Five endurance stables involved in the horse-beating incidents at Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, last weekend (30 January) have been locally fined $100,000 dollars each, with their trainers suspended, as the horse welfare crisis in the United Arab Emirates escalates.
The FEI is also under growing public pressure to reallocate the 2016 world championships from Dubai.
Today, a petition calling for a new venue was launched on Change.org.
The Swiss Equestrian Federation has publicly suggested a boycott, while the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) also wants the venue moved.
In a letter to the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), AERC president Michael Campbell said: “The suspension imposed on UAE by FEI last year has not made a lasting impression, with the exception of Dr Sheikh Sultan in Bou Thib.
“As the endurance affiliate in the US, AERC requests that USEF register strenuous objections with the FEI regarding the over-riding and equine abuse that continues in the UAE.
“This continued abuse is a blight on the sport of endurance riding throughout the world. The desert-style racing of UAE is not endurance riding as most other countries define it. Endurance communities in many other countries are expressing the same feelings to their national governing bodies.”
Five riders, including the first three past the post, were disqualified on Saturday from a 120km youth event, where a horse also died. Shocking footage showed the youngsters, abetted by numerous grooms illegally on the field of play, bullying and shoving exhausted horses to the finish.
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