Wednesday, December 17, 2014

FEI: Is Welfare ‘Paramount’ – or Just a Pain in the Neck? - Full Article

Cuckson Report | December 15, 2014
by Pippa Cuckson

On Saturday, I went National Hunt racing to support a friend’s horse. He was caught on the line for third place, but connections were thrilled as he has come back from a couple of niggles last year and runs and jumps better every time. At 15-1, it was also a profitable each-way bet. This prodded to me ponder that no bookmaker would have offered odds on the dead-certainty that Ingmar de Vos would be voted new president of the FEI. The only wager you might have considered was the extent of Ingmar’s landslide.

Thanks to modern technology, I was able to follow the “meet the presidential candidates session” in Baku from the racecourse’s owners and trainers bar. What a futile session that must have seemed for the four other candidates, who already realized they were going to be hammered at the polls (De Vos, 98 votes; Durand, 21; Genecand, 6, McEwen, 6; Helgstrand – dropped out before ballot). Even the FEI’s press release about that session was brief, containing as much information about the marvelousness of Princess Haya as it did about the vision of the quintet vying to be her successor. Maybe profitable bets can be placed on how many times the FEI can magic-up a reason to mention Princess Haya in its future press releases, even though she is longer in office.

You can read about General Assembly decisions on the FEI website or click here. These include positive innovations and other revenue achievements. What you won’t find flagged-up is the day’s most articulate and thought-provoking address, given by Roly Owers of World Horse Welfare.

On Sunday, I followed the GA throughout by livestream, from 5:00 a.m., UK time. The mantra “welfare is paramount” was dropped into several discussions, but there was not much actual discussion about what this means...

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