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Cuckson Report | February 1, 2016
I am sorry, folks, to write about endurance three blogs in a row, but I cannot deny my rising anger at the FEI’s abject failure to get a grip of the UAE.
After just eight rides over three weekends, Sheikh Sultan Al Nahyan has achieved significant improvements – well documented on this blog and elsewhere – at his own Bou Thib venue by the simple but genius expedient of attaching best condition criteria to 70% of the prizes. (Why did the FEI’s much vaunted, six-figure budget strategic planning group not think of that?)
But elsewhere, the catalogue of rule-breaking, land-speed record attempts, knackered horses and brutal harassment (“hazing”) of horses by hooligans in four-wheel drives with no business to be on the piste, is worse than last season and all caught on camera by the official live stream, YAS. I am utterly bewildered why a renewal of the UAE suspension has not already been applied.
By the way, the 10th Catastrophic Injury of the current UAE season was recorded at this same ride, another landmark moment – not. We have been hastily advised that some CIs listed since October are mistakes and downgraded to Irregular Gait (IG). Is that all right then? Not really, as it says rather a lot about the competence of a vet who can’t spot the difference between a snapped cannon bone poking through the skin and a bit of unlevelness.
But this is not what has upset me most this weekend. Of course I am distressed about the latest CI, though if Ainhoa Catharissme really is dead then at least her miserable existence is over and she has found peace in horse heaven, where she has, no doubt, already hooked up with old chums from the barn.
No, I and a host of others are sickened by the closing stages of the Sheikh Zayed Al Nayhan Junior and Young Riders Cup at the infamous Al Wathba track...
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