Horse-canada.com - Full Article
Cuckson Report | October 20, 2015
What a difference a year-and-a-bit makes. Or rather, what a difference it makes when a picture of an endurance horse perched on two shattered forelegs causes a global public relations disaster, and when a national federation is exposed as so cavalier it fobs off the international governing body with fabricated results.
In February 2014, not a single Middle Eastern federation sent delegates to the FEI endurance forum, convened as a direct result of the welfare and cheating crisis the UAE has caused.
Wind on to October 2015, when 1,347 UAE trainers, riders and officials attended educational workshops, prior to the start of their winter FEI season. This was a non-negotiable condition of the FEI lifting their suspension which, lest we forget, was imposed for “major” horse welfare issues – the first time in history any horse country has been so shamed.
It’s said that when you have got someone by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow. I am not convinced just yet. Remarks in the FEI press release that these sessions were “successful” and “effective” seem premature. We can only say that if we reach the President’s Cup next February without having seen another Splitters Creek Bundy or a Marmoog, and no positive dope tests.
However, it’s a start. The FEI is responsible for letting endurance get out of control in Group VII in the first place. However, as well as new education and supervisory programs, the FEI is moving mountains behind the scenes to plug many gaps...
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