Tuesday, January 22, 2008

European endurance champion loses title for medication offence

Horse & Hound - Full Article

Charlotte White, H&H deputy news editor Horse & Hound
22 January, 2008

Open European endurance champion Mubarak Khalifa bin Shafya has been stripped of his title after his horse Zakah Zahara tested positive for a banned substance at the championships in Portugal last September.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) pairing had been promoted to first place in the Open Qatar Challenge after first rider over the line Sultan Bin Sulayem and Nashmi did not pass the final vetting.

But Zakah Zahara tested positive for a medication offence. French rider Jean Phillipe Frances and Hanana Du Bois have been promoted to first place.

There is no suggestion that Zakah Zahara was doped to gain an advantage.

An International Equestrian Federation spokesman said: "In these fast track cases as long as the rider pays a fine plus costs there is no further sanction, other than their withdrawal from the competition.

"Competition horses should not be taking any medication and this rule is in place to stop horses competing while ill or recovering from illness. In this case there was still some medicine in the horse's system."

Mubarak Khalifa Al Shafya is the manager and trainer of the Al Asaafa Endurance Stables, owned by Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

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