Monday, April 20, 2015

Let's Hope for Revolution, Not Revolt - Full Article

Cuckson Report | April 20, 2015

In seven days’ time, the FEI and stakeholders gather in Lausanne, Switzerland to debate the most significant shake-up ever of its elite sport.

It’s surprising there has been so little media attention thus far, because each discipline is set to undergo – at global championship level at least – remodelling as drastic as the axing of steeplechase, roads and tracks was to eventing in 2004. There is also a move to limit all teams to three with no drop score...


...By far the most numerous authentic posts at the time of writing are, ahem, all about endurance. The key change there is a proposal, from the FEI endurance committee, that the WEG championship ride becomes a two-day, 100km-per-day contest. The ambition is to re-establish the notion of partnership, so that the rider reads his horse and keeps enough fuel in the tank. It is clearly intended as an antidote to the lets-go-really-fast-on-a-horse-we-don’t-know-and-somehow-waggon-it-over-the-finish travesty allowed to develop in the UAE and sadly now spread elsewhere.

On that subject, it’s still business as usual in the UAE. Clearly the penny still hasn’t dropped about what has to be done before the Emiratis can return from FEI exile.

There were six rumoured equine deaths at their last national ride of the season 10 days ago. Yes, you read that right: six, a figure from sources 100 per cent reliable in the past. Such slaughter doesn’t even warrant a headline now. We are so conditioned to what Pierre Arnould so aptly described as the UAE’s “industry of cheating and death” that it will only be news the day the UAE stages a ride without killing anything...