Saturday, February 19, 2011

From World Games to World Stage: Equestrian-Friendly Royal Families and Turmoil in the Middle East

Equisearch - Fran Jurga Blog
February 18 2011

Maybe you’re not a newshound like me. All this Middle Eastern political news might leave you cold. You don’t know these people, you think. And you never will. Does it matter?

I think it does matter. It matters in the big picture of the world, of course. The unrest is disturbing, and violence distressing.

But on a much more personal level, there’s a lot to be said for some high stakes in horse sports riding in the balance, as political unrest in the region spills into the Gulf states with the violence in Bahrain. The high stakes cover four areas that I can think of immediately: the breeding of Arabian horses, the breeding and racing of Thoroughbreds, the sport of endurance and the executive office of the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI).

Take the current crisis in Bahrain, for instance; for the past year or so, I have been following an outbreak of the disease called glanders in that island nation. That research led me to learn about the horse breeding program there, and the endurance team. As this political crisis took over the news, veterinary authorities were set to inspect every horse in the kingdom in order to declare the country free of glanders. No horses have been allowed off the islands during a long quarantine...

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