing a minimum weight of 75kg for senior championship endurance events, equine exercise physiologist Dr David Marlin questions the sport’s weight requirements.

The FEI’s Endurance Technical Committee has outlined a series of changes around rider weights that will be considered by delegates at the 2017 General Assembly in Montevideo, Uruguay, on November 21.

But does it make sense to have a 75kg minimum weight in endurance?

Minimum weight carriage was an important feature of both showjumping and the speed and endurance phase of eventing competitions in the early days of the sports. For a long time both disciplines used a weight of 165lb (75kg), which seems to have its origins in the average weight of a Cavalry soldier with kit.

Australian light horsemen riding waler horses. The soldiers are of the original contingent of the Australian Imperial Force and the photo was taken prior to their departure from Australia in November 1914. The soldier on the right is Trooper William Harry Rankin Woods, 1st Light Horse Regiment, who died of wounds on 15 May 1915, one of the first light horsemen to die during the Battle of Gallipoli."

The 165lb or 75kg minimum weight in horse sports seems to have its origins in the average weight of a Cavalry soldier with kit. Pictured are Australian light horsemen riding Waler horses.

The minimum weight requirement was first dropped from show-jumping and in eventing was reduced from 75kg to 70kg for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and then abolished for eventing in 1998.

As of January 1, 2016, there are a variety of FEI endurance rules relating to the minimum weight (tack + rider but excluding bridle):

Article 812 – Weights
812.1 At all senior CEI4* Championship, the minimum riding weight for Athletes must be 75kg to include all riding equipment.
812.2 At senior CEI3* the minimum riding weight is 75kg – details to be clearly shown on the approved ride schedule.
812.3 At CEI 1* and 2* alternative weight divisions or gender divisions may be allowed, subject to prior approval by the FEI, and must be clearly specified in the FEI schedule.
812.4 There shall be no minimum weight in Young Rider and/or Junior Competitions.

The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) has a different system with classes according to the weight of the rider and their tack (heavyweight > 211lbs (100kg); middleweight 186-210lbs (86-100kg), lightweight 161-185lbs (73-86kg) and featherweight < 160lbs (73kg). This system relies to some extent on the premise that riders will select an appropriate size of horse, ie, heavier riders will select larger horses to compete on. Of course, smaller riders could choose to compete on smaller horses but they could also choose to compete on large horses, which would give them a distinct advantage.

Read more at https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2017/11/07/horse-welfare-endurance-75kg-minimum-weight/#ojr2CDw7outwPROe.99


October 13 2017

Morocco & the Boudheib Initiative making history !

Clean Endurance

October 8 2017

This weekend saw the latest International Boudheib Initiative (BI) sponsored endurance event in Morocco's outstanding cedar forest of the Middle Atlas area of Ifran, and for the first time in Moroccan history, the first FEI CEI 1* 80km ride was held together with the BECA award for best condition. For the 2nd year since inception, His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan is delighted to encourage education of the 'welfare of the endurance horse' through BI ground breaking events worldwide and takes great pride in aiding development of the true sport of endurance at grass roots level proving time and again the value of strong partnerships between horse & rider. Great care was offered by the veterinary delegation headed by Technical Delegate, Mohamed Khalfan Alyammahi, and a full day of judge & vets briefing was held in order to work closely with newcomers to the FEI, explaining health & rules for the benefit of the horse and reminding them to not be flexible when it comes to rider security and horse welfare.

The picturesque trails were perfect, with good markings, loop speeds were low averaging around 15kph ensuring an excellent 80% completion rate throughout all rides including the 3 national qualifiers of 60km, 40km & 20km, for newcomers to the sport. There was a wonderful spirit throughout the day with everyone showing their willingness to learn and they are all looking forward to the future growth of this event and to returning next year.

Special thanks goes to event organiser, Dr. Mohamed Machmoum, Director of the upcoming Salon de Cheval at El Jedida, the veterinary delegation for their unfailing hard work and to the many dignitaries who attended the event, including Ahmed Al Reasi, Chairman of the Emirates Equestrian Federation, Dr. Hammou Ouhelli, Moroccan Minister of Rural Development & Forests, General Merzak El Habili, General Secretary of the Moroccan Royal Equestrian Federation and Zouhair Mohamed, General Secretary of Ifran, and of course not forgetting all the riders, grooms, owners & trainers and our valued partners, the horses, without whom none of the events could take place!

BOUDHEIB INITIATIVE - DRIVING THE FUTURE OF ENDURANCE www.facebook@boudheib

article & photos by Leigh Young Results:-

BECA results CEI 1* 80km 1st - no 7 Arrabiefi ridden by Hammadi Smail from Le Ferme Equestre
2nd - no 8 Tissir II ridden by Hamid Bouhout Mdl from the Garde Royale
3rd - no 3 Rose des Vents ridden by Bensaid Ali Adj also from the Garde Royal
4th - no 2 Toumira ridden by Meryem Keddara from RCE Menzeh

FEI 1* 80 km CEI Results
1st no 8 - Tissir II ridden by Hamid Bouhout Mdl from the Garde Royale
2nd no 3 - Rose des Vents ridden by Bensaid Ali Adj also from the Garde Royal
3rd no 7 - Arrabiefi ridden by Hammadi Smail from Le Ferme Equestre


September 21 2017

World Arabian Organization Shames Desert EnduranceUAE: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | September 19, 2017

The UAE desert endurance season is chugging into gear. It is accompanied by the annual spike in FEI horse registrations, mostly of the plane-loads of imported unfortunates set to hustle round the early 40km and 80km desert rides to “qualify” for the more onerous winter races to come. How much easier it must have been to invent the qualifying results in times past.

Current UAE endurance FEI registrations stand at 6,091 today, September 19th, out of 13,016 current FEI endurance horses worldwide. This is a 600% growth in 10 years, compared with 947 UAE horses in 2006. The biggest spurt was 2014-2015, around 1,500 extra horses year to year. That is depressing when you consider that by 2014 the abuses were more widely known, and that it might have occurred to people not to sell.

Last year, UAE registrations represented 46% of FEI endurance horses worldwide. Now it is 46.79%. No other country dominates horse ownership in any other discipline on this scale.

Worryingly, this figure taken in isolation makes it easy for the folks who support the warped notion of race-till-it-breaks to suggest that UAE domination means “best practice” and that they should be allowed to do what they want.

Even the FEI flags up that endurance is the world’s second fastest-growing horse sport: who they are trying to impress with that factoid, I don’t know. But it isn’t, anyway. Endurance is the fastest-growing sport in the UAE, but the UAE is just one of 130-odd countries affiliated to the FEI. The rest are not following at the same rate. Nothing like, in fact, and even if they wanted to, their best horses will quickly be sold to the UAE. What was it Benjamin Disraeli and Mark Twain said about Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics?...

Read more here:
https://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/lies-damned-lies-and-statistics/


August 1 2017

World Arabian Organization Shames Desert Endurance

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

July 28, 2017
by: Pippa Cuckson

Endurance racing in the Middle East is sacrificing Arabian horses “on the altar of sport” and the FEI must take “firm and prompt action to definitely prevent another dismal catalogue of catastrophic injuries” next season.

Those are the views of Peter Pond, president of the World Arabian Horse Organisation (WAHO), who has written a forthright letter to FEI president Ingmar de Vos about the ongoing welfare crisis in the Middle East and the UAE in particular.

The WAHO executive resolved to approach the FEI during its annual conference in Bahrain in February, which was attended by delegates from 34 of WAHO’s 65 member countries. There Mr Pond gave an address underlining that the executive committee was “extremely disturbed by the chain of events” and that the “rate of attrition is serious abuse of all the horses taking part.” At that stage, there had been 11 reported deaths in the UAE national and international sport since the turn of the year.

He added: “Arabian horses have tremendous heart, tremendous courage and tremendous bravery, which is why they are the chosen breed for endurance. To stay silent and effectively abandon them to the fate would be to go against our core values and objectives...”

Read more here:
https://www.horse-canada.com/horse-news/world-arabian-organization-shames-desert-endurance/


July 26 2017 2017

Forgery City

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | July 25, 2017

I don’t know what is worse, the imagination applied to forgery in international endurance or the fact the FEI seems resigned to it.

Of course, passing off a horse as something it isn’t is as old as time itself. And forging people’s signatures on documents is not exactly unknown in FEI endurance, either; one such incident even reached the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

But fakery that compromises welfare again and again is plain evil. No horse sport is 101% squeaky clean, but I am staggered the other equestrian disciplines are still prepared to belong to the same international federation that ‘governs’ desert endurance when the rot we actually do know about is probably just the tip of the iceberg.

The infamy of endurance is spreading to unexpected quarters anyway. Ullrich Raulff, recently retired literary editor of famous German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, has just written his own book Farewell to the Horse: The Final Century of Our Relationship.

It must be a relief that so few reviewers have picked up this paragraph: “The Emirate of Dubai in particular and the United Emirates in general have gained a reputation for harsh endurance rides in the desert at high temperatures which have risked or indeed caused the deaths of countless horses. Here, too, the curious can take on the role of passer-by, watching online as horses are so badly flayed and severely injured that they collapse and have to be put out of their misery by a vet.” I guess the general reader could not imagine that Raulff is actually talking about a sport regulated by a body affiliated to the International Olympic Committee. Anyway, I digress.

This past week there has been a disturbing development in the Bahrain controversy raging since April which, like the Marmoog and Pang horse swaps and the bogus rides, also has at its core fakery aimed at masking welfare concerns. The FEI seems determined to take a blind eye on this one, falling back on the “this was a national ride so nothing to do with us – phew” excuse, despite evidence the incident did occur in a FEI ride and that the horse they say died wasn’t even there...

Read more here:
https://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/forgery-city/


May 31 2017

Endurance Wastage: Even Worse Than You Probably Thought

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | May 30, 2017

I was sorry to miss the FEI’s endurance forum at Vic in Spain. I went to the 2014 version in Lausanne, the first specialist endurance open forum staged after the extent of the cheating, doping and attrition in FEI Group 7 and the UAE in particular came to wider attention.

Not much seems to have changed, other than officialdom now being less uncomfortable about openly naming the problem countries. And it would be difficult now not to name the UAE when they were suspended (2015) and stripped of running a world championship (2016) because of horse welfare concerns. Even three years ago it was taboo to mention a Group 7 federation by name in an open FEI endurance debate.

Given that weeny increase in transparency, I was disappointed to be told in February that the 2017 renewal was limited to national federations. By the time the FEI changed its mind in April and invited general observers, I had arranged to do something else, which could not be rescheduled without inconveniencing other people and causing me irrecoverable expense.

I am thus indebted to attendees who kept me posted and provided context to the presentations now available on the FEI website, and for amplifying the topics excluded from the FEI’s media round-up.

Much was made at both the main FEI sports forum in Lausanne in April and at Vic about extensive veterinary studies into bone fatigue and metabolic failures, and how they might be mitigated by extending rest periods. Another proposal that has got as far as a draft rule is adding an extra seven days’ rest where speed has exceeded an average 20kph. But why not actively cap high speeds, as successfully already trialled at Boudhieb? All the evidence is that Group 7 horses continue to train hard during compulsory “rests,” and turn up at national rides – over which the FEI is always keen to tell us it has no jurisdiction or knowledge. A half-way house measure will merely encourage Group 7 to buy even more horses...

Read more here:
https://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/endurance-wastage-even-worse-than-you-probably-thought/


May 29 2017

Calls for attitude change at FEI endurance forum

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Sarah Radford
13:23 - 29 May, 2017

Introducing analytics into FEI endurance events will be about “changing psychology and attitude”, according to EquiRatings co-founder Sam Watson.

The FEI announced it had signed a four-year agreement with Irish data science company EquiRatings in April, with the aim of “working together on risk management initiatives” in both endurance and eventing.

At an FEI endurance forum this week, EquiRatings’ Diarmuid Byrne and Sam presented a potential model for an athlete index — which would identify those at higher risk of non-completions.

A similar EquiRatings Quality Index was found to be effective in Irish eventing last year and the pilot has been extended for 2017. The safety analysis tool uses algorithms to calculate the potential for falls, giving officials and riders the ability to monitor risk.

“We need to create awareness and provide a tool that can guide the level of responsible horsemanship and help maintain a standard for the sport around the world,” he said...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/calls-attitude-change-endurance-forum-621710#LGbMMpMosKzI3Eh6.99


May 27 2017

Challenges of regulating speed in Endurance discussed by forum delegates

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

May 27, 2017
Horsetalk.co.nz

Even small reductions in speed have large beneficial effects on bone fatigue for the fastest horses, delegate to this week’s FEI Endurance Forum were told.

A total of 100 delegates from more than 30 countries gathered in Spain to discuss the way ahead for the growing sport.

Horse welfare, education and the future direction of the sport were primary topics, with delegates weighing the challenges of keeping endurance horses healthy and free from injury in a discipline in which speeds are likely to increase through the likes of better training, breeding, feeding and riding.

The University of Glasgow’s Dr Euan Bennet took delegates through the highlights and main results of the first year and a half of the FEI’s Global Endurance Injuries Study, and Professor Chris Whitton from the University of Melbourne presented data on bone fatigue...

Read more at http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2017/05/27/speed-endurance-forum/#bH2jEzCsuKtt1PgY.99

‘Wrong Identity’ Claims Revive Bahrain Endurance Controversy

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

May 26 2017

The FEI has declined to review a controversial endurance fatality in Bahrain, despite new evidence suggesting both the dead horse and the ride were wrongly identified.

A grey French-bred mare, Samba d L’Ile, was belatedly named by the FEI after liaison with the Bahrain equestrian federation.

But now ride start lists have emerged, which appear to show that Samba was not a participant on March 4th. This raises new questions about the scope of the FEI investigation, especially in the light of its emphasis on the monitoring of Catastrophic Injuries (CIs): attrition was a major topic at the FEI Endurance Forum in Spain earlier this week.

The Bahrain saga dates back to distressing videos of a grey horse at the moment it broke its foreleg. They were posted on April 3rd by an outspoken blogger known only as “Fair Endurance,” who has been active for the past year, and has clear UAE sympathies. The clips also showed the horse – whose rider was unseated – valiantly trying to follow the rest, stumbling along on three legs while other riders did nothing to help.

The blogger did not identify the horse, but claimed the fatality occurred during the King’s Cup 120km CEI on March 4th and was not recorded in FEI results – an alleged breach of FEI rules. “Fair Endurance” also alleged that other CIs in Bahrain have gone unrecorded. The videos went viral, leading to strong criticism on social media of the FEI and of one of its most senior judges, Dr Mohammed Ibrahim Al Hammad of Saudi Arabia. Dr Al Hammad was FEI Foreign Veterinary Delegate in Bahrain, where his responsibilities included immediate reporting of any fatalities to FEI HQ...

Read more here:
https://www.horse-canada.com/horse-news/wrong-identity-claims-revive-bahrain-endurance-controversy/


May 26 2017

FEI Endurance Forum 2017: Welfare, education and the future

FEI.org

26 May 2017

Welfare, education and the future direction of the sport were prominent topics at the FEI Endurance Forum 2017, which took place this week in Vic, Barcelona (ESP). A total of 100 delegates from over 30 countries gathered together at a pivotal time for the discipline of Endurance, which is seeing massive growth year on year across the globe.

Scientific presentations on Endurance risk factors, bone fatigue and risk management set the scene, providing a data-based approach for the Forum’s further discussions on education, rules revisions and the future of the sport. Key topics including horse welfare, speed, athlete education and how the elite level of the sport could look in the future were debated in an open and honest dialogue by representatives from across the Endurance community.

“This growth of the sport is remarkable and brings great opportunities but also presents challenges to the global endurance community”, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said in her opening address. “Endurance is clearly appealing and has potential, but as we grow we need to secure the integrity of the sport with correct processes, and maintain the highest standards of horse welfare. We are all here because we want to ensure that Endurance continues to develop and thrive around the world. And we are also here because we want to ensure the very best for our horses, for our athletes and for the greater Endurance community.”

First presented at last month’s FEI Sports Forum 2017, Dr Euan Bennet from the University of Glasgow took delegates through the highlights and main results of the first year and a half of the FEI’s Global Endurance Injuries Study, and Professor Chris Whitton from the University of Melbourne presented data on bone fatigue. Both reiterated the message that speed and non-compliance with mandatory rest periods are the key risk factors, highlighting that an increase of seven days on the mandatory rest periods established in 2014 could potentially prevent 10% of the failed-to-qualify statistics and that small reductions in speed have large beneficial effects on bone fatigue for the fastest horses. It was unanimously agreed that key to injury reduction is a combination of rules revisions and education for athletes, trainers and all involved in the sport.

Diarmuid Byrne and Sam Watson from equestrian data science company EquiRatings, presented a potential model for an athlete index in Endurance, aimed at identifying those at higher risk of non-completion and following a similar concept to the ERQI model in Eventing. This was received with interest and generated discussions on data collection in the future to enhance this tool, possible applications to reward positive performance and good horsemanship, and potential application to trainers, and horse/athlete combinations.

EquiRatings founder Sam Watson explained: “It is about changing psychology and attitude. We need to create awareness and provide a tool that can guide the level of responsible horsemanship and help maintain a standard for the sport around the world.”

The new Endurance Education System for Endurance Officials was presented and received widespread support, with unanimous agreement on the benefit and importance of rewarding excellence and increasing experience. The introduction of job descriptions, promotional courses for top level Officials, horsemanship education for all Endurance Officials, requalification every three years and the introduction of a new 5* level of Officials were all on the agenda.

Wrapping up the first day’s proceedings, FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello led delegates in discussion around potential rule revisions aimed at improving horse welfare and based on the scientific findings relating to areas such as qualifications, speeds, rest periods and weight regulations.

There was widespread support for the creation of a new 5* level of elite competition, with further consultation needed on what form it will take, and a general consensus that there should be clear and increased qualification criteria for entry to 1* level and for progression onto 4* and 5*, however further work is needed to flesh out proposals for the introduction of completion rates for Championship qualifications.

Discussions also covered the need for any potential changes to mandatory rest periods to be clearly based on welfare and not as sanctions for speed. The extensive feedback will be discussed by the FEI Endurance Committee as the next step in this rules revision process.

Inspiration for the second day’s discussions on the future of the sport covered everything from event promotion, sponsorship, innovation in promotion, and what the sport could look like in the future, with presentations from across the spectrum of the sport: athlete Valerie Kanavy, Organiser Nick Brooks-Ward from Hpower Group, athlete and trainer Stephane Chazel and Spanish Chef D’Equipe Ignasi Casas.

Athlete education was again central to the debate as discussion turned to how speed relates to the future of the sport. Delegates noted that ultimately this is a sport against the clock, but this cannot be to the detriment of the horse, however as the sport progresses then speeds will get higher with better training, breeding, feeding, riding etc. However all acknowledged that speed contributes to injury, which is not acceptable for horse welfare and has a negative effect on the perception of the sport. Minimum weights and course design were discussed as examples of how to regulate speed but ultimately conversation came back to athlete responsibility and training, a key theme throughout the Forum.

FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez closed the forum with a commitment to continue organising these types of discussion forums for Endurance on a regular basis, commending the “productive and exciting meeting of such a wide group of people, with very diverse views yet working together and allowing each other to speak, with a real community feel for open dialogue.”

FEI Endurance Forum 2017 Report - by Linda Tanian

FEI.org

26 May 2017

Welfare, education and the future direction of the sport were prominent topics at the FEI Endurance Forum 2017, which took place this week in Vic, Barcelona (ESP). A total of 100 delegates from over 30 countries gathered together at a pivotal time for the discipline of Endurance, which is seeing massive growth year on year across the globe.

Scientific presentations on Endurance risk factors, bone fatigue and risk management set the scene, providing a data-based approach for the Forum’s further discussions on education, rules revisions and the future of the sport. Key topics including horse welfare, speed, athlete education and how the elite level of the sport could look in the future were debated in an open and honest dialogue by representatives from across the Endurance community.

“This growth of the sport is remarkable and brings great opportunities but also presents challenges to the global endurance community”, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said in her opening address. “Endurance is clearly appealing and has potential, but as we grow we need to secure the integrity of the sport with correct processes, and maintain the highest standards of horse welfare. We are all here because we want to ensure that Endurance continues to develop and thrive around the world. And we are also here because we want to ensure the very best for our horses, for our athletes and for the greater Endurance community.”

First presented at last month’s FEI Sports Forum 2017, Dr Euan Bennet from the University of Glasgow took delegates through the highlights and main results of the first year and a half of the FEI’s Global Endurance Injuries Study, and Professor Chris Whitton from the University of Melbourne presented data on bone fatigue. Both reiterated the message that speed and non-compliance with mandatory rest periods are the key risk factors, highlighting that an increase of seven days on the mandatory rest periods established in 2014 could potentially prevent 10% of the failed-to-qualify statistics and that small reductions in speed have large beneficial effects on bone fatigue for the fastest horses. It was unanimously agreed that key to injury reduction is a combination of rules revisions and education for athletes, trainers and all involved in the sport.

Diarmuid Byrne and Sam Watson from equestrian data science company EquiRatings, presented a potential model for an athlete index in Endurance, aimed at identifying those at higher risk of non-completion and following a similar concept to the ERQI model in Eventing. This was received with interest and generated discussions on data collection in the future to enhance this tool, possible applications to reward positive performance and good horsemanship, and potential application to trainers, and horse/athlete combinations.

EquiRatings founder Sam Watson explained: “It is about changing psychology and attitude. We need to create awareness and provide a tool that can guide the level of responsible horsemanship and help maintain a standard for the sport around the world.”

The new Endurance Education System for Endurance Officials was presented and received widespread support, with unanimous agreement on the benefit and importance of rewarding excellence and increasing experience. The introduction of job descriptions, promotional courses for top level Officials, horsemanship education for all Endurance Officials, requalification every three years and the introduction of a new 5* level of Officials were all on the agenda.

Wrapping up the first day’s proceedings, FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello led delegates in discussion around potential rule revisions aimed at improving horse welfare and based on the scientific findings relating to areas such as qualifications, speeds, rest periods and weight regulations.

There was widespread support for the creation of a new 5* level of elite competition, with further consultation needed on what form it will take, and a general consensus that there should be clear and increased qualification criteria for entry to 1* level and for progression onto 4* and 5*, however further work is needed to flesh out proposals for the introduction of completion rates for Championship qualifications.

Discussions also covered the need for any potential changes to mandatory rest periods to be clearly based on welfare and not as sanctions for speed. The extensive feedback will be discussed by the FEI Endurance Committee as the next step in this rules revision process.

Inspiration for the second day’s discussions on the future of the sport covered everything from event promotion, sponsorship, innovation in promotion, and what the sport could look like in the future, with presentations from across the spectrum of the sport: athlete Valerie Kanavy, Organiser Nick Brooks-Ward from Hpower Group, athlete and trainer Stephane Chazel and Spanish Chef D’Equipe Ignasi Casas.

Athlete education was again central to the debate as discussion turned to how speed relates to the future of the sport. Delegates noted that ultimately this is a sport against the clock, but this cannot be to the detriment of the horse, however as the sport progresses then speeds will get higher with better training, breeding, feeding, riding etc. However all acknowledged that speed contributes to injury, which is not acceptable for horse welfare and has a negative effect on the perception of the sport. Minimum weights and course design were discussed as examples of how to regulate speed but ultimately conversation came back to athlete responsibility and training, a key theme throughout the Forum.

FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez closed the forum with a commitment to continue organising these types of discussion forums for Endurance on a regular basis, commending the “productive and exciting meeting of such a wide group of people, with very diverse views yet working together and allowing each other to speak, with a real community feel for open dialogue.”


April 19 2017

UAE: International endurance season under Boudheib rules announced

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

April 19, 2017
Horsetalk.co.nz

An international season for endurance under the rules pioneered at the United Arab Emirates’ Boudheib endurance center has been announced.

The proposed calendar lists races in South Africa, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Jordan and Texas.

A statement from the Boudheib center lists Princess Alia, the sister of former FEI president Princess Haya, as the organizer of the Jordan event.

The proposed schedule and dates are listed below.

The Boudheib endurance facility in Abu Dhabi, owned by Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has been an oasis in UAE endurance, applying house rules insisted on by the sheikh that have all but eliminated the welfare issues that have plagued the sport in the region...

Read more at http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2017/04/19/international-endurance-season-boudheib-announced/#ZPiTlweRP6vexx0U.99


April 17 2017

It's Official: Speed Kills

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | April 17, 2017

You don’t need to be much of a horseman to know that if you persistently and rigorously work an unsound horse, it will break.

Now, though, we have compelling scientific evidence that the intensive training techniques and high competition speeds typical of Middle East (FEI group 7) endurance have a direct impact on bone fatigue and the Catastrophic Injury (CI) – a term unique to endurance lexicon.

Distinguished veterinarians Tim Parkin (GB) and Chris Whitton (Australia) presented their long-term studies on attrition to the FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne. Whether their findings result in yet more endurance rules or change in group 7 mind-set remains to be seen.

Sadly, the conference chamber was not exactly awash with endurance practitioners – let’s hope more were watching online. Worryingly, Sheikh Khalid of Bahrain – which he flippantly described one of the “naughty” countries – said towards the end of the bone fatigue Q &A that he thought Whitton was recommending longer rest periods between LOOPS during a ride. In fact, Whitton was clearly urging an even longer mandatory rest period between RIDES.

Still the evidence that speed kills was there in print; and also in monochrome. Whitton produced disturbing visuals of “deforming” bones to illustrate that natural bone repair likes to follow its own schedule. A naturally-repairing bone adapts to the horse’s usual type of work; so galloping a horse who is just back from injury when he is more used to trotting causes more damage, and vice versa. With every stride a horse is one step closer to bone fatigue: ergo, the skilful horseman will do only the bare minimum needed to keep the horse competition-fit.

The stresses on bones were a shocker. Whitton said that the load on the fetlock joint walking at 4kph is 0.8 tonnes; trotting at 13 kph is 2.3 tonnes; cantering at 27 kph is 2.6 tonnes and galloping at 48 kph is 4 tonnes. Endurance is getting ever faster in the desert. In an end-of-season CEN in Dubai, one front-runner had a final loop average of nearly 41kph. No wonder legs are snapping right left and centre...

Read more here:
https://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/its-official-speed-kills/

UAE: Successful Boudhieb Endurance Initiative Schedules 7 International Events in 2017

April 16 2017

BOUDHEIB INITIATIVE (BI) - 
DRIVING THE FUTURE OF ENDURANCE

So another endurance season is over here in the UAE as the temperatures are creeping up to 40 degrees!

The Boudheib Initiative has been very successful throughout our 2016/17 winter season and is helping the sport to return to its origins whilst the Best Endurance Challenge Award (BECA) is providing a good basic structure for the future 'Welfare of the Endurance Horse'.

In Boudheib, natural tracks now form up to 45% of some loops, and are naturally slowing down speeds; the strict 20kph speed rules, the 56bpm heart rate and 10 minute presentation time are also having the desired effect. It seems that the horses, riders and trainers are becoming more accustomed to riding and training for these trails and everyone is starting to enjoy the BECA challenge.

The hugely exciting 'Boudheib Worldwide' conference took place in Boudheib last month, with many international endurance guests taking part. Consequently great strides are being made in implementing the Boudheib Initiative Worldwide and many countries have come forward to request the use of the Boudheib rules, and BECA (Best Endurance Challenge Award) in their competitions.

We are proud to announce the support of His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for 7 proposed international endurance events to take us through to the end of the year.

Boudheib's international season will start next month, May 27th, in South Africa. PWC Sondela Endurance Event Organiser, Susan Koekemoer is advancing well with arrangements and expects a total of 200 horses and riders to take part in 3 categories namely 40km, 80km and a 120km using Boudheib's BECA. The BECA protocol will run alongside their own National event and CEI1*. They even have participation from Botswana competitors who will travel over 350km to take part. An invitational team competition between Botswana and local South African club teams has been added to the event to promote the International spirit between teams. 5 riders in the 80km times predict their riding time and the team closest to their predicted time win the team competition.

The PWC Sondela Endurance Ride, hosted by Premier Equestrian Club, has been held in the beautiful Sondela Nature Reserve in the Limpopo Province of South Africa for the past 15 years. The success of the event can be attributed to the professionalism of the event organisation, the beauty of the trail within the Sondela Nature Reserve and the luxury accommodation offered by Sondela for the whole family, not just the competitors, to enjoy the event. Annual new initiatives at the event are always explored to maintain horse & rider interest.

Premier Equestrian Club's mantra is "progress through innovation" and this compliments the visions of the Boudheib Initiative. The mutual collaboration of the two entities and generosity of HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan will, without doubt, enhance every riders experience at the PWC Sondela Endurance event.

Premier Equestrian Club will be posting regular updates leading up to the event on facebook and anyone wanting to follow the event is welcome to send a "friend request" to Premier Equestrian Club.

www.facebook@boudheib

Boudhieb Initiative Proposed International Calendar of Events
Pretoria, South Africa May 27th 2017 Organiser: SAIC, Susan Koekemoer

Dwingaloo, Netherlands 10th June 2017 Organiser: Frans van't Zand

Marbech, Germany 21st July 2017 Organiser: Ahmed Samarraie

Aachen, Germany 22nd August 2017 Organiser: Nils Ischmer
Florac, France 10th September Organiser: Jean Paul Boudon

Jordan 15th November Organiser: Princess Alia of Jordan

Cat Springs, Texas 30 & 31 December Organiser: Emmett Ross

For more information contact: Leigh Young, email: leigh.harc@gmail.com


April 13 2017

Equine and human athlete welfare key focus on day two of FEI Sports Forum 2017

Inside.FEI.org

11 Apr 2017

The welfare of equines and human athletes was top of the agenda on day two of the FEI Sports Forum 2017. Scientific data on Eventing risk management, Endurance risk factors and bone fatigue was presented to more than 330 delegates gathered at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne (SUI) today.

The FEI has invested in substantial scientific research to evaluate risk factors and risk management and the sixth edition of the Sports Forum provided the platform for evidence-based data to be presented to the equestrian community.

Sydney 2000 Olympic champion David O’Connor (USA), Chair of the FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group, shared moderation of the afternoon session on Eventing Risk Management with Giuseppe Della Chiesa (ITA), chair of the FEI Eventing Committee.

David O’Connor, who was also involved in the Hartington Report into risk management in the sport in 2000, remembered how Formula 1 driver Jackie Stewart had given him two messages: “If you have the technology and the ability you have to use it, and you will always be behind the curve, you will never think of everything.”

Co-founders of equestrian data science company EquiRatings, Diarmuid Byrne and Sam Watson, who signed a four-year partnership with the FEI earlier this month to work on risk management initiatives for Eventing, presented the rationale behind the EquiRatings Quality Index (ERQI) and its scope, with analysis of athlete and horse performance history one of the key elements in risk reduction in Eventing.

“Past performance helps us predict and plan future performance”, EquiRatings Managing Director Diarmuid Byrne said.

The Irish company is also working with a number of National Federations and their work in Ireland saw a 66% reduction in falls at national level last year. “It’s about introducing a mind-set of rider responsibility. Psychologically we don’t look at risk, and this tool allows us to step in when we ignore it.”

Presentations in the following session on Endurance risk factors and bone fatigue were well received by delegates, who were impressed by the detailed analysis of data. All three of the panellists - Dr Tim Parkin and Dr Euan Bennet from the University of Glasgow, who are conducting the FEI’s Global Endurance Injuries Study, and Professor Chris Whitton from the University of Melbourne, were clear on the fact that speed and non-compliance with mandatory rest periods are the key risk factors.

Dr Euan Bennett stated that an increase of seven days on the mandatory rest periods established in 2014 could potentially prevent 10% of the failed-to-qualify statistics.

Professor Chris Whitton spoke about how intensive training results in an accumulation of damage and the inhibition of bone repair that occurs during rest. “Prevention is the key”, he said. “Once you’ve got the injury it’s too late. It may not be a catastrophic injury but that horse’s career is shortened. It’s not speed alone, and it’s not distance alone, it’s a combination of the two.”

In her wrap-up of key takeaways from the Endurance session, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said: “We really need to be attuned to our horses. We need to listen to them. They are equine athletes and they really need and deserve recovery time.”

Mark Samuel (CAN), Chair of the FEI Working Group on FEI Officials opened the day’s first session when details of 13 concrete recommendations were provided, including a code of conduct and job descriptions for officials, the withdrawal of the age limit, online education for officials and course directors, appointments and remuneration, and a mentoring programme for younger officials,.

Delegates were also gjven an update on the initial findings of the FEI Dressage Judging Working Group. The Group’s discussions, which have lasted for several months, were based on analytical studies of the current judging system and exploring judging procedures in other FEI disciplines, such as Reining and Vaulting.

The need to introduce a code of points and to concentrate further on education and training of judges across all levels are some of the long-term objectives proposed by the Working Group, with a revised multi-media FEI Dressage Handbook to be delivered as support.

FEI President Ingmar De Vos closed the FEI Sports Forum 2017 by thanking delegates and sponsors, and saying: “We’re very proud of the Sports Forum. This is what we need to do to fully engage with our community and take the necessary next steps. It is very important for the FEI to listen to what our National Federations and stakeholders have to say. The end of the Sports Forum means the start of a lot of work, but this is always a positive move forward.

“It was great to have so many young people contributing to the success of this year’s Sports Forum, and we very much hope to increase the participation of our youth in other editions of the Sports Forum.”

Panellists:

Officials: Mark Samuel, Group IV Chair – Moderator; Peter Bollen, FEI Jumping Committee member, Sönke Lauterbach, NF Germany Secretary General; Frances Heather Hesketh-Jones Triulzi, FEI Honorary Steward General Jumping; Brigitte Mathias, NF Namibia Secretary General.

Risk Management in Eventing: David O’Connor (USA), Chair FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group and Sydney 2000 Olympic champion; Giuseppe Della Chiesa (ITA), chair of the FEI Eventing Committee; Equiratings’ Diarmuid Byrne and Sam Watson.

Endurance risk factors and Bone Fatigue: Chair of the FEI Veterinary Committee John McEwen; Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee Brian Sheahan; Dr Tim Parkin and Dr Euan Bennet at the University of Glasgow; Professor Chris Whitton from the University of Melbourne.


March 19 2017

Will We Throw Stones from Afar, or BE A PART OF THE EVOLUTION OF EQUESTRIAN TESTS?

AwareWelfare.net - Full Article

We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them, or build with them. — William Arthur Ward

By John Crandell

We’re high in the middle of yet another attention-grabbing season of endurance racing in U.A.E, and once again inflamed rhetoric is singeing the digital highways. I’d like to offer some perspective that might help keep these exchanges as genuinely constructive as possible, and in doing so will point out some specific reasons why some addresses have been counterproductive to the best interest of equestrian sports, and the respect our horses deserve.

Many stones are being cast from afar with little awareness of their actual effect at the point of impact, or the full perception of the recipients. There is an old Arabian proverb that translates something like: “I against my brother, my brother and I against my cousins, my cousins and I against the world”. In this is a reminder of the necessity of respecting social proximities when attempting to settle disputes and share challenging ideas. There are always a few in every large group of people that will have an open mind to our own perspectives. Those people are always the essential element of any lasting change. Change brought by force from the outside is never heartfully and durably absorbed. It’s nearly impossible to have an effective diplomatic discussion with someone while your associates are glaring through a pipe, overlooking their own vices, and throwing stones at his brother every time something offends them.

Those of us in the United States of America have the most to lose by continuing to act in this narrow field of vision. Our minds been bombarded with a century of hyper-anthropomorphism, amplified and fed back to us by a commercial entertainment media all too willing to capitalize on the allure of animations and illusions of animals that have exactly the perceptions and values humans have. Our own naivety and arrogance is fed back to us in volume, and our animals suffer for it as we cloud our ability to objectively learn their perceptions, their ethos, their needs for happiness. Stan Eichelberger DVM, once pointed out to me in the lobbies of an American Endurance Ride Conference convention that “Walt Disney has been the cruelest thing that ever happened to animals...”

Read more here:
https://awarewelfare.net/2017/02/12/will-we-throw-stones-from-afar-or-be-a-part-of-the-evolution-of-equestrian-tests/?blogsub=confirming#subscribe-blog


March 17 2017

AERC and USEF Joint Statement Regarding Equine Welfare

March 17 2017

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) join other countries around the world in expressing increasing alarm over continued disproportionate equine deaths, equine doping and catastrophic injuries in National and International events held in Group VII.

The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has previously sanctioned the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with suspensions, rule changes and educational measures. Clearly, further intervention is required, and therefore, the USEF and AERC were very pleased to learn that the FEI is working with new leadership at the United Arab Emirate Equestrian & Racing Federation (EEF) to put in place and ensure compliance with safeguards to protect horses and when warranted, impose tougher and more severe sanctions.

USEF and AERC share strong beliefs and concerns regarding horse welfare and fairness in competition and we recognize that not all Group VII endurance venues are tainted by the lack of respect for horse welfare. Innovations in other regions of the UAE are to be commended.

The USEF and AERC are committed to working together and with the FEI and National Federations worldwide to ensure that the welfare of our horses and fairness in competition in the sport of Endurance is given the highest priority.


March 3 2017

The Rebirth of Endurance Tests - Parts 1 to 10

Awarewelfare.net - Full Article

By John Crandell

Contents

Prologue

The Time Is Now
The Genesis of Modern Endurance
Expansion Across North America
FEI Enters the Scene
Back in the USA
Our Issues are More Alike Than We Realize
A Rebirth Begins
Building Wise Endurance Testing Programs
Roadmap to the Future: Part 1
Creating Healthy Goalposts and Incentives (COMING SOON)

Prologue

Endurance riding was once on the vanguard of equine welfare, generating new definition in the meaning of equine welfare itself. Now that honorable position is obscured under a mountain of saddening imagery on the internet and a growing contempt from other equestrians over the level of equitation and horsemanship displayed at endurance races.

Who’s to blame? We all are, and perhaps especially those of us that have been engaged in the discipline as long as myself. I’ve been endurance racing for over forty years now; long enough to have won two Tevis and Haggin Cups, first to finish at six Old Dominion 100 mile Rides, and FEI championship medals as early as 1986 and as late as 2010. I certainly should have known better, should have spoken out more at the right time way back when. Well, no time like the present.

It’s impossible address the governance issues we’re now facing in a way that guarantees that they’ll never return if we can’t openly identify our collective mistakes that allowed this travesty to develop in the first place. So please notice that as I dissect this calamity of errors, I offend people on both sides of highly polarized positions equally. I have been party to both camps and am therefore as culpable as anyone.

I will show that the root issue here has been brooding for a long time, and goes back to a time before the involvement of the Federation Equestrian International (FEI) and well before the Persian Gulf countries participation in internationally sanctioned endurance racing.

The Time is Now

At this time the entire world, especially the equestrian community, is aware of the alarming spectacle of endurance racing activity in the United Arab Emirates. This has devastated the already fragile reputation of the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), which sanctions these races. The FEI has been supplying the public years of image posturing and repeated announcements that is making “sweeping changes”, but the carnage has continued with its renewed sanctioning.

Meanwhile in the United States the endurance riding disciplines national governing body is in a different kind of downward spiral. The economic demography of the U.S.A. has lured the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) into a dangerous trap. When businesses and organizations here listen to their constituents too democratically what they will always hear most loudly is that “we want more quantity, less cost; and we enjoy being patronized gratuitously”. Following this mandate usually creates economic growth initially, but it then leads to departure from the organizations original purpose, alienation of its original supporters, and declining standards until there is nowhere lower to go in order to acquire new members.

This is written as a warning to other regions with developing equestrian programs not to follow in our footsteps. The following is chronical of the foolish choices we’ve made that led to this mess nationally and internationally. Review this history to learn by our mistakes as the modern endurance riding discipline begins an inevitable rebirth...

Read the full article here:
https://awarewelfare.net/2016/02/28/blog-post-title/


February 27 2017

UAE: BOUDHEIB - DRIVING THE FUTURE OF ENDURANCE

https://www.facebook.com/boudheib/posts/431796127164351

February 25 2016

H.H. Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
11th International Endurance Festival, 6 - 11th March 2017

His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has for many years been concerned by the wonton waste of fine Arabian horses in the sport of endurance here in the region and decided to make changes with the consideration of the 'Welfare of the Horse' at its core.

As a result of recent developments of this sport in the desert regions of the world, speeds have increased from around 18kph in 1998 to current speeds nearing 40kph which exceeds the natural ability of most horses. In order to achieve such speeds, natural dune trails have been replaced by specifically prepared tracks that are maintained hard surfaces. Such tracks were originally necessary in order to preserve any semblance of soundness in horses of these regions, however as speeds continued to increase over the past two decades, so have the countless horse injuries and fatalities!

Sheikh Sultan decided to take a stand by introducing strict rules regulating speed and horse heart rates and so the 'Boudheib Initiative' was born. Returning to natural desert trails which have increased in length to as much as 50% as their Value has been proven time and again in naturally reducing speed and thereby vastly reducing horse injuries. Boudheib is proud to note that the Boudheib Endurance Village hospital is almost always empty, a fine achievement in less than two years.

Each year, to further improve horse welfare standards, His Highness Sheikh Sultan holds an annual Conference during the Boudheib International Endurance Festival, inviting top international speakers from around the globe to participate in sharing views to enhance the rules which are now being requested worldwide.

This year is no exception, the conference Boudhieb Initiative Worldwide is being held on 8th March at Boudheib Endurance Village at Al Khatem, Abu Dhabi, (registration 9.30). The organisers are delighted to announce a top class panel including :- Roly Owers, UK (World Horse Welfare), Melanie Scott, AUS (AERA President), Laurentinus (Franz) Arts, NED (Senior Endurance Vet), Sybille Merkhart North GER (Endurance Event Organiser), Ahmed Samarraie, GER (Holds National Champs), Kevin Croke IRE (FEI 4* Judge), Leonard Liesens, BEL (Head of Endurance), John Crandell, USA (Endurance Promotion), Kseniia Horbunova, Ukraine and Jean-Paul Boudon, FRA (Organiser FLORAC).

Another newly introduced initiative encouraging conference participation from local trainers, riders, owners and breeders is an invitation which has been accepted by celebrity football club Al Jazira. They will spend time discussing training tactics and injury rehabilitation which can be applied to the same training program for endurance horses. Once again Boudheib is making ground breaking progress!

His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan also wants to tackle the future of endurance by educating young Emiratis in the art of true horsemanship and has put in place a series of beginners rides for both the Boudheib Academy Equestrian Centre Riding School under 16's and open events for young riders never having participated in endurance, this wonderful program teaches the youngsters horse welfare from a young age and both the boys and their horses are loving it.

Everyone is welcome, we have a full program of endurance rides and events with the main feature Boudheib Festival Cup 3 day 3* FEI 240km starting on 9th March

Come and enjoy the beautiful natural desert trails unique to Boudheib.

For festival information and timings visit: www.boudheib.ae or social media: - twitter, instagram & facebook @ boudheib


February 17 2017

No more starts for Germany's endurance riders in Dubai

St-Georg.de

[translation]

February 16 2017

After the recent incidents related to the distance races in the United Arab Emirates, the German Olympics Committee for Cavalry (DOKR) has now reacted.

The Executive Board has decided not to grant the German distance race any start-up permits for the participation in international distances in Dubai. If German riders are to take part in national races in Dubai, "the DOKR reserves the right not to nominate them in the future for the Championships or the Bundeskader", the wording in the document of the DOKR and the German Equestrian Federation (FN).

The DOKR goes even further. It calls on German organizers not to invite riders from the United Arab Emirates any more. The activities of the DOKR are expressly supported by the Presidium of the Verein Deutscher Abstandreiter und -fahrer (VDD). In fact, the VDD had even called the FN and the Weltreiterverband FEI to action .

Only two days ago eight other medication cases were known. In addition, in the first months of the year the reports of dead horses , which were killed in the races.

ABU DHABI DELIBERATELY EXCLUDED
Is there a bit of the question, why the start ban is limited to Dubai, where there were also dumped in the other Emirates and dead horses. On request, the press office of the FN said: "We have been looking at the events at which German riders are at all. These are the ones in Dubai as well as in Abu Dhabi. On the basis of our information, efforts are being made in Abu Dhabi to implement the FEI guidelines. Therefore, we deliberately restricted the ban to Dubai. "


February 16 2017

British authorities take action to ‘change mindset’ in endurance

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
16:17 - 16 February, 2017

Endurance GB (EGB) and the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) have today revealed further details about their plans to “change the mindset of trainers and riders competing in this country.”

A new endurance working group will look at “parameters around optimum speed, heart rate and recovery times” to be trialled at Kings Forest (14-16 April), Haywood Oaks (28-30 April), Royal Windsor (12 May), and Euston Park (20-21 May).

The move follows growing global concern about horse welfare in the UAE, and also the involvement of the ruling Al Maktoum family of Dubai who remain involved promoting the summer Euston series.

Last year there was no significant reduction in average winning speeds at Euston by visiting riders from Dubai. Sheikh Rashid Dalmook al Maktoum – currently suspended for an alleged FEI doping offence – won a 120km event at Euston on 13 August with Ajayeb, clocking up a final loop speed of 27.4 kph. At her next outing, the world championships in Samorin, Ajayeb sustained a fatal fracture...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/british-authorities-take-action-change-mindset-endurance-612726#U1gAso001M6iPbLS.99


February 11 2017

One More CI in Dubai President's Cup; 77 of 205 Horses Complete Race

The HH President of the UAE Endurance Cup FEI CEI 3* 160-km endurance race at the Emirates International Endurance Village, Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, concluded today with 77 finishers from 205 starters.

The 8-year-old gelding Dr Indio, ridden by the UAE's Mohammed Humaid Saeed Amer Al Neyadi, was listed as "Catastrophic Injury" on loop 4, bringing to 12 the recorded horse deaths in the UAE this season. Live feed from the FEI 3*** ride clearly shows crewing on course, cars on track, and some extremely underweight horses competing.

UAE swept 8 of the top ten spots, with Saeed Mohammed Kahlifa Al Mehairi winning aboard Shaddad in a scorching 6 hours 20 minutes and 51 seconds.

All top ten riders were awarded cars


February 8 2017

Equestrian Australia Urges FEI to Address Endurance Horse Welfare Issues in UAE

February 6 2017

Addressing the ongoing endurance horse welfare issues in the UAE, Equestrian Australia's Endurance Committee has sent a letter to the FEI urging immediate actions.

EA favors not shutting down endurance in the UAE, because there would be no rules at all to protect horse welfare, particularly if an alternate endurance organization was developed, as has been discussed in the UAE.

The Endurance Committee urges the FEI to immediately address the speed at which endurance horses travel during competition and the suspected practice of nerve-blocking horses. In addition, they suggest the mandatory and immediate implementation of lowered heart rates and shorter present times.

The entire letter can be read here.

Germany Addresses FEI Regarding Endurance Horse Welfare

February 4 2017

The German Endurance Federation sent a letter to the FEI regarding international endurance horse welfare issues.

The letter states:

"We- the Association of German Endurance Riders and Endurance Horse Drivers, Verein Deutscher Distanzreiter und -Fahrer e.V. – hereby disassociate ourselves from every incident connected with endurance rides in which our equine partner is not treated strictly according to the basic standards of animal welfare.

We urge the FEI, using every available means, that all respective incidents worldwide are thoroughly investigated and that the resulting findings are immediately made public and that strict penalties are imposed on those responsible.

It is of paramount importance that endurance riding and animal welfare go hand in hand if we are to ensure the future of our sport."

The letter can be seen here.

Norway Boycotts Group 7 Endurance Rides

8 February 2017

On the basis of a number of negative events in the UAE over the past four weeks with several doping cases and deaths among horses, and stating that horse welfare is of primary concern, the NRYF (Norwegian Federation) has announced that beginning today, Norwegian endurance riders will not compete in any Group 7 countries.

The Danish and the Swedish federations announced the same decision over the previous day.

Read the full text here:
http://www.hestesport.no/web.aspx?page=105234&newsarticle=55749

Statement from Endurance GB and the BEF regarding welfare concerns in the UAE

08 February 2017

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and Endurance GB (EGB) have jointly written to the FEI to express their profound concerns about the further catastrophic incidents to horses competing in the UAE and to call on the FEI to take firm and prompt action to address the recurrence of chronic injuries and unacceptable practices at both Dubai and Al Wathba venues.

EGB have also made it clear that they will not be submitting entries to the forthcoming HH President of the UAE Cup and the Crown Prince Cup in the light of these concerns. In addition, EGB will be writing to British riders based in the Middle East to urge them not to take part in events in Dubai and Al Wathba until confidence in the welfare procedures in place has been restored. EGB is currently considering withdrawing ‘No Objection Certificates’ from those who do intend to compete.

The BEF and EGB recognises the efforts of Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nayhan and the FEI to improve horse welfare in Endurance events through the development of the ‘Boudheib’ protocols where efforts have been made to tailor competition to the challenging natural terrain and environment, and to protect horses from the their impact by prescribing speed and recovery parameters with these in mind. We believe there is the scope for these to be adopted more broadly in the Middle East and in similarly stretching geographies. There is also a need for greater scrutiny of training practices and the degree to which these contribute to the development of pre-existing conditions which lead to chronic injuries in competition.

We recognise that the FEI is taking steps to investigate these extremely distressing events, and to develop measures to address the issues leading to them in the interests of equine welfare. With this in mind, we support their efforts to work with the UAE Federation as a force for change, rather than to separate from them. Nonetheless we believe a visible and decisive step needs to be taken in banning riders and trainers found to be involved in malpractices as a demonstration that these will not be tolerated and that equine welfare is of paramount concern in sustainable competition.


February 7 2017

Sweden and Denmark Will No Longer Send Endurance Riders to UAE

February 7 2017

Af of today, the Swedish Equestrian Federation made the decision to suspend, "until further notice," sending Swedish horses and riders to compete in the Group VII countries in the Middle East. The SEF also announced today that "until further notice" they

The Danish Equestrian Federation also announced this morning its decision that no Danish riders would start in the Group VII countries.

Last year, the SEF, together with organizations in the other Nordic countries agreed disallow competition in the Group VII countries on borrowed horses, although they were allowed to train and qualify and enter their own horses. This is no longer the case.

The original article is here:
http://www.tidningenridsport.se/Tavling/Distansritt/2017/2/Inga-mer-svenskar-till-skandal-landerna/


February 6 2017

BOUDHEIB: FEEDBACK AND CONTINUOUS INNOVATIONS

Prize giving ceremony with no longer "invisible" horses.

2 February 2017
by François Kerboul
FEI 4* Judge, TD & CD
Architect dplg

Now the international specialized press does not any longer use expressions like "group VII" or "UAE" as being entities one cannot divide. Indeed group VII includes very different countries such as the Persian Gulf Emirates, Tunisia, Algeria or Morocco which have nothing in common in the field of equestrian disciplines ...

From now on the press clearly makes the difference between Dubai (DIEC), Al Wathba (ADEC) and Boudheib (BIEV) as it does for all the other countries because it has noticed that various types of management exist. It acknowledges that it has become impossible to consider them as being part of an indivisible entity. It is important and this is not the least victory of Boudheib Endurance.

PRECISIONS ON THE PRESIDENT CUP RIDES

The President Cup competitions for Ladies, Horses Owned by Private Owners and Young Riders are traditionally held in Boudheib (BIEV) while the President Cup for Seniors is managed by ADEC (Al Wathba).

This year the winner of the President Cup for Young Riders (CEIYJ 2* 120km – 21 01 2017) finished the competition with an average speed (FEI) of 18.75 km/h. This speed is relatively common in Europe and elsewhere but it had never been seen before in the region. If we compare this result with the former years, one's note that the average speed of the winners from 2010 to 2015 was 26.61 km/h reaching 28.58 km/h in 2015. We also note that they did increase every season, 2010 being "modestly" 25.65 km/h.

It is also interesting to note that the winner did not exceed 21.53 km/h on his fastest phase. On the contrary the 3rd one ended his ride with a top phase speed of 34.02 km/h, which in 2013means a difference of almost 12.50 km/h with today's.

The speed decrease is significant. It is remarkable moreover when one knows that the President Cup for Young Riders is a kind of explosive cocktail since they are speed lovers, have top quality horses and are eager to win the prizes (even if 70% are for the BECA ranking).

Speed breaks horses. A recent study done by the École Nationale Vétérinaire de Maison-Alfort 's researchers (National Veterinary School of Maison-Alfort – France) based on the ATRM database confirms it once more1:

• Speed is a major factor of risk.
• The presentation time is an important sign of a good condition.

In conclusion of their study they advocate among other solutions:

• to slow down the horses during the competitions;
• to reduce the presentation time.

This is exactly what the Boudheib Protocol (BECA) has been doing for more than one year with convincing results.

The speed of the CEIYJ 2* of the President Cup is low but at the same time the percentage of qualified horse is correct however inferior to the ones of the former CEIs of the season held under the same protocol in Boudheib (respectively 79% and 61%). The noticeable difference is obviously due to the distance since those CEIs were 80 km long.

The distance factor was obviously coupled with a relatively bad management on the tracks. Numerous riders were seen galloping on the natural track as they always do on the prepared "traditional" ones. It increased their horses' tiredness as a result. That is why an unusual number of horses were disqualified due to the incapacity to be presented in time (10%), added to gait irregularities (14.5%) and horses declared "metabolic" (26.9%). One has to note that around half of the latter were above the 56 bpm authorized. 11.6% of the horses were retired by their riders, trainers and/or owners because, if they were, at that time, in good condition they were not fit enough to continue in the same condition according to the BECA parameters.

So one can estimate that around 30% of the horses did not finish the ride, either because they could not match the Boudheib Protocol parameters or because their riders, trainers or owners wished to preserve them...

Read the full article here


February 3 2017

FEI Secretary General Provides Overview of Measures to Address Horse Welfare Issues in Endurance

Inside.FEI.org

3 Feb 2017

The FEI Secretary General has today provided an overview of a series of measures to be implemented by both the FEI and the United Arab Emirates Equestrian Federation to address serious horse welfare issues in UAE Endurance.

In view of the deaths of seven horses in the UAE in the last four weeks, six at national Endurance competitions and one at an FEI event, and today’s news of seven adverse analytical findings, the FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez requested immediate action from the UAE National Federation (NF).

“I asked the UAE National Federation to urgently put in place measures that would specifically address the situation in the UAE and we welcome the speed with which they have responded to these very serious issues”, the FEI Secretary General said. “We have already expressed our concerns that the fatal bone fractures we are seeing in the UAE are possibly the result of over-training and are likely to be pre-existing injuries that haven’t been given sufficient time to heal.

“The studies that the FEI is undertaking and which will be first presented to the Sports Forum and then in more depth during the Endurance Forum in Barcelona on 23 and 24 May will help determine the causes so that actions can be taken to prevent similar tragedies in the future.”

A session dedicated to risk factors and bone injuries in Endurance will be held on the second day (11 April) of the FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne (SUI). Initial findings of the Global Injuries Endurance Study, conducted by Dr Tim Parkin and Dr Euan Bennet of Glasgow University, will be presented and Dr Chris Whitton from the University of Melbourne will present on bone fatigue.

“If, following presentation of the scientific data, there is a clear consensus on immediate actions to be taken, I will propose the use of emergency procedures to speed up the implementation of new rules, as we have done previously when faced with similar issues”, the FEI Secretary General said.

In addition, the FEI will host a series of meetings with trainers and team veterinarians in the UAE specifically to address the high level of catastrophic injuries in the region.

In response to the demand for action from the FEI, the UAE NF has outlined measures that have now been put in place to reduce equine fatalities. These include:

• Requirement for stables involved in equine fatalities to provide full medical history for each horse and any medication administered; details of the horses’ nutritional programmes and training schedules, including the methods used, the hours of training and distances covered, the timing and venue conditions

• A study of each Endurance course in the region, including a detailed assessment of track conditions

• Inspections at all remaining Endurance events in the 2017 UAE season conducted by an expert panel of Endurance course specialists and experienced veterinarians, including the FEI Veterinary Director

• Working directly with local organising committees to investigate equine injuries at their venue

• Increased sanctions for those responsible for injury to horses, including imposing maximum permissible fines (€15,000 per offence) and penalty points

• Expanded scope of individuals that can be held accountable, in addition to trainers and veterinarians

“The new senior management at the UAE National Federation, who met with the FEI President last month, is far more engaged and transparent than the previous administration”, Sabrina Ibáñez said.

“We are hopeful that, through their continuing cooperation with the FEI, together we will make dramatic improvements in addressing the causes of these injuries and the high levels of positives. This is something that needs to be done from the inside out and, while we can and will help from an educational perspective, there needs to be a willingness to improve from within and that now seems to be the case.”

New UAE prohibited substances cases under FEI anti-doping rules

Inside.FEI.org

3 Feb 2017

The FEI has announced seven adverse analytical findings involving prohibited substances in UAE Endurance events. The horses were tested at four different events at the Al Wathba venue in Abu Dhabi.

All seven horses have tested positive to the same four prohibited substances, the stimulant Caffeine and its metabolites Theophylline, Theobromine and Paraxanthine. Equally, Theophylline, used for the treatment of asthma and various respiratory diseases, can be metabolised to Caffeine. One of the horses also tested positive to the corticosteroid Flumetasone, which is used in the treatment of skin disorders.

Theophylline, Caffeine and Theobromine are listed as Controlled Medication and Specified Substances under the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Rules (EADCMRs). Paraxanthine is a Banned Substance under the FEI EADCMRs.

Samples taken at the CEI2* 120-kilometre ladies ride at Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi (UAE) on 26 November 2016 from the horse Rafik de Kerpoint (FEI ID 103ZQ05/UAE), ridden by Amy Louise McAuley (FEI ID 10066318/IRL) tested positive for all four substances.

The horses Castlebar Lightning (FEI ID UAE41150/UAE), ridden by Saeed Sultan Shames Al Maamri (FEI ID 10048603/UAE), Intisaar (FEI ID ESP40786/UAE), ridden by Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum (FEI ID 10034071/UAE) and Mraseel (FEI ID 104ED73/UAE), ridden by Sheikh Sh Hamed Dalmook Al Maktoum (FEI ID 10073722/UAE) in the CEI2* 120-kilometre ride at Al Wathba on 17 December 2016, tested positive for the four substances. The horse Mraseel also tested positive for Flumetasone.

The horse Salam Banquetol (FEI ID 103YG68/UAE), ridden by Abdulla Ghanim Al Marri (FEI ID 10054553/UAE) to finish second at the CEI2* 120 kilometre event at Al Wathba on 24 December, tested positive to all four substances, as did both Tom Jones TE (FEI ID 104ER04), ridden by Abdulla Ghanim Al Marri (FEI ID 10054553/UAE), and Aspenview Amir (FEI ID 104OZ13), ridden by Saeed Ahmad Jaber Al Harbi (FEI ID 10084918/UAE) at the CEI2* 120-kilometre event at Al Wathba on 14 January 2016.

The seven athletes and the trainers Ismail Mohd, Khalifa Ghanim Al Marri and Mohd Ahmed Ali Al Subose have all been provisionally suspended from the date of notification (30 January 2017). The seven horses are also suspended for a two-month period from the date of notification.

Details on these cases are available here and here.

“We take all breaches of the FEI anti-doping regulations extremely seriously and these latest positives demonstrate clearly that those using prohibited substances will be caught”, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said.

“This is the first time that we have suspended the trainers at the same time as the athletes, but when there are multiple breaches by one trainer, it is clear that there is something wrong with the stable management. Suspending the trainers immediately, rather than waiting until the athlete has been prosecuted, confirms that the FEI will not tolerate any attempts to enhance the performance of the horse.”

The FEI Secretary General will give details of measures to be implemented to address horse welfare issues in the region later today.

More here:
http://inside.fei.org/news/new-prohibited-substances-cases-under-fei-anti-doping-rules

Seven endurance horses test positive for doping in UAE



When the drugs don’t work ...



Two members of Dubai's ruling al Maktoum family suspended by FEI



FEI Secretary General provides overview of measures to address horse welfare issues in Endurance

FEI act after positive tests and horse deaths in UAE



Endurance riding in the Middle East


February 2 2017

Australia: AERA Sends Letter of Concern to Equestrian Australia Re: UAE Horse Welfare

January 31 2017

The Australian Endurance Riders Association has sent a letter to Equestrian Australia about their concerns regarding Horse Welfare and the Catastrophic Injuries in the UAE.

Referring to the 8 reported horse deaths due to catastrophic injury in the UAE endurance races in the past few weeks, AERA requests that EA write to the FEI and recommend cancellation of all FEI events, and immediate suspension of the UAE Nat'l Federation for an indeterminate period until further investigations can be conducted.

The full letter can be read here:
http://www.endurance.net/international/UAE/2013FEIControversy/01.2017.AERALetter.jpg

Endurance Death Toll Hits Double Figures


January 30 2017

Endurance events: Six horses die in Dubai


January 26 2017

The UAE Endurance Controversy Continues… 4 Years On

January 26 2017

In a controversy concerning UAE endurance horse deaths, doping, and cheating scandals spanning nearly 4 years, 8 more horse deaths this season (6 in the last month) has prompted AERC President Michael Campbell to pen another letter to USEF on behalf of AERC, strongly condemning the UAE's failure to adhere to horse welfare rules. While great progress has been made in Abu Dhabi, particularly by the Boutheib Initiative, Dubai has failed to show any such improvements.

In the letter, Campbell has urged USEF to register a protest with the FEI in the strongest terms, urging indefinite suspension of the UAE from all endurance competition until the Dubai endurance community can remedy the horse welfare situation. Removal of the 2016 WEC from Dubai, and previous suspension of the UAE from FEI competitions has failed to make an impression on Dubai.

The entire letter can be seen here:
http://www.endurance.net/international/UAE/2013FEIControversy/AERC_Letter_to_USEF_Jan_2017.jpg

The 4 years of documentation of the ongoing UAE controversy can be seen here:
http://www.endurance.net/international/UAE/2013FEIControversy/

Six horses die on Dubai endurance rides in 22 days



Dubai Endurance Remains Problematic As DIEC Venue Reports Five Recent Deaths



UAE: FEI Endurance Rules Under Review Again Following More Horse Deaths

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

January 25, 2017
by: Pippa Cuckson

Two horses sustained catastrophic injuries in a 40km qualifier at Dubai international Endurance City (DIEC) on January 23rd, bringing the total to five deaths at this venue in three weeks, and six since its winter FEI programme recommenced in mid-December.

After three fatalities earlier this month, the FEI met organisers and officials in Dubai. The renewed suspension of rides mentioned by the FEI as a possibility before the talks took place has not eventuated.

Instead the FEI will continue to work with new management at the UAE national federation, while the FEI endurance committee will revisit topics such as age of horse and rider, who can often be younger and less experienced than riders in other regions. It will also look at the “elite rider” status which, unlike other equine risk sports, allows riders in that category to start in championship events on horses they have not ridden before, never mind qualified...

Read more here:
https://www.horse-canada.com/horse-news/fei-endurance-rules-under-review-again-following-more-horse-deaths/

Dubai Endurance Remains Problematic As DIEC Venue Reports Five Recent Deaths



Six horses die on Dubai endurance rides in 22 days



Selling Souls


January 22 2017

UAE: Boudheib Initiative - 120km 2* CEI J/YR Presidents Cup a Success

January 22 2017

The last race in the Boudheib 3 day series of the Presidents Endurance Cup took place Saturday with the final of the 120km 2* CEI Junior Young Riders. Two rides take place within the one challenge using both the FEI rules and the Boudhieb Initative Best Endurance Challenge Award (BECA).

The BECA awards go to Magic Glenn All Dun ridden by Imke Lamsma from the Netherlands with an average speed of 15.602 and total points of 100.81. Magic Glenn is strained by Anzaq Mahmood from Al Maneyah Endurance Stables. Closely followed In 2nd place was Winca on 100.15 points, ridden by Ali Mohammad Al Hammadi and trained by Omar Rashid Al Jarwan from Al Nasr Endurance Stables and in 3rd position came A P Piton ridden by Shannon Cossor on 97.93 points - trained by Anzaq Mahmood from ABH Endurance.

The results are in for the FEI award going to Al Fatin in 1st place with an average speed of 18.750, ridden by Shaikh Hamad Dalmook Juma Al Maktoum trained at the M7 enduranece Stables. 2nd place goes to Tao Du Cavallon ridden by Hassan Jumaa Hassan Al Hamadi, trained by Abdul Kader Abdul Sattar from Al Maghaweer Stables and in 3rd place Willowmere Encore ridden by Ahmed Yousef Al Bloushi, trained by Tahnoun Ahmed Al Bloushi of Nad Al Sheba Stables.

For full details see: atrm-systems.fr


January 21 2017

UAE: Boudheib's Beginners Endurance Rides

Boudheib Initiative Endurance

January 20 2017

Today Boudheib Endurance Village saw the start of yet another initiative endorsed by H.H. Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The Boudheib Academy for young Emirati students launched the first in what is to be a series of 'beginners endurance rides'. The course was set for 12km consisting of 2 loops with a vet check at the 6km stage. The young riders, ranging from 10 to 18 years of age, were charged with saddling their own mounts before setting off in 3 staggered groups at only walk and trot (cantering would amount to disqualification), frequent essential water stops along the way and attending to their horses needs at the finish (no grooms participation allowed).

The ride has been a resounding success, no disqualifications, and a fine time was had by all. On completion one young rider, when asked if he'd enjoyed it said 'it was perfect!". A great experience that these future endurance stars will remember for the rest of their lives and at the same time understanding the respect for their partner, the horse!!

Huge thanks go to Boudheib Academy trainer Kieran Treacey for the care and energy that he put into creating this event and the welfare of both his students and horses - congratulations Kieran.


January 16 2017

FEI imposes two year suspension in endurance case

Inside.FEI.org

16 Jan 2017

The FEI Tribunal has issued its Final Decision in the case involving Dr Pasha Syed Kamaal (IND), identified as support personnel in the 2012 equine anti-doping case of Glenmorgan (FEI ID UAE40813).

Samples taken from the horse, which was ridden by HH Sheik Hazza bin Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan (UAE) in the CEI3* 160 km at Al Wathba (UAE) on 10 February 2012, returned positive for the Banned Substance Propoxyphene, an opioid analgaesic, and its metabolite Norpropoxyphene.

In its Final Decision, the FEI Tribunal has imposed a two-year suspension on Dr Kamaal as a member of the Support Personnel, in accordance with Article 169 of the FEI General Regulations and Article 10 of the Equine Anti-Doping Rules. The period of Provisional Suspension, effective from 16 November 2015, has been credited against the period of ineligibility, meaning that Dr Kamaal will be ineligible through to 15 November 2017.

The Tribunal also imposed a fine of CHF 2,500 and costs of CHF 1,000.

Dr Kamaal has 30 days from the date of notification (13 January 2017) to appeal the decision to the CAS.

The FEI Tribunal had previously imposed a 27-month suspension on HH Sheik Hazza as the Person Responsible. This was reduced to 18 months on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), although the CAS upheld the FEI’s principle of strict liability in the application of its equine anti-doping rules. During the FEI Tribunal and CAS proceedings, Dr Kamaal stated that he had administered the product Fustex to the horse the night before the event. Fustex contains Propoxyphene, although it is not listed as an ingredient.

Following the original case, the FEI issued a communique to stakeholders in July 2015 urging caution over the use of Fustex, an Argentinian product used to promote muscle growth. The communique stated that lack of knowledge regarding the ingredients of Fustex would not be a valid excuse in any equine anti-doping procedures.

Further details on the case can be found here.

Endurance UAE - Good, Bad, and Ugly

Grandprix-replay.com - Full Article

16 January - 10h09 | Lulu Kyriacou

Endurance in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues to make equestrian headlines this week although not only for bad reasons. Although the FEI will be holding urgent talks with the UAE endurance organisers this coming week there was also a lengthy statement from 4* judge Francois Kerboul in support of Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan's Boudhieb Endurance Challenge which is aiming to change the current face of the sport within the Arabic nations.

In total three horses were listed as catastrophically injured during the recent Maktoum Cup meeting at the Dubai Endurance International City, the venue that was deposed as hosts for the 2016 World Championships when horse welfare could not be guaranteed according to the FEI. Since then a further sanction preventing international competition was imposed on the venue and the Maktoum Cup Festival of Endurance was the first CEI 160 to be held after this sanction was lifted. Another horse died during that race, making four at the venue in total and five in the Dubai area in the last three months. According to endurance expert Pippa Cuckson in her latest column for Horse Canada, the FEI are looking into improvements in training regimes as all four of the horses died on the first loop of the rides, leading to a suggestion that the horses may already have been suffering from pre-existing conditions caused by training techniques. It is also just as possible that these sort of injuries are caused by incidents during the mass starts of dozens of horse and it must be asked why the FEI are entering into what amounts to speculation on incidents that are not exactly a rarity.

A spokesperson for the FEI told Cuckson that "The catastrophic injuries that have occurred this season have all been in the first loop, so it suggests that these are pre-existing fractures and that there is a serious issue with training techniques. Data from all events, including national fixtures, is being fed into the Global Endurance Injuries Study (GEIS) and Equi-ratings is also providing the FEI with statistics for surveillance and monitoring.

“The FEI will continue to work closely with the new management at the Emirates Equestrian Federation and a strong course of action will be agreed upon depending on the outcome of these meetings, including a requirement for reduced speeds and heart rates, shorter presentation times to enforce slower speeds and/or potential suspension of CEIs in the calendar.”

​All about the money?

Unfortunately, the FEI can do little to stop large amounts of foreign riders accepting invitations to compete, many of whom are no doubt lured by the €25'000 guaranteed prize money just for completing...

Read more here:
http://www.grandprix-replay.com/uk/article/4359/endurance-uae-good-bad-and-ugly


January 14 2017

BOUDHEIB ENDURANCE HAS DEVELOPED ITSELF AND CARRIES ON

THE NEED FOR COMMUNICATION

After more than one year of existence, the necessity of building a structured communication network has become obvious to convey what is happening in Bouthib.

We have seen and we know that names and designations are not always easily transcribed from one language to another, mainly when different alphabets having nothing in common are concerned (in this case the Arab characters and the Latin ones with English phonetic predominance). This is why the spelling fluctuates between Bouthieb, Boutheib, Bouthib or even Bou Thib according the transcribers' will more or less phonetically right. But if you really wish to communicate, you have to decide which spelling is suitable and stick to it. This is why Sh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan has decided that, from now on, the right spelling in English is "Boudheib", which phonetically speaking is the nearest possible way to write it in English.

Then a logo was created to clearly identify the Organizing Committee and avoid calling it "the one of Bouthieb" or "the organization of Bouthieb", etc.

The official logo of Boudheib Endurance

"Boudheib Endurance" has become the official name of the entity managing and promoting the innovations taking place in Boudheib.

The Bouthieb Protocol has become the "Boudheib Endurance Challenge Award" or "BECA".

But orthography and a name are certainly not enough. Communication is more demanding, otherwise nothing or almost nothing of what one does has a true existence in the eyes of others. Of course, the articles written and distributed throughout the world, with the multiple developments it generates are an efficient means, but it does not replace the other media anchor which penalized the action.

It has now been done with the opening of a Facebook page ("Boudheib Initiative") and a website to come soon (www.boudheib.ae). This website will broadcast the live results of the events taking place in BIEV (official abbreviation of "Boudheib International Endurance Village"), situated among the dunes, next to Al Khatim in the center of Abu Dhabi. These results are at present exclusively broadcasted through the ATRM website which has a worldwide extent and shares the diffusion of the Boudheib Endurance events and will continue doing so.

Being aware that images have a tremendous power on the public, Boudheib Endurance has decided to have the BIEV events broadcasted on a live mode. Broadcasting live by streaming on Internet was preferred to the "traditional" TV process which is heavier to handle, more expensive and has less geographical extent than what the Internet network easily provides. The rides of January 5th and 6th 2017 were a successful test of that mode.

Read the full article here

François Kerboul
FEI 4* Judge, TD & CD
Architect dplg 13 01 2017


January 13 2017

UAE: More Horses Die During Dubai Endurance Rides

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

January 12, 2017
by: Pippa Cuckson

Four horse fatalities in three rides have put endurance organisers in Dubai under threat of further disaffiliation from FEI competition.

Urgent meetings will take place in Dubai next week, where the FEI is expected to insist on tougher measures to reduce high speeds. Two of the four horses died in a single ladies’ ride on January 4th, both from the same barn. The FEI has also taken the unprecedented step of suggesting the fatalities could result from pre-existing fractures due to training techniques.

All four catastrophic injuries occurred at Sheikh Mohammed’s Dubai International Endurance City on December 12th, January 4th and January 7th. DIEC had only started staging FEI rides again in December, after the FEI imposed a seven-month moratorium on considering schedules for any type of event from DIEC. Last April, the FEI also removed the 2016 world championship event from DIEC, on the grounds that “horse welfare could not be guaranteed.”

A FEI spokesman said: “The FEI is extremely concerned that there have been a number of in-competition endurance fatalities in the UAE this season and has put in place a series of urgent high level meetings in Dubai next week to discuss the current issues...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/horse-news/more-horses-die-during-dubai-endurance-rides/


January 7 2017

Shut it Down. Right Now.

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | January 6, 2017

If you want just a glimmer of understanding about what officials are up against in UAE endurance, watch this interview during a FEI ride at Dubai International Endurance City (DIEC) on Wednesday (January 4th).

[video]

It’s nine minutes of hysterics in both senses, from the shrillness of the discussion to the content which would be hilarious if it not so serious. It is a snapshot of the institutionalised disrespect for sporting authority in that region. It is also just a tiny component of the overwhelming evidence that, despite efforts to reform in recent years, desert racing has no business whatsoever sitting alongside properly regulated disciplines within the FEI family.

I have never seen anything like this shouting match between a TV presenter – from endurance specialists YAS Sport – and a senior judge in my 35 years reporting top level equestrianism. You’d almost be forgiven for thinking the cheaters are somehow the injured parties.

Hats off to the ground jury president for valiantly standing his ground regarding the process of fair play, horse welfare, and that he can’t know about rule-breaking that does not happen in front of his own eyes if he is not told about it – endurance isn’t exactly a contained arena sport!

The topic is less significant than the anarchic attitude, though this spat happened to be about ear-plugs, banned under FEI rules since January 2016. Their routine use, in tandem with extreme blinders, is a symptom of shoddy preparation. The trainers need another way to cocoon novice horses from the chaos of a mass start where they may be knocked about by other equally inexperienced horses piloted by people of limited skill.

Some readers may recall the picture that went viral after the 2015 President’s Cup, of the horse wearing taped-shut blinders and earplugs. He turned out to be one of the 500-odd “starters” in the “phantom rides” scandal. He was not, in reality, qualified to start the 160km President’s Cup. For all we know, that was his first ride ever.

The ear-plug ban is yet another FEI rule of which participants claim to be either unaware, notwithstanding their status as “professional” trainers at the premier UAE barns, or aware but proud to ignore. At this far from lady-like ladies’ ride at DIEC, the YAS presenter is claiming trainers cheerfully admitted to sending out horses in ear-plugs (also referred to as “blocks”). Yet, incredibly, the trainers reckon it’s the ground jury, not the trainers, who are at fault for catching and punishing some of the ear-pluggers, but not the others!...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/shut-it-down-right-now/


January 6 2017

Endurance - Log In! 'Boudheib Initiative' joins facebook

Endurance riders & horses enjoying natural tracks through the UAE's forestry reserves, unique to Boudheib.

4.1.2017

We are delighted to announce the launch of the new Boudheib Initiative facebook page.

Join us in our cause for the 'welfare of the endurance horse' and returning the sport of endurance back to its origins.

For results, debate, rules, events live streaming, current topical conferences, protocol issues & ideas and lots more besides. See you online.

Happy New Year from His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and all of us at the Boudheib Initiative team.

www.boudheib.ae (arriving soon)


January 6 2017

Dubai: Dead horses at a distance race - St-georg.de


January 5 2017

LADIES RACE KILLS TWO MORE HORSES - Grandprix-replay.com