Friday, February 05, 2016

Endurance racing in UAE brought to halt as FEI seeks assurances about horse protection - Full Article

Emirates Equestrian Federation told it has until February 11 to explain how it will solve its “serious issues"

By Pippa Cuckson
3:41PM GMT 04 Feb 2016

Endurance racing in the UAE has again been brought to a halt as the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) tries to wrest further undertakings about horse protection from the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF).

Four upcoming race-rides were notified to EEF members as “postponed” on Tuesday night, with no reason initially offered.

However FEI endurance director Manuel Bandeira de Mello flew into Abu Dhabi for an emergency meeting on Wednesday. He later told Telegraph Sport the EEF has until February 11 to explain how it will solve its “serious issues.” Until then, rides are called off, including three at Sheikh Mohammed’s venue, Dubai International Endurance City (DIEC).

Last March, the UAE was suspended for four months, after a catalogue of doping scandals and horse fatalities. Endurance horses race over 80km-160km in a single day – though in the desert sport, many of them under jobbing jockeys who have never seen their mounts before, and over punishing, fast sand tracks.

Many scandals have been exposed by the Telegraph, including the running of ringers by sons of Sheikh Mohammed, and extensive falsifying of results by the EEF...

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