Thursday, September 15, 2016

Slovakia braced for FEI World Endurance Championships after stepping in for axed Dubai - Full Article

By Liam Morgan
Wednesday, 14 September 2016

A total of 136 riders are due to compete at the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) World Endurance Championships, which get underway with the Opening Ceremony in Samorin in Slovakia tomorrow.

The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar are all expected to do well at the event, which remains shrouded in controversy after Dubai was stripped of the hosting rights earlier this year following horse welfare concerns.

Uruguay and Spain are also sending strong teams to Samorin, which was confirmed as the replacement for Dubai in June, while Mario Hoffmann of Slovakia will be looking to make full use of home advantage.

The FEI have confirmed 46 countries from five countries will be represented at the World Endurance Championships, with the main bulk of the action due to be held on Saturday (September 17).

The Samorin Equestrian Centre, the venue for last year’s European Championships, was chosen to stage the event ahead of rival submissions from Fontainebleau in France and Pisa in Italy by the FEI’s Endurance Committee.

Both the French and Italian bids were rejected after they proposed mid-October for the Championships, meaning rides would start and finish in the dark.

Dubai's axing came after the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) was suspended by the FEI for "major horse welfare issues" in March 2015.

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