Monday, March 16, 2015

Wardrobe malfunction in the FEI over endurance - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | March 16, 2015

There’s something just a little mysterious about the FEI Bureau. Its 18 members wield a lot of power in the world of horse sport, but we never get to see the inner workings, with meetings behind closed doors.

It certainly would have been illuminating to hear the bureau’s recent discussion on the joys of endurance racing in the United Arab Emirates, before its members agreed unanimously to suspend the UAE Equestrian Federation.

The FEI, after endless months of grinding diplomacy during its endurance rule reform process, has shown some welcome mettle.

The world governing body said the suspension followed an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with its rules and regulations in endurance.

Followers of endurance don’t need to be reminded about the storm of controversy around the death of Splitters Creek Bundy as a result of two broken legs in a race in Abu Dhabi late in January, or the big questions that now swirl around a dozen races in the UAE after duplicated results were revealed by British equestrian writer Pippa Cuckson.

So, let us tip our riding helmets to the FEI for its decisive, if belated, action. But, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the world governing body has, to a fair degree, been caught with its pants down in this latest round of endurance controversy...

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