Abigail Butcher, H&H news editor
31 July, 2009
Top international endurance vets are to assist organisers of the Mongol Derby in ensuring the welfare of horses involved in what is being dubbed the "longest, toughest horse race in the world".
Last week, H&H reported on the international row that had broken out over concerns that the welfare of 700 horses taking part in the 1,000km race would be compromised (news, 23 July).
But since then, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has stepped in to offer elite veterinary assistance to organisers, via the Mongolian government.
On Friday, 24 July, Ian Williams, head of non-Olympic sports for the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) met with Mongol Derby organisers on a "fact-finding" mission for the UAE.
"The UAE expressed a wish to provide high-level veterinary care, so we wanted a full briefing on provisions for the horses," he told H&H.
"It hasn't been finalised, but the UAE would like to provide a mobile equine hospital, along with international endurance vets to assess the horses before they race, and as they arrive at the urtuus [stations]."