Letter from AERC to Will Connell, USEF International Disciplines Council Liaison
Dear Mr. Connell,
On behalf of the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) membership and Board of Directors, I am writing to request that the United States Equestrian Federation register the outrage of the endurance community in the United States over the appalling mistreatment of horses at the Al Wathba endurance ride in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last weekend, January 30, 2016. Evidence of this equine abuse has been widely circulated on social media around the world.
The suspension imposed on UAE by FEI last year has not made a lasting impression on most of the venues in the UAE, with the exception of Dr. Sheik Sultan in Bouthieb. As the endurance affiliate in the U.S., AERC requests that USEF register strenuous objections with FEI regarding the overriding and equine abuse that continues in 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. I know that endurance communities in many other countries are expressing the same feelings to their national governing bodies.
AERC further requests that stricter sanctions be imposed on UAE to drive home the lesson that mistreatment of horses in endurance rides is intolerable to the United States and the rest of the endurance world. At this point, a one year suspension would be reasonable.
Finally, AERC requests that the venue for the World Endurance Championship be removed from the UAE to a more suitable location. Should FEI resist moving the venue, AERC requests that USEF forego plans to send an endurance team to the WEC.
Michael Campbell, Ph.D.
American Endurance Ride Conference
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