Friday, March 13, 2015
American Endurance Ride Conference Requests New Venue for 2016 World Endurance Championship
MARCH 13, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
In the wake of unprecedented scandal and corruption in the sport of Endurance Riding coming from the United Arab Emirates, the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) has formally requested that the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) remove the 2016 World Endurance Championship from Dubai to another venue or cancel the event altogether.
Reports this week indicate that the Emirates Equestrian Federation falsified the results of at least 12 endurance rides in reports to the FEI in an attempt to fraudulently qualify inadequately prepared horses and riders for international competition. This action puts horses in peril by making it appear that they have been properly trained and conditioned for long distance competition when that may not be the case. Horses that are not properly conditioned and qualified are at risk for fatal injury such as that experienced by Splitters Creek Bundy, a horse who was photographed at the January 2015 Al Reef Cup ride in Abu Dhabi with both front legs fractured.
Last year, the AERC Board of Directors unanimously passed a motion expressing its outrage at these violations. AERC vowed to explore other options for international competition unless measurable progress was shown by FEI in curbing these offenses.
AERC applauds the action of FEI in removing two UAE rides from their calendar of competition for the remainder of the 2015 season and suspending UAE endurance competition in FEI events. AERC also commends FEI for retaining Lord Stevens to investigate the latest travesty. However, the AERC Board of Directors does not believe that these sanctions go far enough in protecting horses and the sport of Endurance Riding. The AERC Board unanimously voted last week to request that FEI take the further step of canceling the 2016 World Endurance Championship in Dubai, reopening bids for the venue and denying the UAE the opportunity to bid on the venue.
Denmark and Switzerland have already indicated that they would not send teams to compete in Dubai. Germany is likely to follow suit. AERC invites other like-minded countries and equine disciplines as well as the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) to join us in repudiating the UAE distortion of Endurance Riding. We especially look to USEF for strong leadership in supporting fairness and safety in Endurance Riding. Since its inception in 1972, AERC has supported equine welfare and longevity as well as fair play for all competitors. AERC stands for clean endurance.
More information on the American Endurance Ride Conference is available by visiting www.aerc.org or by calling the AERC office at 823-2260. By request, the office will send out a free information packet to prospective members.