Wednesday, September 09, 2015

UAE Controversy: Simply Shameless - Full Article

Cuckson Report | September 1, 2015

Lots of people have asked me why I didn’t launch into print the day the FEI lifted its suspension of the UAE. Well, the short answer was that it was a suspension, not a ban, and was always going to happen at some point. After all, the only way the UAE can prove they can behave themselves in FEI rides is by taking part in FEI rides.

The other factor was that I was so completely turned-off the subject by the cringe-worthy “welcome back” afforded to the UAE on social media from countries one rashly hoped were the decent practitioners of endurance. Most of the posters genuflecting and squealing “we’ve missed you” were youngsters who don’t maybe yet know better, or folk who make their living selling horses to the UAE. But still – yuck.

Even though some memories are short, happily today we have another jolt about the utter shamelessness of senior figures in UAE endurance community and their acolytes. Thirty horses (yes, 30) have just been disqualified from February’s President’s Cup as a result of falsified qualifications.

The FEI said all along it would excise the faked results from its database. It has now commenced this plus the marathon task of adjusting the results of real races where multiple participants were not qualified to start.

The UAE has certainly been given enough rope to hang itself by the FEI, in the conditions set for its return to competition. Bearing in mind this most outrageous piece of fakery, out of so much other fakery, occurred in January and February this year when the UAE was already on notice from the FEI that it was in very serious trouble indeed, is it likely to have undergone a collective personality transplant in a matter of months?

The horses disqualified from the President’s Cup come from 13 stables variously owned by the ruling Maktoum and Nayhan families. They represent 20 per cent of the President’s Cup starters. They include the runner-up, Kalifa, ridden by Suhail Al Ghailani. Hadeer, the ride of world champion Sheikh Hamdan, was not qualified for this or his previous two races with other riders...

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