Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Endurance GB members quit over sponsor controversy

Telegraph.co.uk - Full Article

Endurance GB votes to accept Sheikh Mohammed’s Meydan backing

By Pippa Cuckson
9:29PM GMT 06 Jan 2015

Endurance GB is to accept a “blanket” sponsorship from Sheikh Mohammed’s Meydan corporation, following an unprecedented members’ vote.

Debate has raged for months about the wisdom of allying the British national governing body with Dubai, where the Sheikh’s stables have been at the centre of doping and horse-injury scandals for more than a decade.

Voting in favour were 570 EGB members, with 405 against and 35 abstentions. This represents a 55.2 per cent turnout by a small membership organisation that is under-funded compared with show jumping, dressage and eventing. Already some “no” voters have taken to their members forum to announce they will not rejoin.

The three-year deal, for an undisclosed sum, covers EGB’s entire international calendar, the cost of new technology – required under new FEI rules directly aimed at combating types of rule-breaking such as horse-swaps and short cuts alleged to be common among Middle East riders – and training bursaries.

It also means the reinstatement of Euston Park, Suffolk, a ride venue long-leased by Sheikh Mohammed but closed in 2013 after media revelations about doping. It was at the Euston 2012 World Championships that Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum jnr rode a horse under the false identification of Marmoog...

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