November 4 2013
"Our current FEI [endurance] rules are founded on ethical compromise, bias, and the warped sense of reality of powerful people that do not represent the perspective of the endurance community worldwide," says John Crandell III, in part of his letter to the AERC Board of Directors last week.
AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference) is the National Affiliate of USEF (United States Equestrian Federation), the National Governing body of endurance in America.
Crandell, a long-time successful USA national and international endurance rider - accomplishments which include 2006 Tevis and Haggin Cup winner on Heraldic, and 2008 and 2012 USA Endurance Team member - spoke out regarding international endurance horse welfare, after a number of horse drugging and death scandals on the international scene began sparking worldwide outrage this summer.
In his letter, Crandell points to a deeply flawed qualification system for FEI endurance horses, which is "entirely focused on simple speeds… and quantity of completion."
"…something is deeply, and fundamentally wrong with the system," Crandell states, which has resulted in "fundamental rules and qualification constructs that are only thinly veiled as protections for the horse."
Crandell calls for changes in the international FEI organization "with the integrity to uphold competitive standards, justice and elemental respects for life." He calls for an entire re-invention of the endurance qualification rules that "will be an integral and essential part of any effort by the FEI to genuinely restore its integrity and respectability.
"The challenge before the FEI is more than just a matter of controlling some forms of injustice and enforcing the rules it now has. "
Crandell's entire letter can be read here:
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