Friday, October 24, 2008

Malaysia WEC: Brazil withdraws

Oct 25, 2008

The Brazilian Federation has withdrawn its team from the FEI World Endurance Championship 2008.

Following an equine death from glanders(*) at the Sau Paulo Veterinary University, the EU posed a six month transi ban on receiving equines that originated from Brazil. Since all horses from South America must transit through Europe on their way to Malaysia this ban adversely affected the Brazilian horses. Eventually the ban was modified to apply to only 'at risk' zones which included Sau Paulo. This now permitted the Brazilian team horses, which were in a 'risk free' zone outside of Sau Paulo to be transported to Malaysia via Frankfort, but only from the South American port of Buenos Aires, Argentina, since Sau Paulo was off limits.

The Brazilian Federation horses were finally cleared to be shipped, but due to administrative delays in the various agencies, the soonest arrival that could be scheduled was for November 5. This was determined to be too late for competition horses to arrive considering that the total transit time from Brazil to Malaysia would be at least four days.

In addition to the Brazilian Federation horses, two other competitors whose horses resided in Brazil will also be withdrawn: South African rider Carmen Du Preez and her horse Nag Sharon Bez, and UK rider Dominique Freeman and her horse Roger HCF.

*Glanders is an important infectious equine disease of imposing antiquity. It is endemic in Brazil, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, and some other countries. While glanders is considered endemic in some northern and north-eastern areas of the country, this case occurred in the southeastern portion of Brazil. The contagious disease has been eradicated from many countries, including the United States, Canada and Western Europe.

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