Wednesday, October 30, 2013

FEI Controversy: Equestrian bodies under attack for failing to respond quickly enough over horse welfare - Full Article

Concerns that equestrian bodies are not reacting fast enough to public outcry about horse welfare in the sport of endurance racing have heightened.

By Pippa Cuckson
9:00PM GMT 28 Oct 2013

It emerged on Monday that the International Equestrian Federation had only recently inquired about two United Arab Emirates fatalities from the summer, and that a rider twice banned for doping featured in promotional material for the World Equestrian Games.

The FEI’s slow response to the euthanasia of Eclipse and Django de Vere in July and August has raged on endurance forums for months. Both are registered as owned by the Maktoum family’s Fazaa stables and were ridden by Saeed Ahmed Jaber Al Harbi, who, though only 16, is already the world No  6-ranked rider.

But the FEI admitted to The Daily Telegraph that it approached the UAE only last week after learning of the deaths “from third parties” and needs responses before deciding how to proceed. Eclipse was eliminated for lameness at the fourth vet check of the World Young Riders 120km (75-mile) championship at Tarbes, France. Al Harbi completed the previous loop at 17.7mph . Under FEI rules, deaths after championships must be investigated. International rider Leonard Liesens, who runs the Endurance-Belgium website, said: “It is well known in the endurance community that Eclipse was euthanised within days, yet we hear nothing about an investigation”...

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