Friday, February 12, 2016

UAE: The Bouthieb initiative: The new way ahead for endurance? - Full Article

Contributor | 11 February 2016

Endurance is again embroiled in controversy, with welfare concerns in the United Arab Emirates again taking centre-stage. One of its venues, Bouthieb, has taken a different approach, with rules designed to safeguard horse welfare. It has been stunningly successful. Four-star endurance judge Fran├žois Kerboul, who was involved in setting up the Bouthieb initiative, explains how it works, and provides some insights into UAE endurance.

Endurance competitions at Bouthieb essentially ensure that speed is not the main obsession at the expense of the horse.

Its rules, in which speeds are GPS-monitored and the majority of prize-money is allocated to the best-conditioned horses, have resulted in remarkably few horses requring veterinary treatment, and even then for only minor issues.

Bouthieb’s rules were made possible by the determination of the venue’s owner, Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was not afraid to return to the fundamentals of endurance.

Is it so hard to do the same elsewhere?...

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