Monday, January 25, 2016

Enduring Bullwarp

Posted by ERF on Jan 24, 2016 in Association News

As has been documented elsewhere, despite the FEI short term suspension of the UAE in order for them to clean up their act, nothing has radically changed. At least 5 deaths so far this year. No information forthcoming on what happened to horses attributed the generic FTC, or horses that didn’t reach vet gates and are down as RET, or more remarkably horses that have sustained a catastrophic injury (CI) and magically not been euthanased? Even taking into account the horses whose exits are documented clearly in the results, many of those are out lame by the second vet gate. The appalling completion rates, 40kmph average speeds on loops in 160km races, footage of illegal practices such as ear twitching in vet gates and the somewhat bizarre belief that horses don’t need to drink on track if they’re sloshed with water indicates the welfare issues are still very significant.

There is one lone participant, Dr. Sheikh Sultan, who is attempting to use his influence and facilities to alter the status quo. A top class article by Pippa Cuckson details the situation HERE.

Social media has been used to highlight the cruelty in the UAE, and there has been a strong push to inform those still selling to Group VII countries of the horrors awaiting horses sent over there. As ever, there are those that prize the dollar and self-interest over the horse as a sentient being.

The big sellers suggest that those highlighting the abuse are somehow determined to destroy the sport of Endurance by creating divisive feeling within the sport. One very interesting diatribe by someone who sells a lot to the UAE concentrated entirely on how much this person and family enjoyed endurance, how selling abroad allowed them to continue and how wonderful the sport was. Not only is that entirely missing the point of endurance being at heart about partnership of rider and horse, but there is no real understanding of the sport’s financial dynamic as a result of selling the good horses abroad. Any equestrian sport wishing to be healthy nationally, and successful globally, has to keep it’s best horses within the country’s NF. This encourages flourishing competition and attracts sponsorship to grow the sport and support the grass roots whilst giving young riders something to aim for. If top horses continually leave a country, competition becomes poor, interest will wane and the sport will deteriorate. That has been proven in other countries, in other equestrian sports...

Read more here:

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