Monday, December 30, 2013

Ecuador: Rider warned, horse owner banned in doping case - Full Article

By on Dec 29, 2013

Young Ecuadorian rider Daniela Moreno has received a formal warning after the horse she was assigned to ride in an FEI-sanctioned event tested positive for phenylbutazone and flunixin.

The breeder who rented the horse to her copped a two-year ban and was fined 2000 Swiss francs (CHF), plus costs...

Read more here:

Friday, December 27, 2013

UAE: Emirates Endurance Championship will be held in Al Wathba next Saturday - Full Article

By Wam
Published Thursday, December 26, 2013

In implementation of the directives of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and President of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, the Emirates Endurance Championship will be held at Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba next Saturday.

The 120-km race is organised by the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club in cooperation with Emirates International Endurance Village...

Read more here:

Monday, December 23, 2013

Emirates Racing Authority Cracks Down on Medications in UAE - Full Article

December 10, 2013
By Pamela@horsereporter

December 10, 2013, Dubai ~ In a continuing effort to ensure the safety of horses and riders, Emirates Racing Association (ERA) Stewards are delivering messages through fines for medication and other types of infractions found in the UAE racing world. The message was delivered by John Zucal, ERA Chief Steward, that a recent inquiry into a report received from the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory proved that the prohibited substance ibuprofen had been detected in the post-race urine sample taken from DEVDAS (IRE) after it competed and ran second in Race 2 the Emirates Holiday (1400metres) at Meydan on 7 November 2013. This finding has been confirmed by the Singapore Turf Club Laboratory.

Evidence was taken from Mr. Ernst Oertel, trainer of DEVDAS (IRE), Veterinarian Dr. Louise Barbesgaard, Central Veterinary Research Laboratory Chief Analyst Mr. Peter Albert and ERA Head Veterinary Officer, Dr. David Sykes...

Read more here:

Friday, December 20, 2013

FEI: AERC BOD Provides Recommendations to ESPG's Proposed Plans

December 19 2013

On November 7, 2013, following the FEI General Assembly in Montreux, Switzerland, the Endurance Strategic Planning Group (ESPG) circulated their “plan on a page” for proposed changes within FEI to correct and reform the current egregious issues in regards to equine injuries, fatalities and positive drug tests within the endurance discipline. During a subsequent conference call with the AERC Board of Directors, it was requested by Joe Mattingly, Vice President of USEF and Chair of the High Performance Endurance Committee, that AERC’s Board of Directors provide their specific recommendations in regards to the ESPG’s proposed plan.

The below list is in response to that request.

• Commitment to change. Above all, AERC is concerned as to whether there is a true commitment to change and reform within FEI infrastructure, rather than just rhetoric and “words on a page”. While we understand that some proposed changes may take more than a few months to show measurable improvement, we recommend an immediate demonstration of commitment through a change of leadership within FEI, and especially within the endurance leadership of FEI, that will demonstrate and symbolize FEI’s dedication towards correcting the increasing international perception of compromised integrity within FEI.

• Transparency of equine fatalities. AERC sets an example of transparent reporting of all known equine fatalities related to or occurring during competition. Moreover, AERC subsidizes necropsies for all those fatalities to more completely understand underlying causes of death. We recommend that FEI adopt similar policies, and that results of those fatality investigations be openly published on their website. Additionally, we request that FEI endurance fracture statistics be similarly reported to the general public, scientific and veterinary community.

• Major penalties for responsible individuals, not excluding rider, veterinarian, trainer, owner and stable for infractions of FEI rules and FEI code of conduct. If both riders and owners or stables are sanctioned and prohibited from participating with any horse for a significant period of time following rule infraction, even to the extent of a permanent ban, then steps will be taken by those in the position of authority to ensure all personnel under their influence take care to stringently comply with rules. The results of all disciplinary hearings, sanctions and penalties should be made publicly available. We further recommend that any prize money and placings be forfeited as a mandatory result of rule infraction, and that fines be levied that significantly exceed prize monies.

• Extensive drug testing at major competitions. We recommend increased and extensive drug testing at any FEI ride which is 2* or above, as well as any FEI rides involving substantial prize money or awards.

• Limited competitors per team. We strongly recommend repealing the recent rule change that allows more horses per team, of which the results of only the top three are counted towards awards. This rule contradicts the commitment to equine welfare, as it promotes the ability to compete numerous horses as expendable commodities, rather than striving towards the goals of high completion rates amongst the entirety of the team. As such, we recommend that each team be limited to a maximum of four riders, of which the top three members will count towards a team score, and all four stand on the podium if medaling.

• Certificate of Capability. We recommend that time requirements to qualify for a COC be a reflection of the technicality of the individual course, as opposed to a set and immobile time for distance, regardless of terrain. We are concerned that in response to current requirements, FEI endurance racing has evolved to emphasize courses that are essentially extended flat track courses in order to maximize speed. This has resulted in an increase in the frequency and type of serious injuries to horses previously only associated with flat-track thoroughbred racing. We recommend that COC requirements be redirected to include and emphasize more technical courses, including the practices that allow successful and safe negotiation of difficult terrain.

• Disciplinary action. FEI officials are obligated to promptly investigate and respond to reported rule infractions occurring at events. Officials failing to do so will be severely sanctioned, suspended and/or otherwise removed from officiating duties and opportunities.

• Crewing from moving vehicles. Horses may not be assisted or accompanied in any manner during competition by one or more moving vehicles. Not only does this practice endanger all participants within the immediate area, but doing so also constitutes ‘hazing’ of the target horse to unfairly increase its speed. Crews violating this rule will result in the immediate disqualification of the horse and rider with which they are associated.

• Sponsorship Entities providing significant financial support to the event that constitute a conflict of interest may not be provided with special privileges or allowances as a result of their sponsorship. No VIP passes may be given that allow an unfair advantage to the associated team, or otherwise interferes with the assurance of a level playing field for all participants.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Alltech Salutes the Horse and the Global Equestrian Community


[LEXINGTON, Ky.]  – Together, with the FEI, Alltech, a leader  in optimal animal health, nutrition and performance, celebrates its allegiance to the horse today with the equestrian community around the world. The FEI has proposed that December 13 be designated the International Day of the Horse, paying homage to horses’ contribution to the global economy, cultural heritage and sport. It is hoped that the official designation will be granted by the United Nations in 2014, quite appropriately the Chinese Year of the Horse.

Alltech has been providing natural nutritional solutions to the equine world since 1980. Now, 33 years later, Alltech technologies can be found in horse feeds and horse supplements spanning the globe. They have fed champions on the racetrack, in Olympic arenas and smallholdings alike – all with equal care. Alltech’s equestrian sport sponsorship, including the Alltech National Horse Show; The Alltech Christmas Puissance at Olympia, the London International Horse Show; the Royal Windsor Grand Prix, the European Jumping and Dressage Championships; and, the most prestigious equestrian event in the world, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian GamesTM 2014 in Normandy, represents its commitment to equestrian sport and peak animal performance through natural nutrition.

“The greatness associated with crowning eight world championships during the Games embodies the Alltech values of performance and excellence, achievable in humans and animals through natural nutrition,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, Alltech’s founder and president.

Alltech’s expertise in equine nutrition began when its Yea-Sacc® became the first yeast approved for use in horses by the EU. Alltech has continued to seek to improve the horse’s health and performance through its dedicated in-house equine research center, which was launched in 2009, as well as through global research alliances. In March 2013, Alltech initiated a three-year strategic research alliance with France’s leading equine academic institute, AgroSup Dijon, to accelerate advances in the prevention of equine digestive health disorders.

Alltech’s equine research includes natural innovations such as Bio-Mos® and the application of DHA from algae.  
“Today Alltech technologies can be found in many of the top horse feeds and horse supplements globally, and Alltech’s own LIFEFORCE Range optimizes equine performance by helping create a healthy digestive system to maximize nutrient absorption,” said Clare Fahey, Alltech’s global equine and pet marketing manager.

To further the international excitement for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian GamesTM 2014 in Normandy, Alltech has created an exclusive sales and marketing program permitting 40 Alltech Official Partners from more than 33 countries, to differentiate their feeds with brand marks linked to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy.

Alltech’s abiding support of the horse and horse lover is also communicated through its Equine Heroes program, which recognizes those who go the extra mile to help others enjoy the fruits of their equine endeavours. Alltech’s Facebook page, Equine Hero, provides the opportunity to nominate heroes and share stories that celebrate all those who work behind the scenes to support the equestrian community.

“Revered throughout the world for their beauty and majestic power, horses have played an integral role in our cultures since the beginning of time. They’ve been our transportation, our cavalry, our industry and our inspiration,” said Dr. Lyons. “So, it’s quite fitting that we set aside a day to specifically honor the horse and the vibrancy it continues to bring today to our global economies and our lives.”

Press Contacts:
Susanna Elliott, Alltech PR; +1 859- 473-2696

Marcelle Rousseau,
Equine Sponsorship and PR; 06 72 39 79 59

FEI Endurance Rankings: USA Horses and Riders Top Young Rider Lists


Germany's Sabrina Arnold retained the FEI Open Riders World Endurance Ranking in first place as of 11/30/2013. France's Virginie Atger is second, and UAE's Abdulla Ghanim al Marri is in third. USA's Cheryl Van Deusen ranks in the top ten in 7th place.

Sweden's Maria Hagman-Eriksson and Al Tayar top the Open Combination World Endurance Ranking, with Toshiaki Hirohashi and Lucky in second. Cheryl Van Deusen and EBS Regal Majjaan rank third.

In the Open Horse World Endurance Ranking, Maria Hagman-Eriksson's Al Tayar is in first place, followed by WT Diego (ridden by Japan's Hiromi Kitaike), with Japan's Lucky in third. Cheryl Van Deusen's EBS Regal Majjaan is ranked 5th.

Uruguay's Maria Pereira tops the Young Riders World Endurance Ranking, with Argentina's Manuela Basombrio in second, and Uruguay's Joaquin Stirling third. Three USA Young Riders are in the top ten: Christina Kimery in 6th, McCamey Kimbler in 7th, and Taylor White in 8th.

In the Young Riders Combination World Endurance Ranking, USA's Taylor White and Hoover the Mover (owned by Cheryl Van Deusen) rank first. Chile's Paula Llorens Clark and Sandek are second, with Uruguay's Frederic Maidana and JQ Zarial third. USA's Christina Kimery and Rohara Royale+ are ranked fifth.

USA horses hold the first two spots in the Young Riders Horse World Endurance Ranking. Rohara Royale+ is first, and Hoover the Mover is second. Chile's Sandek is in third.

For complete rankings, see

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Australia: EA and AERA forge relationship ahead of the 2014 World Equestrian Games

5 November 2013
EA and AERA forge relationship ahead of the 2014 World Equestrian Games

Equestrian Australia (EA) and the Australian Endurance Riders Association (AERA) have reached an agreement which will see EA assume responsibility for the administration of FEI endurance riders and officials.
A key feature of the agreement will see EA appoint a National Performance Director for endurance as well as develop a national High Performance program for the discipline which is intended to assist those riders vying for team selection to next year’s World Equestrian Games.
In a bid to align international endurance competition in Australia with the international standards implemented by the FEI, Australian endurance riders participating in FEI events will now also need to become members of EA which extends their benefits through insurance as well as high performance opportunities.
FEI endurance officials are also set to benefit with the agreement to allow international officials an opportunity to participate in the full range of relevant EA courses across the Oceania region. Equestrian Australia CEO Mr Grant Baldock is pleased an agreement between the two organisations could be forged in the lead-up to the 2014 World Equestrian Games (WEG).
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with AERA that will make it easier for riders competing at FEI level. As EA is Australia’s direct link to the FEI, this move will make it easier for riders and officials who wish to compete and officiate at FEI events”.
“Equestrian Australia looks forward to working collaboratively with AERA to field a strong team at next year’s World Equestrian Games and the formation of a high performance program for endurance will give Australian riders the best possible chance for success at Normandy.”
Australia has won more World Equestrian Games medals in Endurance than in any other discipline including one silver and two bronze medals.
The agreement also allows clubs affiliated with AERA state branches to conduct FEI endurance events. Further, endurance riders wishing to compete at an FEI event will need to hold applicable EA membership with their respective state and their horse will also require appropriate FEI documentation.
For more details on the exact requirements for Australian endurance riders, events, officials and clubs – click here.
President of AERA Mr Tom McCormack said, “The AERA is pleased to have concluded the Agreement with EA. The agreement provides a clear and direct pathway for those AERA members pursuing International representation, whilst still providing access for those members simply wishing to compete within the FEI framework. The appointment of a National Performance Director and a High performance program is a major initiative which will directly benefit all members of the Australian Endurance community over time”.
The first matter of business will be for the organisations to elect a National Endurance Committee which will be charged with the task of developing a framework for the discipline moving forward. Individuals wishing to nominate for this committee can do so by completing the nomination form available HERE

Saturday, December 14, 2013

FEI: Tougher bans for riders could be on the way - Full Article

December 13 2013

Suspended riders may struggle to sustain a living in the horse industry if the FEI adopts the revised WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) code effective from 2015.

To date, most equestrians cope with doping bans by continuing to teach, produce and sell horses, and can spectate at FEI events. But WADA’s newly approved article 2.10 forbids anyone competing in elite sport having “professional association” with suspended persons.

WADA is also increasing the minimum ban for most offences from two years to four...

Read more here:

Friday, December 13, 2013

Malaysia: SEA GAMES: Details Behind Our Double Gold - Full Article

12 December 2013

NAYPYITAW: From a stable boy to a SEA Games champion. Kuala Terengganu-born Mohd Sulaiman Muda will leave Naypyitaw as a double SEA Games gold medallist after riding to victory in the 80km equestrian endurance event at the National Equestrian Centre in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

The riders went for a double strike to bring Malaysia’s gold medal tally to five ahead of the official opening of the Myanmar Games with Abdul Halim Alihan and Asri Abdul Aziz joining him to bring their horses across the finish line for the team title.

This is the first time that the discipline is being included in the SEA Games since 2001 in Kuala Lumpur when Datuk Awang Kamaruddin Abdul Ghani galloped his way to the country’s first gold medal.

Endurance equestrian is usually held at night in the region due to cooler temperatures and to avoid the horses getting dehydrated.

Despite being presented with local-bred horses by the organisers, Sulaiman managed to bring his stallion under control and he eventually passed the Indonesian challengers with one loop to go...

Read more here:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Myanmar: SEA Games: Two golds from 80km endurance - Full Article

NAYPYITAW: From a stable boy to a SEA Games champion. Kuala Terengganu-born Mohd Sulaiman Muda will leave Naypyitaw as a double SEA Games gold medallist after riding to victory in the 80km equestrian endurance event at the National Equestrian Centre in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

The riders went for a double strike to bring Malaysia’s gold medal tally to five ahead of the official opening of the Myanmar Games with Abdul Halim Alihan and Asri Abdul Aziz joining him to bring their horses across the finish line for the team title.

This is the first time that the discipline is being included in the SEA Games since 2001 in Kuala Lumpur when Datuk Awang Kamaruddin Abdul Ghani galloped his way to the country’s first gold medal...

Read more here:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Myanmar: 'Wild' horses setback for Malaysia - Full Article

December 10 2013

MALAYSIA'S chances of clinching a medal in the equestrian endurance event suffered a major setback when they were presented with skittish local-bred horses for the event yesterday.
The majority of the horses provided by the hosts appeared very edgy upon presentation to the team officials and media with one even managing to escape from its handler at the Wunna Theikdi Equestrian Centre in Naypyitaw.
The national team were also unlucky to draw one of only three stallions in the 12-horse field in addition to two mares and a gelding. Mares are generally the best gender of horse for the event due to their more obedient characteristics followed by geldings and stallions.
Team manager Che Mat Din Ismail said the riders will have to bank on their experience if they are to eke out a result overnight.
"The best breed for endurance racing is the Arab breed which is what we use back home. We are not familiar with this breed and do not know if they are purely local or if they have been cross-bred," said Che Mat.
"The horses look quite nervous and a bit wild which is generally not good for an endurance event as it will use up more of their energy...

Read more here:

Arabian Racing returns to Brazil after More than a Decade - Full Article

November 21, 2013
By Pamela@horsereporter

November 21, 2013, Sao Paulo, Brazil ~ The Grand Prix National or GP NACIONAL DO CAVALO ARABE ran on Sunday November 10, 2013 at the Sao Paulo race track.This was the third time since 2002 Arabians raced in Brazil, as the first race took place this year on September 30. The second was Premio Haras Sahara on Oct 27, which started the rivalry between Atentaddo V, who won that day, over Thunder Rach in the 1200m dirt race...

Read more here:

Important Changes to USEF and FEI Drugs & Medications Rules for Competition Horses Will Affect the 2014 Competition Year - Full Article

By Pamela@horsereporter

November 26, 2013 -From the USEF Communications Department ~

Prohibited Practices

A new category of rules referred to as Prohibited Practices has been introduced to the USEF Rule Book which will take effect December 1, 2013. The first rule to be adopted in this category is commonly referred to as the “12 Hour Rule“. It was introduced in March of 2013 by the USEF Veterinary Committee and following extensive feedback from USEF Technical Committees, Working Groups, and from attendees at USEF Town Hall Meetings held in Florida in March, and via interactive webcast in June, the USEF Board of Directors at their mid-year meeting approved the proposal which is printed in its entirety here:

GR 414 Prohibited Practices:...

Read more here:

Sunday, December 08, 2013

FEI: Two more doping cases under the UAE's belt

4 December 2013
Leonard Liesens

Normally the endurance news should be a bit lethargic in this time. Nope... It isn't!

The TWO WINNERS of the Zakrzow endurance in Poland which took place in october have been listed as positive in the FEI list of doping cases. The must tear their hair out at the FEI in Lausanne.

Two horses from the UAE, both from the Mohamed al Subooshi stables are listed. The first on the 160km, U Violino ridden by Moh Ahmed Bin Suroor Al Mazrooi. The second, Cinnamon Sky with on board Saeed Hamoud Saeed Al Khayari. Respectively winner of the 160km and the 120YR.

It is weird that the FEI on-line ranking have not been updated as these horses are still the winners of these events. If the FEI has some trouble with the IT-equipment or IT-projects, there are many good companies that we could recommand.

Linked information : FEI-Admin-sanctions

UAE: Ali Yousuf Hussain Al Hammadi’s moment of glory in National Day Cup - Full Article

Mohammad attends 120km event at Endurance Village

By N.D. Prashant, Staff Reporter
Published: 19:33 December 7, 2013

Abu Dhabi: Ali Yousuf Hussain Al Hammadi rode Niac Armor superbly in the last two loops of the 120-kilometre National Day Cup endurance ride to clinch a two-second victory at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Saturday.
Al Hammadi, on the 12-year-old grey Anglo-Arab mare, started the final stage of the 16km loop at first spot but was closely followed by Shaikh Rashid Dalmouk Juma Al Maktoum on Mureib. However, Al Hammadi, who rides for the Al Wathba Stables, hung on to stave off the challenge.

Mureib’s MRM stablemate Printemps de Marot, ridden by Shaikh Hamed Dalmouk Juma Al Maktoum, settled the third spot...

Read more here:

Saturday, December 07, 2013

UAE: Dh500,000 up for grabs in National Day ride - Full Article

120km Al Wathba endurance event attracts 150 entrants

By N.D. Prashant, Staff Reporter
Published: 17:09 December 6, 2013

Abu Dhabi: More than 150 riders have confirmed their participation in Saturday’s National Day Cup endurance ride to be held at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba.

The National Day Cup is a CEI two-star event with a 16-year history.

Top riders from the UAE and some international riders will run over 120km for a prize fund of Dh500,000. The winner will take home a large share of the total prize money, a four-wheel drive car, a Rolex watch and a painting from the Schubel Gallery...

Read more here:

Thursday, December 05, 2013

FEI: The ESPG proposals... Why will that not work

by Leonard Liesens
December 1 2013

Even if we have been very sarcastic at the time of the cration of the ESPG group, we have to admit that the message some of their members delivered at Montrex was strong. Strong against the FEI who was passive in this case, strong against the authors of cheating and horse abuses.

Now the very nice Powerpoint presentations are now followed by questionnaires sent to the federations, with actions to be taken on short- and long tem. Once the replies will have been analyzed, after meetings, after one forum, updates and amendments, after the FEI Bureau, after the drafting of the season is over in the Middle East at that time.

All good, but all these actions are defined to cure a patient from sicknesses he doesn’t admit. The patient – or maybe better the guilty- of course are of course the Middle East stables. But this patient doesn’t live, doesn’t act and react, doesn’t think like us the Westerners. Even if these countries have embraced the worst excesses of our civilization, it is not sure they adopted our values. Our cultures are different, our political systems do not compare.

Things will not be changed by –even drastic- regulation changes. They are used to be obeyed, to request, to work around, to buy and corrupt if necessary , to be capricious. First they were colonized, then surrounded by courtesans. Now they buy everything: companies, horses, football clubs, officials.

Forget about it !

Do we believe that some officials incorruptible will lay dawn laws in the Gulf? We are making a big mistake. Possibly, some competitions in Europe will enforce a strict regulation, but let’s forget about putting that in place on events sponsored by the Middle East.

Eventually, who is forcing us to change a well-working regulation? The three countries from Middle East. These changes will have consequences on 90% of the riders and federations of the world, and first in Europe where are most of the endurance riders. Without this eventual new regulation forcing the Middle East stables to change their way of considering endurance. More bureaucracy is introduced with the new trainers ranking, with the database of accidents. More reasons for the FEI to present excuses for not taking action.

The notion of ‘trainer’ (see the slideshow of Saeed al Taher who didn’t even make the effort to come in Montreux) and the correlated changes in the regulation put forward by the later do not concern us. Who knows a rider in Europe not training his horses by himself? We don’t care about this concept. This proposal if the obvious evidence that the UAE do not want changing their system of endurance racing. This is not even endurance anymore. This is long distance flat racing! They adopted exactly the same structure as flat racing: owners, stables, trainers, jockeys and lads. In case of abuse, that will be the poor Pakistani trainer who get his ass kicked and will be sent back to his country, not the local one who pulls the strings! This one will remain in the shade and of course unsanctioned. The ESPG is not made of idiots and they know that perfectly.

The system for reporting fractures and accidents and fatalities is a bureaucratic monster. It will just pull the wool over the eyes of the 'naives'. Tee ESPG doesn't say how the data will be processed, who wil do, in which delay. Nothing about any sanction that should normally follow and be examined by the tribunal. No word about a 'supreme court' to control what's going on inside FEI. A 'supreme court' staffed by representatives of riders, officials, veterinarians, organizers should receive a copy of all data to make sure there is a follow-up. Too many cases transmitted by TD or Foreign Vet have finished in the bin or have been lost or declared invalid. Recent examples? (2013) Eclipse euthanized after Tarbes WEC2013. The horse has been injected during the competition. This has been withnessed and reported by a letter. No post-mortem, no doping control. Django de Vere euthanized after a joke of a race in Italy. No post-mortem, no action taken by the FEI. (2012) Three fatalities in France. Post-mortem have been done by veterinarians and the reports were damning. No reaction from FEI.

So what to do then to make our sport clean ?

1. Let them do what they want in the Gulf as long as they do not export their manners. Make their events non-FEI ones like CEN or others ; linking endurance racing with the racing industry would be perfect
2. Develop a global sponsoring model for endurance, like it exists for other equestrian disciplines; FEI should take action as it has been done with Longines for example; Championships must not be sponsored anymore by dummy companies (Meydan or Emirates Airline for example), which would give the free reins to the organizers
3. Put into practice one part of the ESPG actions : everything relating to the officials and thir probity and their capability to sanction without default the abuses and all excesses generated by the Middle East stables since a decade (grooms’ armada, wild and unauthorized crewing, disrespect of nature, VIP area, flat course, Elite statute, etc.)
Putting under scrutiny the events where Middle East countries are taking part :
4. a. No VIP statute to anyone – no access to VIP areas for riders during the event (there is no reason for giving an advantage over other competitors ; is this taking place in other sports ?) – no VIP cars on the trail except if accompagnied by steward – no special grooming and resting area
b. Appointement of incorruptible and intransigeant stewards capable of showing immediately YELLOW CARDS to riders not respecting the rules
c. Grooming area managed by the organizer. Shareable water tanks to be permanently filled-up by the organizers and limited in size and number. Access regulated by stewards. Only one liter bailer allowed. Only three grooms (wearing one bib with the horse number) are allowed. The slightest breach to be sanctioned by an immediate YELLOW CARD.
d. Only one or two crewing points per loop. Crewing only with one liter bailers and buckets distributed by the organizer. Crewing by the three grooms wearing the bibs with the horse number. Strict enforcement by stewards showing YELLOW CARDS at the slightest infraction.
e. Horses in the stables at least 48 hours before the start. No needle allowed during the 48 hours preceding the start (no fluids, no ‘vitamins’, no ‘protectors’, nothing, nada, niente). Immediate elimination in case of violation of the rule and transmission to the FEI Tribunal for further sanctions.
f. Strict limitation of the access to the field of play : start/finish, grooming area, vetgate area, exit of vetgate, rest area. YELLOW CARD showed to the rider in case of people breeching the rule (Are we allowing people walking on the show-jumping arena? Are we allowed to ramble on a golf green? On a football field? On a polo field? Of course NOT!!!
g. European Championships must be closed, with only competitors from Europe. This would at least ensure a fair competition. Anyway the FEI has decided this year that this will be the case. But the community has to be vigilant.

Wishful thinking? Maybe not if the endurance community stands up.
LĂ©onard Liesens

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

FEI: Yellow Cards in Endurance

December 2 2013

by Leonard Liesens

Let's compare endurance and eventing

Endurance has broken all doping records. Very sad. And even, these records are only showing the top of the iceberg. The ugly truth, the monster, is hidden deep inside the sands of the Middle East training tracks. Seeing how fast horses are bought everywhere in the world by the Middle East stables, there must be thousands of endurance horses now broken.

It is unacceptable to watch the death of horses during sport events. Who among us didn’t see a horse lying down in a treatment box? There is no way you can forget this experience! How can we now imagine having been the rider of such a horse, the one who pushed him to the metabolic collapsing, to the leg fracture. How can these people still sleep, how can they ride again? For what? For killing another one...

A horse having an accident during a steeple chase or at a military competition is an unfortunate accident – even if there are many. But how can we compare accidents like that with horses ran until they collapse by a stupid rider lead by his ego?

An endurance horse (not doped) will progressively get tired, will display several signs : his heart rate will raise suddenly, the metabolic parameters will be alarming, such a horse will have to be pushed by the rider, his gaits will become erratic, rhythm changes will become impossible, he will stumble, he will forge… We all –ALL!!!- have got a tired horse during a ride. The ones pretending they never experienced that are just liars! We ALL know how it happens, which are the alarming signs. This horses lead to exhaustion in the Middle East and in Europe have been ‘helped’ by artificial means (forbidden medications or not) administered by wizards. Up to the final end or –is it better?- to laminitis or colic or permanent disabilities.

Endurance is now the second FEI discipline, using the number of riders and events. A little bit above 3 days event. So let’s compare the two disciplines...

Endurance counts 10 yellow cards, including the 5 cards showed to the chef d’equipe during the WEC2013 for young riders because these teams were carrying illegal products in their containers. This brings the number to 5 yellow cards showed to riders. Let’s consider the military… During this calendar year – are you well seated?- , 134 yellow cards and warnings were showed to riders. The previous year, the number of yellow cards was similar. Follow this link for details : eventing

Now, let’s have a look at the eventing regulation… The cases where riders can receive yellow cards can be compared with endurance: pushing a tired horse, excessive use of aids (in endurance, all kind of natural means can be used, bottles, long reins, branches, sticks, taser), riding a visibly lame horse, desensitizing the legs, not having full control of the horse. Follow this link to read the regulation : eventing-regulation.

Of course, there would be more cases where yellow cards can be given : crewing outside designated areas, vehicles on the trail, grooming at the entrance of vetgate, number of grooms per horse, bottles left on the trail, inappropriate trotting if the horse to hide lameness, inappropriate riding attire, etc

The regulations for eventing are simple, transparent, easy to enforce. The regulation of endurance is complex, nebulous, fastidious… almost impossible for a steward to give a yellow card! In eventing, any steward can request a yellow card. A steward has as duty to report any abuse and take all necessary actions to insure the horse/rider/public safety. For example, a steward working at a fence sees a rider using his whip abusively, he reports it immediately to the chief steward, on the next fence same scenario and same report. Then the chief steward will decide to eliminate this competitor and show a yellow card. Simple...

FEI: Leading French rider Morgane Payen claims she was offered £124,000 for her mobile phone - Full Article

Extraordinary accustaions have been made by a top rider as the controversy over the fate of Eclipse continues.

By Pippa Cuckson

7:33PM GMT 03 Dec 2013

A top French rider says she was offered €150,000 (£124,000) for her phone by the handlers of a Maktoum stables-trained endurance horse, Eclipse, which later died, after they spotted they were being filmed in the vetting area.

The claim is made in leading French equestrian magazine L’Eperon by Morgane Payen, after months of speculation about the fate of Eclipse at the Young Riders World Championships at Tarbes.

He finished second under Saaed Ahmad Jaber Al Harbi but was eliminated for lameness and euthanised two days later...

Read more here:

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Australia: Endurance riders compete at Red Range - full article

December 3 2013

Last weekend the Mackinder FEI Australian endurance riding championships were held at Red Range, over the weekend approximately 140 horses and riders completed in events ranging from 40 Kim's to 160km endurance races were the motto is to complete is to win.

Winner of the three star championship event was Ben Hudson from mud gee NSW riding Oso Edith an Arabian mare in 10hrs, 23mins and 39secs.

The youth event over the same distance was won by Andrew Mackinder son of our major sponsor Allan Mackinder on Sundown Park Cariad, in 10hrs, 22mins and 47 sec...

Read more here:

FEI: Would the Accused Stand

From left to right: Mr De Vos, Mrs Haya, Mr Buchman

December 1 2013
Leonard Liesens - Endurance-belgium

Would the accused stand! That's the title of the article published in the Belgian magazine "Hippo Revue", the biggest equestrian publication in dutch in Belgium. Mark Wentein is the main actioner but also the President of the Flemish wing of the Belgian Federation.

Follow this link to display the copy of the article: Hippo-Revue-Article

In a six pages article, mark Wentein starts by listing the events that lead to the whole endurance scandal, as it has been also published in many daily newspapers in French, English, German languages: Sh Mohammed suspension in 2009, the scandals of the flat racing stables in Newmarket, doping cases in endurance, the interview of Pierre Arnould ran by Pippa Cuckson of The Telegraph, the reaction of FEI...

Arnould says to Hippo Revue : "the non-disclosure document I signed doesn't forbid me to say what I think about what's going on in endurance in the Middle East, come on". Wentein adds his comment and regrets the unilateral behaviour of the FEI (and De Vos in particular).

A Blacklist published by Hippo Revue:

- permanent conflicts of interests
- FEI representatives and FEI officials seen in the VIP tents of the Gulf countries during the course of the event
- when a VIP is suspended, private races are organized (with the help and the active working of FEI representatives and FEI officials and veterinarians), like the 'Ride with the Stars' at Euston in 2009
- the night before the race, but also during rest periods, horses are put on drip and doped. This is a systematic way of doing in the Middle East but it also took place in Europe, for example at Euston Park WEC2012(Ali Kalfan), Czech Rep 2006 (Warsan team)
- cheating about the minimum weight, even in Europe (Compi7gne, Dillingen, Assisi)
- cheating with the qualification rules for horses (systematic in Middle East)
- racing of horse on CEI while these never appeared at national level
- disrespect of the maximum speed for qualification events, disrespect of the minimum rest time between events
- frequent changes of horse names (and of labels of chipnumbers on FEI passports) to enter horses more frequently on races without respecting rest time
- disrespect of the course; VIPs can use shortcuts on the trail while officials are keeping their eyes shut; obviously the total length of the course doesn't correspond to the FEI schedule in the Middle East
- frequent use of long reins to use it as whip to push horses
- most of the sanctioned riders are from the Middle East
- little reaction from the FEI in inquire about causes and responsibles in case of horse fatalities and fractures; obviously no sanctions of the responsibles persons: 3 deaths in France in 2012 (Qatar); 2 deaths in Europe in 2013 (Dubai); 80 deaths during season 2011-2012 in Group VII (obviously not an official number-officially FEI reports 10 fatalities)
- exchange of horses on one event without any reaction from the officials or from the FEI (photos of evidences forwarded to FEI)
- use of two different saddles during event, one heavy (for weighting), one light (for racing), reporting for example at Dillingen 2013 with photos
- active corruption of officials by distributing envelopes and benefits in kind

Hippo Revue reports also the Jaume Punti episode where FEI answered: "this falls under the British juridiction so this is not the FEI business". Hippo Revue compares this case with Lance Armstrong not giving back his Tour de France Yellow Shirts while convinced of doping in USA.

Finally Hippo Revue relates the FEI GA at Montreux. The petition ran by the emerging countries and not supported by most of the major European Federations. But this was weirdly supported by Belgium, well by Jacky Buchmann the President while the rest of the Belgian delegation was furious and ashamed at the same time. Hippo Revue put this back into its context reminding the excellent relationship between the President of the Belgian Federation and Princess Haya and also the big support given by Buchmann to Ingmar de Vos for accessing at the FEI Sec Gen duties. (nftr: that's the reason finally)

John Crandell Responds to FEI's Endurance Strategic Planning Group's Proposal

November 21 2013

The reports from the Endurance Strategic Planning Group (ESPG) presented at the FEI general assembly depict an earnest and hardworking effort by some to salvage FEI endurances status and reputation. This report also demonstrates the “systemic” problems, as described by Chairman Andrew Finding, that have plagued the FEI permeate the ESPG as well.

It is clear the ESPG recognizes the scope of issues is vast and must reach into many areas of the organization at once to incite real and lasting change. The very professionally developed schematic format and its “Plan on a Page” represented considerable expertise in planning. This work indicates that the ESPG wisely recognizes that we need to carefully develop consensus on schematic levels of this initiative before we can effectively develop details of a comprehensive overhaul.

I was very pleased to see some emphasis on education and reminders of the history of endurance riding as part of the program. Endurance testing could play a unique role in mankind’s relationship with animals if we define and regulate the discipline thoughtfully. It can even be an essential force in the long term health and happiness of equines as a sustainable species if we do this very well. We all need to remember both the noble and productive, as well as the cruel and destructive moments in endurance riding history and pre-history, to guide our path into the future. The modern era of equine endurance, the transformation of the practice into a socially acceptable and regulated form of equine testing, was founded on the interest of dedicated horseman. These were passionate enthusiasts looking for an academically valued way to identify great horses and horsemanship based on a natural spectrum of the species’ most definitive and historic abilities. The discipline has proven that it can be an engaging sport and economically sustainable, even in its most academic forms. The stringent preservation of this academic aspect of the discipline is essential to the nobility of the sport, its long-term net value to the equine species, and is at the core of any meaningful philosophy of respect for the horses.

Even as the schematic and gestural elements of the ESPG plan presented great promise, hints and examples of the concrete details of how this program might be implemented are very concerning.

Chairmen Andrew Finding acknowledged that there needs to be complete “rule by rule” revisiting of the FEI endurance rule book. While it’s encouraging that there is an understanding that the rule book needs to be thoroughly revisited, simple line item changes will not be enough, even if we edit almost every line. The inherent incentives and disincentives of the rules and award system are established more by the philosophies and basic constructs behind the document than by letter of the rules themselves. The fundamental errors of the rules, award philosophies and their motivations cannot be corrected by line item edits and definitely not by adding more and more regulations. We need the eloquence of wisdom, not the burden of more bureaucracy.

Concepts like extended rest periods and the growing horse qualifying hierarchies seem justifiable and necessary in the context of the current regulations. These ever expanding attempts to micro-manage training practice are only more evidence that the underlying motivations, which are established by the rules and awards structure, are misdirected. Even now, good trainer’s efforts are being compromised by the logistic wastefulness of compliance to increasingly intrusive regulation. Economic wastefulness mandated by the FEI system only amplifies the competitive advantages of wealth, and limits the number of participants that are interested in participating at the financial support level.

We cannot correct these embedded inefficiencies without going deeply into the core constructs of the system, such as the very definitions of the CEI “*” levels, and then reconstructing from there. The endurance rules and policies could be much simpler and much more effective at encouraging noble behavior we could all be proud of.

The most detailed example of the ESPG’s intentions, the proposal for a professional trainer registry, was presented by a group member from a region that has already licensed and ranked trainers within its federations for almost two decades. This is also the region that has seen the most overwhelming concentration of rule violations and subsequent animal abuse in the same time period. The entire world has seen the results of philosophies like using a professional trainer’s registry to institutionalize the limiting of accountability at the trainer level.

One of the most common quips among those that bear close witness to Dubai endurance racing is “I guess another groom will be sent back to India (Pakistan) over that one”. Fingering someone that is not only easily replaced, but is also suspected of disloyalty to the regime would be a doubled bonus, and a signal to others that might express independent thoughts. Larger scandals sometimes require more significant scapegoats, so someone of higher rank in the systems, such as a veterinarian, assistant trainer, or even a principal managing trainer must take the fall.

If the circumstances of the offense are such that even powerful media and information controls cannot deflect blame to someone haplessly innocent and powerless, then someone of loyalty or value to the regime must take the fall. These persons are likely to know too much about where the directives are really coming from, or may represent strategic political alliances, so they must be compensated to retain their loyalty. These same persons also know that overt demonstrations of extreme loyalty, taking personal risks such as throwing races, or joining in on rule violations in a “one for all and all for one” manner are seen as acts worthy of exceptional generosity in gifting.

It is in this manner that influence and incentive to cheat transcends and blurs the boundaries of stables and their ownership of record. The overt presence of cheaters driving their choice of a fleet of gifted luxury vehicles, and of banned trainers pensioned or promoted to an active role supervising assistant trainers, has been the powerful driving force of a depraved competition culture.

This environment has made the worst violators secure, wealthy, and powerful, while the honorable horsemen in their region have been ostracized. This duality of the mechanisms is the most fundamental reason the region fell to such deplorable depths so completely and so rapidly. Ethically weak and incompetent FEI stewardship simply added the credibility and cloak of that brand, sold at a relatively low political price.

Suggestion of an enforcement strategy based on the professional career sensibilities of trainers is therefore a preposterous statement that offends the intelligence of anyone with exposure to the environment that spawned the current outrage. Like so many rules and policies now embedded in the FEI system, implementation of such a program would only further institutionalize the shielding of the ultimate financial and political sources of inappropriate directives. Any measure that further inhibits tracking of these depraved incentives to their political and economic roots will only make the systemic corruption issues worse, not better.

“You can fool some of the people, some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time” – Abraham Lincoln

Trainer licensing at this time, and in the manner presented, is therefore a proposal that would be counterproductive to the purported goals of the ESPG. At best it could only result in the better concealment of the roots of moral poverty. It will eventually necessitate new cycles of rules and regulations to further address the un-remedied issues and will extend the burden of an expanding bureaucracy to the rest of the world.

The chairman of the ESPG further endorsed and applauded this proposal in the proceedings of the recent FEI general assembly. This has only raised questions about the competence of the ESPG itself, and particularly of the integrity of the selection process of its members. It’s time for us to question why the FEI needs to be so diplomatic as to publicly advance the offerings of the fox on the security of the hen house. This repeated occurrence in rule and policy development has become an open source of embarrassment and a divisive wedge in the equestrian endurance community.

The Chairman went further to suggest the future of endurance riding lies in modeling after flat racing. Traditional flat racing has been in a popular decline in much of the developed world for the last half century. The simple fact is that the new sources of wealth that might support flat racing have become wary of its marginalized record and publicity. Even those that don’t fully understand the sport have developed a visceral sense that something is fundamentally questionable about the sports economic institutions and influence on equine genetics. The obsession for genetic development toward an unnaturally narrow performance attribute is a source of inherent conflict with the principals of wholesome and sustainable well-being. At this time it is widely understood the flat racing is only supported at its present level by extreme financial commitments of an increasingly few wealthy people that are insulated from the pressures of modern morality.

It only seems apparent that endurance riding must advance in the direction of the “Sport of Kings” by the trajectory of the aforementioned rule and reward guidance. Following flat racing as a model is not a wise and sustainable long-term path. The entire world is evolving much too fast in an opposing direction. Equine endurance tests can be a leader, and not a trailing victim, of the advancing public awareness if we manage this discipline with a regard for its potential academic values. While the public has been presented with an ESPG program that is just what it wanted to hear in schematic approach and background rhetoric, the closer we look at the most detailed visions and proposals, the more utterly alarming it becomes. The devil is in the details.

It is a fact of human interaction that we most efficiently develop new concepts in relatively small groups. This however depends on the fortunate or wise assembly of the right individuals, as the contribution of each is critical to the outcome. The FEI has now put itself in a position that will eventually require it to withdraw the most detailed aspect of the ESPG proposal and restructure the personnel and visions of that group in order to retain the support of the broader endurance community worldwide. The can has only been kicked down the road. The biggest debates and conflicts still lie ahead.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Malaysia: Azizatul aims to regain top spot - Full Article

December 2 2013

SHE was the top ranked youth endurance rider in the world in September.
But as of this month, Azizatul Asma Abdullah (pic), who had to miss two competitions as she had to prepare for her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination, must make way for Uruguay's Maria Pareira in the FEI Young Riders World Endurance Ranking.
"All is not lost though as I still have chance to regain top spot, and who knows, I may even end up with the Rider of the Year title as well," said the 17-year-old student with Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Datuk Razali Ismail in Kuala Terengganu.
But she must travel to Costa Azul, Uruguay and win the 120km race, scheduled for Dec 14-16, or at least finish ahead Maria in the last race of the endurance calendar year...

Read more here:

UAE Horse Eclipse euthanized after Tarbes

December 1 2013

L'Eperon is the biggest and most respected French magazine. In the december edition, finally, an article relates the events leading to the euthanasia of Eclipse. What is very interesting in this article are the new facts brought forward by the French journalist. Thanks to the interview of the main witness of the horse abuse, Morgane Payen. Morgane is not just another spectator at this event; she is a well respected endurance rider who has won Florac. She said: "After the finish, the horse was lead by his armada of grooms outside the grooming area. I followed them as I had my doubts. In the rest area, they put the leg of the horse in a bucket of ice, but I saw a person with a syringe in his hand putting his wrist in the bucket. A friend of mine filmed the scene, but then I have been put under pressure to stop. Somebody even offered me to buy my phone for 150,000 euros." The journalist gives details about the person offering money, details obtained from another source: a frech broker using to work for the Al Wathba stables at Abu Dhabi and the Emaar's at Dubai. Morgane Payen had after that drafted a letter to the person responsible for the MCP control (Jacques Nardin): "I wanted that this letter serves to stop these abuses and land on the desk of the FEI director of endurance, Ian Williams". But the FEI and Williams didn't deign to react. There were no doping controls done on the horse, nor post-mortem afterwards. The reason officially given : not enough stewards at the venue (come on Messieurs, there were enough stewards and enough time to take blood samples of Eclipse; he was standing in the treatment box for hours long after the end of the competition). Also Dr Fred Barrelet, a Swiss veterinarian co-owning a clinic at Newmarket explains : "The bucket of ice was there to desensitize the leg and the syringe probably contained an analgesic". He continues : "The FEI has recently added a product on the list; it is a product based on ammonium chloride produced by an Argentinean lab".

How can we believe that things will change. The whole mentality is wrong!

Follow this link to display the article : L'Eperon.

UAE: Afra rides to endurance glory - Full Article

Hisham Al Gizouli / 1 December 2013

UAE rider guides Buren Dah Orlando to victory in Shaikha Fatima Endurance Cup

UAE lady rider Afra Khalifa Al Suwaidi, astride her ten-year-old Anglo Arab gelding Buren Dah Orlando, landed the 90km HH Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup — for Arab Countries only as the UAE ladies swept the top ten positions at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba here on Saturday. Compatriot Lobna Ali Ahmed on board Cameo Zatobeck and behind them finished Nasreen Khasro aboard Vasco.

The race was attended by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai; Shaikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor, Shaikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Advisor of the National Security and Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

The race was held under the directives of Shaikh Mansour as part of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival with 71 lady riders from the UAE, Gulf and Arab countries in the fray for the Dh500,000 prizemoney. The winner has also walked away with the festival’s Rolex watch.

The winner covered the distance in three hours, eight minutes and 38 seconds at an average speed of 28.62 km/hour to cross the finish line six minutes clear of the runner-up...

Read more here:§ion=nationsports

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Bahrain: Riders set for new endurance season - Full Article

November 29, 2013

MORE than 80 riders are set to compete in the opening event of the new Bahrain endurance horseracing season, which is scheduled to begin tomorrow.

This was announced yesterday by the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef).

Tomorrow's race will feature two categories - the first will be the main competition which will be run over a distance of 120 kilometres. The second is a qualifying event set for 80km.

The event will be held under the patronage of Breef honorary president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa. It will be taking place at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir, and it is scheduled for a 6am start...

Read more here:

UAE: Lady riders to battle it out at Al Wathba today - Full Article

Hisham Al Gizouli / 29 November 2013

Top Arab lady riders from UAE and elsewhere have been declared to make the lineup for the Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup — for Arab Countries Only to be staged for the third successive year at the Emirates International Endurance Village at Al Wathba here on Saturday.

The CEN-90km event will be contested over four stages as the young Arab lady riders skirt the sand hills in the heart of the desert under the early rays of the sun to battle it out to the wire in the Dh500,000 prize-money. The winner will also claim the Shaikh Mansour festival’s Rolex watch besides expensive painting made by a German lady in her gallery in Munich.

According to Adnan Sultan, director of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, the race is held under the patronage of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, as part of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival...

Read more here:§ion=nationsports

Friday, November 29, 2013

FEI: More bureaucracy will not clean up endurance - Full Article

By on Nov 29, 2013

Endurance reform requires the eloquence of wisdom, not the burden of more bureaucracy, suggests leading American endurance rider John Crandell, who has represented the United States internationally.

The reports from the Endurance Strategic Planning Group (ESPG) presented at the International Equestrian Federation’s General Assembly depict an earnest and hardworking effort by some to salvage endurance’s status and reputation within FEI nations.

This report also demonstrates the “systemic” problems, as described by chairman Andrew Finding, that have plagued the FEI permeate the ESPG as well.

It is clear the ESPG recognizes the scope of issues is vast and must reach into many areas of the organization at once to incite real and lasting change...

Read more here:

Australia: Woman faces $550 fine for breaking tick rules - Full Article

29th Nov 2013 8:05 AM

A QUEENSLAND woman is facing a $550 fine for illegally introducing three horses from Queensland into NSW after NSW Department of Primary Industries cattle tick inspectors conducted a compliance audit at an endurance riding event on the NSW Northern Tablelands last Friday.

DPI biosecurity compliance director Andrew Sanger, said the Sunshine Coast woman, who was interviewed at the Red Range event near Glen Innes, had failed to stop at the border and get her horses treated for cattle ticks - an offence under the NSW Stock Diseases Act.

"The woman and the horses were sent back to Queensland and will receive a $550 fine for the offence," Mr Sanger said.

"Bringing horses, cattle or other livestock into NSW from Queensland without clearance risks spreading cattle ticks into NSW...

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wellington and Kentucky join Bromont/Montreal with bids for FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018

15 Nov 2013

The two US cities – Wellington and Kentucky - have both submitted their formal bid applications and questionnaires to host the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 and now officially join the Canadian bid from Bromont/Montreal.

Applicants bidding to host the Games in 2018 had until today (15 November) to return signed bid applications and questionnaires and both US cities have met the deadline.

The Bromont/Montreal bid had previously submitted the required documentation and did not need to resubmit.

Candidate cities for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 will be announced on 2 December following review of the applicant questionnaires by FEI Headquarters. The deadline for submission of completed and signed Host Agreements is 31 March 2014.

Candidates will present their final bids to the FEI Bureau at its in-person meeting in June 2014. The host city for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 will be announced after that meeting.

“We are delighted that we have Wellington, Kentucky and Bromont/Montreal in the bidding process for our flagship event,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar de Vos said. “All three locations have strong equestrian traditions so it will be fascinating to see which of the bid committees produces the most compelling reasons why they should be allocated the Games in 2018. It’s going to be an interesting process.”

FEI: Endurance Strategic Planning Group seeks National Federations agreement for proposals

25 Nov 2013

The Endurance Strategic Planning Group (ESPG) has today sent its detailed proposed recommendations to the National Federations requesting rapid feedback. The proposals are designed to address the issues within Endurance and are specifically geared towards reducing the incidence of doping and injuries, as well as putting in place a strategic plan to support the long term sustainability of the sport.

The seven-page consultation document, which details a total of 37 recommendations, is a follow-up the ESPG presentation of its proposals during the FEI General Assembly in Montreux (SUI) earlier this month. The introduction delivered by ESPG Chair Andrew Finding at the General Assembly, plus the presentations given on the day and the Group’s “plan on a page” have also been sent to the National Federations as part of the ongoing consultation process.

The ESPG asks for comments from the National Federations on each of the recommendations, grouped together into four categories: Foundation for Growth; Culture and Behaviour; Structure and Governance; and Communications and Marketing.

Both immediate and longer-term actions are detailed, and the ESPG, while agreeing that consultation is a necessary part of the process, is also keen that much of the proposed plan should be put into action without delay. The Group urges immediate actions be implemented as soon as possible.

The ESPG notes that important projects such as the Injuries Surveillance System (ISS) and increased levels of testing are already in place. These are both included in the Culture and Behaviour section, which also calls on the National Federations to provide leadership and drive culture change in anti-doping and horse welfare.

The Structure and Governance section has the highest number of proposed actions – 12 in the immediate action category and a further three in the longer-term. Key amongst these are the proposal to enforce out of competition testing, a review of disciplinary procedures for athletes, trainers and officials and severe penalties for transgressors, a register and ranking list for trainers, the requirement for a medication and treatment logbook for all horses, and a proposal for trainers to becomes Persons Responsible with their riders.

Feedback from the National Federations will be incorporated into a final set of proposals which will be further debated at the Endurance Conference in Lausanne (SUI) on 9 February 2014. At that session, it is proposed that the National Federations set Key Performance Indicators as part of the discussion.

A special session on Endurance will be included in the FEI Sports Forum (28-29 April 2014) at which National Federations will be asked to support the strategy in its final form before it is approved by the FEI Bureau in May 2014.

“It is our hope that all National Federations will accept our final proposals, take ownership of the plan and, together with the FEI, provide the leadership we believe is necessary for it to succeed”, ESPG Chair Andrew Finding writes in the final pages of the document. “It will not be easy for all to accept, there will be costs to bear for us all but we believe our proposals must be implemented to secure the long term sustainability of the sport. Success in implementing these proposals depends on the willingness of everyone involved in the sport to be self-disciplined and to take personal responsibility.”

He reiterates one of his most powerful messages from the Endurance session at the FEI General Assembly. “Apply these values of clean sport, welfare, integrity and partnership and we live and work together. If you do not subscribe to them, our message is, simply, leave us,” and finishes with the line: “Failure is not an option”.

“We believe there is a bright future for the sport. Together we must grasp it and move on with a determination that we should never again have to face these challenges.”

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

FEI: Endurance Group Seek Feedback on Tougher Rules - Full Article

By on Nov 26, 2013 in News

Out-of-competition testing, tougher penalties, the requirement for medication logbooks for horses, and holding trainers accountable alongside riders are among measures to clean up endurance that have gone out to member nations of the FEI for consideration.

The world governing body’s Endurance Strategic Planning Group has taken its next step toward reforms aimed at cleaning up welfare issues in the sport, sending its detailed proposed recommendations to national federations...

Read more here:

FEI: Stricter access to endurance courses by crews proposed - Full Article

By on Nov 26, 2013 in News

Proposals to change endurance include tougher ride qualification standards, more technical courses, stricter rules over access to courses by support personnel and annual appraisals for officials.

The seven-page document released today to national federations by the FEI’s Endurance Strategic Planning Group outlines 37 proposals for change, with urgent feedback sought as the world governing body works to get a full set of measures in place by May 14...

Read more here:

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Great Britain: End of competitive year for Team Omar - Full Article

November 24 2013

Brechin’s Endurance GB rider John Thomson and his horse Prince Omar are having a well deserved rest following the end of the racing calendar.

The rest is not for long as John and his pure bred Arabian gelding will soon be starting their six week work-up to take them into the start of next year.

It has been a demanding but successful year for Team Omar as, with the exception of competing in the comparatively short distance inaugural Scottish Man versus Horse earlier in the year, the focus has been on the big distance races of 80 to 100 kilometres, held mainly in England.

It has meant a lot of to-ing and fro-ing over the border, both in terms of travelling, but also, on one occasion, zig-zagging the border near Berwick-upon-Tweed some eight times during the final 80 kilometres of the year...

Read more here:

UAE: Al Sabousi relishing new role with Hamdan - Full Article

Racing manager determined to rise to challenge of ‘very demanding’ opportunity

By Leslie Wilson JrRacing & Special Features Writer
Published: 16:34 November 23, 2013

Dubai: Salim Al Sabousi is relishing the prospect of his ‘dream’ appointment as racing manager to Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, one of the most influential and respected race horse owners in the world.

Al Sabousi, who was offered the exalted position by Shaikh Hamdan less than three weeks ago, said he was greatly honoured and privileged but was also aware of the challenges that it brought.

“I want to thank His Highness Shaikh Hamdan for giving me this opportunity,” he told Gulf News at Meydan racecourse on Thursday evening. “Obviously it is a very demanding role, but I am looking forward to working with all the interesting trainers, jockeys and officials who are connected in the sport.

“It is something new to me but I hope to learn and find ways to execute the instructions of Shaikh Hamdan and act as a go-between all those who are involved in training and riding his horses.

“At first, this will be my primary directive. Perhaps later on we can look at how we can develop this role to be more productive.”

A former endurance rider and trainer, Al Sabousi revealed that Shaikh Hamdan has advised him to work closely with all the UAE-based handlers who train his thoroughbred and Purebred Arabian horses...

Read more here:

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Petition: For the Preservation of Endurance Horses

November 13 2013

A petition "For the Preservation of Endurance Horses" has been created on, the largest global online citizen movement for change.

The petition has been created "To support the work of the different federations and personalities that require immediate and strong measures to protect horses during endurance races, the petitioners request that the protection of the horse is a priority in its preparation, the management of its competition and According competition! The anti-doping controls and penalties is strengthened. That these measures are taken by a meeting of independent persons having no share in competitions, and that these measures are effective before WEG 2014! The whole situation has been described in the letters of federations and in public statements!"
[google translation]

With a goal of 5000 signatures, the petition currently has 663 signatures. The petition will be delivered to the FEI when the goal is reached.

For more information, and to sign the petition, see

American Endurance Ride Conference 'deeply troubled' with equestrian world governing body - Full Article

Senior figures in US endurance riding are considering separation from the international sport in the wake of doping and injury concerns in the Middle East.

By Pippa Cuckson
8:00AM GMT 14 Nov 2013

Last week far-reaching measures to solve the horse welfare crisis were unveiled at the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) General Assembly in Montreux.

But five board-members of the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) are not convinced and on Wednesday floated concerns in a 2,000-word open letter.

The USA pioneered modern endurance and the annual Tevis Cup ride in California has iconic status. But the American maxim “to finish is to win” has become increasingly incompatible with the high speed race-riding of the Middle East.
The AERC board members are “deeply troubled” by the “toxic nature” of the controversy, at the centre of which are stables owned by Sheikh Mohammed whose wife Princess Haya is president of the FEI. They also claim the FEI is non-transparent in its refusal to publish traumatic injury statistics...

Read more here:

Friday, November 22, 2013

The FEI presidency: Smoke and mirrors in Montreux - Full Article

By Neil Clarkson on Nov 21, 2013

...This month’s FEI General Assembly in Montreux delivered its own share of drama and intrigue. There was no fiery ceiling, no Frank Zappa, and no smoke on the water, but FEI train-spotters cannot deny that the whole Princess Haya presidency issue is a fascinating affair.

Delegates from the world’s national equestrian federations were a rather more subdued lot than Zappa’s followers, but they still had the unmistakeable air of fans about them...

Read more here:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

FEI General Assembly Updates - Full Article

November 16, 2013
By Pamela@horsereporter

November 16, 2013 ~ The FEI General Assembly 2013 held in Montreux (SUI) from 4 to 7 November.
FEI General Assembly Highlights

Modifications to Endurance Rules

Location of General Assembly 2014

Possible Third Term for FEI President

Appointment of Veterinarians

*Endurance Rules Modifications

In the recent FEI General Assembly, the discipline of endurance came under scrutiny to regulate unfair practices. The Strategic Planning Committee has committed to bring tighter regulations to assure a field of fair play. See article:

Modifications were made to the FEI Endurance Rules and were approved. All of the rule changes relate to bettering the competitive environment in terms of fair play, the welfare of the horse, and the highlighting of those who fail to take responsibility and comply with the regulations. The main changes are as follows:...

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Abu Dhabi: Al Bloushi wins FEI Wathba Endurance Challenge astride Devlin Park Picasso - Full Article

November 18, 2013
By Pamela@horsereporter

November 16, 2013, Abu Dhabi ~

Rashid Ahmed Al Bloushi, astride Devlin Park Picasso, landed the 120km FEI Wathba Endurance Challenge for the Union Stables which have been established under the directives of HH Sheikh Manoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. Sheikh Rashid bin Dalmook Jumaa Al Maktoum took second place honours and behind them came UAE lady rider Aya Abdulla Redha from Wathba Stables. Al Bloushi’s time for the 120kms was 4:18:13; Sh Rashid finished five minutes later, with Aya Ishaq Ali less than a minute behind the second place...

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

5-Day Equestrian Endurance Race Gallops of Oman from Feb 17

Muscat Daily staff writer
November 20, 2013

Gallops of Oman, the first endurance horse race of its kind in the region, will begin from February 17 next year.

This was announced by the Royal Court Affairs, represented by the Royal Cavalry, on Monday. Gallops of Oman, is the brainchild of France-based Bady Kebir – organiser of several horseback expeditions around the world and Benoit Perrier, manager of Polo Club Chantilly, in partnership with the Royal Cavalry of Oman.

“I am sure it will be an eventful adventure for all participants, even the most experienced ones. It will be a great opportunity to explore the sultanate and its amazing deserts, which we heard so much about. I would like to thank the Royal Court Affairs and the Royal Cavalry for this opportunity to visit Oman and to be part of such a unique race which brings together some of the most experienced horsemen in the world,” said Kebir.

The format for the five-day equestrian event focuses on the ability of riders, the endurance of the horses over 180km of some of the most beautiful, yet challenging landscapes in Oman.

It is estimated that 110 riders from around the world will participate in the event, crossing the Sharqiyah desert for a distance of 180km from February 17 to 21, 2014, from Rakah in the wilayat of Bidiyah, to Agdima in the wilayat of Jalaan Bani Bu Hassan.

“It is a big achievement to organise this race for the first time in the sultanate. I am sure we are going to introduce the world to a unique experience of endurance races in the Omani desert,” said Abbas bin Abdullah al Bahrani, head of financial affairs at the Royal Court Affairs and chairman of the main committee of Gallops of Oman.

Brig Abdulrazak al Shahwarzi, commander of the Royal Cavalry, vice-chairman of the main committee, and CEO of Gallops of Oman, said, “Gallops of Oman will be a significant event in the region. A 180 km desert challenge in not an easy task, not even for the most experienced riders.

“However, we are sure that participants are up to the challenge and we wish them all the best.”

Race schedule

February 17 : At 8am in Al Rakah area, a welcoming ceremony will be conducted before the riders set forth for the first stage of Gallops of Oman. Covering a distance of about 40km, the riders will head to Tiwi Mussalam, the second camp.

February 18 : The second stage covers a distance of about 41km. Riders will then head to Tiwi Khazeena camp.

February 19 : The third stage will cover about 34km before the riders reach Al Htahamam.

February 20 : A distance of about 30km will take the competitors to Qudaih Cam

February 21 : The fifth and final stage will see participants cover a distance of about 26km, concluding the race at Agdima camp. Adjustments will be made along the route to take the distance to a total of 180km.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Life’s a beach: Endurance riding on the edge

Endurance is alive and well in the far-flung reaches of the FEI empire. Neil Clarkson reports.

Nine-year-old Robbie James was a young man on a big mission. As he closed in on the finish in last weekend’s 80-kilometre endurance ride run by the Mount Linton Endurance Club in Southland, New Zealand, it was clear he would be battling his sister, Jorja, 13, for first place in the junior section.

The pair pushed their mounts up, and Robbie’s mount Glendaar Amira Fire eased clear to win the contest ahead of his sister on Kilarney Fire. Robbie’s ride on Amira Fire also earned the prestigious Best Conditioned title overall.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

FEI: New study is tasked with investigating endurance injuries - Full Article

8 November 2013
Pippa Cuckson

A new Injuries Surveillance System is being rolled out in international endurance as the FEI struggles to allay the escalating crisis about doping and life-threatening stress fractures in the Middle East.

Dr Tim Parkin of the University of Glasgow has been commissioned to conduct the study, having previously researched injuries in thoroughbreds for several racing authorities around the world.

However, his data will only extend to diagnoses at competitions.

The FEI admits “there is no obligation for organisations to report fatalities to the FEI outside of competition”, inevitably casting doubt on the accuracy of official FEI figures about injury-induced euthanasia.

The FEI says that worldwide there were 10 fatalities in endurance this year, 14 in 2012 and 11 in 2011, but critics believe there are dozens a year in the Middle East alone...


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Great Britain: High House - for Personal Growth and Learning

17 November 2013

High House, in the Lake District of Cumbria, England, home of Seren Arabians and High House Labradors, has become a place for rest, recovery and therapy, and for personal development and education. It gives a quite unique opportunity for people to recover and rediscover their strengths, lifted by the tranquil seclusion, the environment and wildlife, the horses and dogs, the centre itself, and extensive access on the doorstep to a wide variety of terrain covering several square miles of one of the least frequented parts of the English Lake District.

High House offers a number of clinics and educational opportunities, including equine assisted psychotherapy and learning (EAP and EAL); Posture Clinics - teaching greater flexibility, coordination and confidence for owners and their horses; Equine Behavior and Ethology, Young Horses - Helping Balance and Confidence; and CPD Workshops for professionals working with trauma.

High House is owned by Dom and Jan Atkinson, both retired from Lake District mountain rescue teams and the Search and Rescue Dog Association, and both EAGALA practitioners (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association - the leading international nonprofit association for professionals using equine therapy to address mental health and humans development needs.)

Also part of the High House team are Dr Stuart McNab, Director of the Centre for Research and Education in Psychological Trauma at the University of Chester, England and EAGALA practitioner; Coral Harrison, EAGALA practitioner, mentor, and the EAGALA coordinator for Europe and the Middle East; and Erica Donnison, TTEAM practitioner and Council member of the Alexander Technique professional body.

For more information, see
High House

Saturday, November 16, 2013

UAE: Al Jaber claims the Wathba Stud Cup Endurance Ride - Full Article

November 16, 2013
By Pamela@horsereporter

November 15, 2013, Abu Dhabi ~ UAE top rider Ahmed Mohammed Al Jaber partnered Omani Quandra to glory in the opening Wathba Stud Cup for Private Owners, a CEN 100km Wathba Challenge Endurance Ride at the Emirates International Village on Friday.

The winner covered the distance in three hours, 35 minutes and 49 seconds at an average speed of 27.80km/hour to lead by seven minutes 21 seconds ahead of Al Ain Stables contender Hamad Badr Abdulla Al Hammadi astride Venica and behind them came Azam Oan Al Kathiri to claim the third place honours for Al Ain Stables in three hours fourty five minutes and 30 seconds...

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Friday, November 15, 2013

2014 Normandie Ticket sales open to EVERYONE on Monday 18 November - Full Article

13 November 2013

Following on from the equestrian family’s priority purchase period, in a few days’ time ticket sales will open to the general public, (both from France and abroad), individuals or companies. This second sales period is exclusively for grouped tickets in the form of Passes, which allow access to several events. In total, during this second phase some 15,000 Passes will be put on sale until 3 March 2014.

25 Passes to discover all of the Games disciplines

Tickets for all of the disciplines are available, thanks to our selection of 25 Passes: 18 Discovery Passes and 7 Sensation Passes. Discovery Passes are ideal for non specialists, enabling the spectator to witness the action in various disciplines over the course of one or two days. Sensation Passes, more suited to horse-riding enthusiasts, also enable the spectator to watch several different events, with the added bonus of at least one guaranteed final!...

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pippa Cuckson: reflections on an FEI GA gone wild - Full Article

Today, dear readers, a very special treat. I am delighted to share with you the ruminations of journalist extraordinaire, Pippa Cuckson. I’m even more delighted to read her post and realize that she and I are on exactly the same page when it comes to the momentous events of last week in Switzerland. Sometimes, as a journalist toiling away in the vacuum that is a freelancer’s existence for at least 350 days a year, one begins to doubt one’s judgment. One’s confidence can be so shaken by the kinds of accusations that were tossed about on the floor of the GA last week, one may even come close to succumbing to the charming pressures of the one who rules the roost. Which is why it was critically important that there were enough of us sitting there at the GA last week, sharing glances of incredulity with one another as the events I’ve already reported on were unfolding, and realizing that we all saw the same thing, which is apparently very much not what most of the delegates around us were seeing.

Without further ado, here is Pippa’s guest post. Thank you Pippa, for sharing with us.

Pippa Cuckson: reflections on an FEI GA gone wild

I was amongst the small media presence at the FEI General Assembly in Montreux, where six of the scribblers had a total of more than 150 years experience in reporting FEI politics. The Thursday was certainly one of the most astonishing days any of us have sat through.

The strain on the faces of FEI senior personnel was evident earlier in the week, even in the jolly environment of the first night party where, prophetically, entertainment was provided by acrobats, fire-eaters and contortionists.

Yet by Thursday there was near-delirium as federations pleaded to reinstate a third term for Haya, after all.

Just days before, journalists around the world had been prodded to report that Haya would face calls to quit because of the doping and injuries crisis in endurance. Some – not lots, but some – national federations were briefing media that’s what they were going to ask for, oh yes, most definitely. Reporters didn’t need to make this stuff up – there is still enough shocking material about Middle East endurance riders and trainers, and the shameless behaviour of so-called officials who let them get away with it, to keep headlines going for months without resorting to invention.

But on the day, the federations we’d expected to pipe up changed their minds or lost their nerve. There are three main reasons why:

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US Equestrian Announces Team for 2024 FEI Endurance World Championship for Seniors Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce the athlete-and-horse combinations that will represent the U.S. at the 2024...