Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Next five endurance rides on UAE calendar postponed

The next five endurance rides on the Emirates Equestrian Federation’s calendar have been postponed.

The development comes amid ongoing controversy in the sport in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Two rides set down for February 4 have have been postponed in Dubai – one a 100km ride restriced to private stables and individuals; the other a CEI 1-star event over 80km.

A CEN 100km ride for women set down for February 5, also in Dubai, has similarly been postponed.

A CEN 120km ride at Al Wathba on February 6 and a CEI 1-star over 80km in Dubai on February 8 round out the list.

The reasons for the postponements have not been posted on the Emirates federation’s website – or at least not in the English version.

The news comes amid reports that the FEI’s endurance director, Manuel Bandeira de Mello, has arrived in Abu Dhabi as the world governing body pushes for endurance reforms in the UAE.

His arrival follows a meeting last week at FEI headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, with members of the Emirates Equestrian Federation to discuss the endurance issue.

The FEI is hoping that the UAE will adopt rules similar to those adopted at Sheikh Sultan Al Nahyan’s endurance facility at Bouthieb in Abu Dhabi.

The local rules are designed to keep speeds, which are GPS-monitored, down to 20kmh. The majority of prize-money goes to the best-conditioned horses, judged on the accumulation of scores from each vet gate.

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