Monday, February 29, 2016

Canada: Langley lawyer preparing to compete in world’s longest horse race

Globalnews.ca - Full Article

February 28 2016
By Jill Bennett - Reporter / Anchor Global News

Heidi Telstad has been riding horses since she was a little girl – but now the Langley lawyer is preparing for her biggest equestrian challenge yet.

She’s the only Canadian riding in this year’s Mongol Derby. Spanning over 1,000 kilometres, it roughly tracks the postal route created by Chinggis Khaan in the 13th century. It’s often called the longest and toughest horse race in the world, and this year only 44 of the 1000 applicants were chosen to compete in the race, which covers both desert and rocky terrain through the Mongolian wilderness.

“The biggest danger is the wild dogs and they say you won’t see them coming,” said Telstad.

“If you see a dog coming, it usually belongs to a family, but the wild ones will stalk you if you are on your own...”

Read more or listen in here:
http://globalnews.ca/news/2546008/langley-lawyer-preparing-to-compete-in-worlds-longest-horse-race/

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Abu Dhabi: Nouf Reda wins Endurance Cup

Khaleejtimes.com - Full Article

February 27 2016

Nouf Abdul Reda, astride 11-year-old Anglo Arabia gelding RR Erebus, landed the 100km Shaikha Fatma bint Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Ladies Endurance Cup for Al Maghaweer Stables, at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi on Friday.

Shaikha Mahra bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum headed the 108 riders who started the race under favourable weather conditions at the beautiful venue which was decked up with a lot of side activities at the 'Arts Creative Land' for young kids and especially girls.

The race was attended by Shaikha Fatma bint Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and accompanied by her two brothers Shaikh Mohammed bin Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Shaikh Hamdan bin Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Nouf and RR Erebus covered the distance in 3 hours, 26 minutes and 34 seconds at an average speed of 29.04kmph. Polish rider Kamila Anita Karet was second on Thaalob and in third was Argentine Sabrina Mendiz on H C E Magfalcada Su...

Read more here:
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/sport/horse-racing/nouf-reda-wins-endurance-cup

Friday, February 26, 2016

New UAE endurance rules fail to slow down riders

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson10:55 - 26 February, 2016

“Strong” new measures applied in the UAE from 13 February failed to reduce speeds in the first two endurance rides to apply them.

The Gamilati Cup for mares on 18 February, and a juniors’ race the next day both recorded some of the fastest aggregate speeds over 120km this season.

Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum won the Gamilati Cup with a final loop speed of 32.11kph and average speed of 27.05kph...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/speed-still-an-issue-in-uae-endurance-despite-rules-527979#KCSheMfEP5EOm0Wl.99

Monday, February 22, 2016

UAE: Just Who is in Charge?

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | February 22, 2016

Well, as an American endurance chum put it, that was as useful as a bucket of warm spit.

I don’t know a single sceptic who wouldn’t have been ecstatic to be proved wrong about the efficacy of the “strong new measures” put in place on February 13th for the remainder of the UAE winter season.

There has been no dancing for joy this week among the “clean” endurance community, though. The FEI’s stated aim is to reduce the speeds associated with catastrophic injury. But at the first two rides last week under the “new” constraints, some of the fastest aggregate speeds of any national or FEI 120km ride this season were recorded, with completion rates as dire as ever.

Endurance is about training horses for recovery, and thus a mystery to most other horse disciplines. I have only recently grasped enough of it to appreciate why the correlation is so fascinating and absorbing to those who love classic endurance.

But in the UAE, it’s taken to extremes. They can afford to buy the very best selectively-bred Arabian super-horses. Their agents round the world target horses who are not just fast but that can present at vet gates within minutes, a trait the UAE trainers then refine through methods the rest of us can only imagine.

But presumably the FEI’s own endurance experts don’t understand it, because otherwise they would have foreseen this: if you set a lower heart recovery rate (60bpm in final loop compared with 64 before), but with no other complementary constraint as enacted at Bou Thib, riders will simply delay a few minutes in presenting, having belted along even faster on the loops!...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/just-who-is-in-charge/

Bouthieb (UAE): Why and how does it work?

Enduroonline.com.br - Full Article

Summary of the situation

In Bouthieb, there are no more dead horses during the competitions or horses put down due to redhibitory fractures.

In Bouthieb, the speed is not the main obsession at the expense of the horses.

In Bouthieb, we obtain a rate of no-treatments that would make many organizers, many federations around the world green with envy.

In Bouthieb, ensuring above all the welfare of the horses is about to become again commonplace.

In Bouthieb, the horse has left the status of a tool to become a partner with whom we play.

Bouthieb is the rebirth place by means of the establishment of a concrete way of doing based on obvious facts, all this being made possible by the courage and determination of a prince who is not afraid to upset the world in order to "simply" return to the fundamentals of endurance.

Is it so hard to do the same somewhere else?

ORGANIZING ENDURANCE COMPETITIONS in the UAE

Every year, the National Federation of the UAE publishes the calendar of the season which will be amended if necessary as the weeks go by. It is the result of negotiations between the three organizing committees and the federation.

The resulting official calendar is made in such a way that the distribution of the rides is balanced equally. There are 22 competitions in each of the three venues for the 2015/2016 season, totaling 66 for the country (January 1st 2016 edition).

Bouthieb alone represents 33% of the UAE competitions for the current season. So it is not a minor venue. We could even add that the "qualifiers" being more numerous, the number of horses that pass through Bouthieb make it the most important venue. A more detailed study would probably show that for an average year this site has between 40 and 45% of the overall number of horses in competition.

Then we must stop focusing on Dubai and Al Wathba thinking that Bouthieb represents a small thing in a corner of the UAE. Yet this is what surfaces in the news we can read here and there over the world.

It must be said that many articles are written from far away, and everyone knows that the longest the distance is, the more schematic, the more generalized the result is. And as sensationalism does not come from what is positive but almost always from what is negative, one darkens the picture, stigmatizes easily, turns over and over because of his resentment and forgets what is right and good, though it is necessarily where the future lies.

Without forgetting what is wrong and should not be, we will talk here of what happens in Bouthieb and the booming success of the new rules implemented, which have made the FEI move faster than any other measures had done before...

Read more here:
http://www.enduroonline.com.br/Bouthieb-Why-and-how-does-it-work.php

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Endurance Stop Press? Don’t bother, I’ve heard it all before

HOrse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | February 15, 2016

wo days ago, the FEI wrested its latest second/third/fourth-chance agreement from the UAE over the breaking of endurance rules and the breaking of horses.

There is no black and white solution. After 20 years of doing exactly what they want, the UAE was never going to roll over in a matter of months.

At first glance, the Emirates federation (EEF) is still bluffing the FEI. The “new” measures agreed on February 13 for the rest of the winter season are a partial re-hash of extant rules that the UAE has cheerfully flouted for years.

But the UAE still hasn’t been quite brave enough to walk away and start its own desert racing governing body (I use the word “governing” loosely.) We can assume they want to stay in the FEI, and so I hope stripping Dubai of the 2016 world championship event remains a live threat that can yet have an effect.

I recently asked the FEI if the likely difficulty in finding a replacement championship venue was influencing its handling of the crisis. I received an unequivocal No...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/endurance-stop-press-dont-bother-ive-heard-it-all-before/

Monday, February 15, 2016

Death by a thousand cuts in equestrian sport

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 16 February 2016

It’s summer in the southern hemisphere – the season for sand and sandals. In horse sport, it seems to be the season for sand and scandals.

Yes, we’re living the dream. Or is it a nighmare? Followers of horse sport will be well aware of the endurance troubles in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that hit the headlines this past month.

We now have a new deal and, who knows, maybe the dust will finally settle around UAE endurance and the FEI can return to happy families.

It is now a matter of waiting to see if the new measures will make any significant difference, which provides a nice window to look at the issue of reputational damage to horse sport.

Scandals are never far away in any number of sports, it would seem. And the damage can be very real...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/02/16/death-thousand-cuts-equestrian-sport/#ixzz40HVxlywT

Sunday, February 14, 2016

UAE's Rashid clinches President's Cup

Khaleejtimes.com - Full Article

Ramdasvn/Abu Dhabi
Filed on February 14, 2016

Shaikh Rashid and Madhu Singh were involved in a two-way battle for supremacy and the UAE rider came up on top to win.

Riding 12-year-old grey Shaddad, Shaikh Rashid Dalmook Juma Al Maktoum edged out Indian rider Madhu Singh on Mustafa to win the prestigious 160-km HH The President of the UAE Endurance Cup at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Saturday.

In a grueling ride that attracted 190 riders and horses from all over the world, Shaikh Rashid and Madhu Singh were involved in a two-way battle for supremacy and the UAE rider came up on top to win with a little over a minute to spare after the 160-km ride. The ride was held in six loops of 40kms, 33kms, 24kms, 23kms, 20kms and 20kms and was attended by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai; and Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, along with many other VIP guests...

Read more here:
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/sport/horse-racing/rashid-clinches-presidents-cup

Saturday, February 13, 2016

UAE: FEI and EEF Agree Endurance Measures for 2016 Season

FEI.org

13 Feb 2016

The FEI, as part of its continued efforts to ensure strong measures for Endurance in the UAE are taken, has today held talks with the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) in Abu Dhabi (UAE).

FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello met with EEF Vice President Mohammad Alkamali, EEF Secretary General Taleb Dhaher Al Mheiri and EEF Executive Board Member Faisal Al Ali to work through the exact measures that will be implemented at international (CEIs) and national (CENs) Endurance events in the UAE for the remainder of the current season, which runs until early April.

These talks follow recent meetings between the FEI and the EEF in both Switzerland and the UAE, after which the EEF postponed four Endurance events so that agreement could be reached on proposed measures to urgently address a number of serious issues in Endurance in the region. The CEI1* in Dubai on 8 February was postponed, along with national events on 4, 5 and 6 February. In addition, the EEF took further action, suspending five riders and five trainers for a six-month period and imposed fines following what they termed “gross offences” at the national junior and young rider 120km ride at Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, on 30 January.

The FEI had set the deadline of 11 February for the EEF to come back with an agreement on the proposed measures, with the caveat that no further events would be held in the region until agreement on these measures had been reached.

The CEI 3* 160km HH The President of UAE Endurance Cup, attended by Mr De Mello, took place today in Al Wathba, following agreement with the FEI on the measures. The event, held at the Emirates International Endurance Village, was well organised with the winning combination averaging a speed of 26.3 kph and all horses crossing the line in good health.

The twelve approved measures, which will be applied for the rest of the UAE Endurance season, are:

1. Reduced number of events for the rest of the season. *Events for the rest of the international season will be confirmed on the FEI Calendar; the EEF will confirm its national events in due course

2. Limit the number of horse and rider combinations entered into each international and national event to 150.

3. Heart rate presentation times reduced to between 56 and 60 bpm for all loops in one-star competitions, and in the final loop for two- and three-star CEIs and CENs.

4. Recovery time reduced to between 10 and 15 minutes for all loops in one-star and in the final loop for two-and three-star CEIs and CENs.

*Heart rates and recovery times will be monitored closely by the FEI and EEF, with action taken where needed (if athletes exceed these limits they will be eliminated)

5. Rest periods between loops will be reviewed by Veterinary Officials to determine whether 50-minute holds will be more beneficial to the horses.

6. The last 2-5 kms of the final loop will be designated and controlled so that no cars or crews can access.

7. In the final loop, crewing in the form of offering cooling water bottles will only be allowed at designated crewing points every 2-5 kms - no other crewing will be allowed.

8. In all CEI 3* and CEI 4* events, all horses will be confined in Secure Overnight Stabling, in accordance with FEI Regulations.

9. The Official TV Broadcasters have been named; as such the film/video recordings are the official record of the event and hence legal actions may be taken against the violators of any regulation viewed on this footage.

10. Crews will be identified with numbered bibs that match the number of the horse to enable easy identification; should a horse be eliminated from the competition, the bibs will be surrendered immediately; only those people with a numbered bib matching that of the horse still in competition will be allowed to crew or to accompany the horse at any time during the event.

11. A ride briefing will be held at each event to review regulations, and to update everyone involved of any changes in regulations for the event; attendance will be compulsory; failure to attend shall result in immediate elimination from the event.

12. All officials will now be appointed by the EEF instead of Organising Committees; no non-EEF appointed officials will be able to officiate at international and national events.

“We need to change hearts as well as minds, and the solution lies in education and dialogue, as well as taking a tough line with sanctions,” explained FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez.

“The Emirates Equestrian Federation has been bold, taking stringent action as seen recently with the suspension of events and sanctioning athletes and trainers, clearly demonstrating their commitment to work together with the FEI to eradicate the incidents that have tarnished the sport. We will continue to work together to ensure progress.

“Protecting horses comes first and we are determined that this specific value is upheld at international and national level Endurance competitions. While the FEI does not have jurisdiction over national events, we will continue to do our utmost to ensure that changes at an international level are also felt nationally.

“It is clear for everyone what is at stake, and the FEI is working closely with the EEF to make sure that any challenges to run the sport within the FEI’s clearly mapped rules are overcome, and that everyone in the sport understands the importance of standing by the measures implemented for the rest of the season.

“By continuing to work together we feel we can greatly impact the sport in the region long term.”

Australian Statement Regarding Horse Welfare

Equestrian.org.au

11 February 2016

Statement 11 February 2016

Equestrian Australia (EA) continues to advocate for an end to the horse welfare issues occurring in endurance internationally.

EA has maintained regular dialogue with the FEI regarding this matter and has been assured by the FEI in a letter to national federations this week that action is being taken.

EA will continue to lobby the FEI to ensure that horse welfare remains a paramount consideration of all national federations and their equestrian events, regardless of discipline or classification.

The Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee, Australian Veterinarian, Dr Brian Sheahan, is addressing the EA endurance committee Thursday evening (11 February) regarding the progress of horse welfare issues in the United Arab Emirates.

Final roll of the dice for UAE endurance

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 13 February 2016

Today, endurance racing resumes in the United Arab Emirates, with 10 four-wheel-drives up for grabs in a 160km contest at Al Wathba, in Abu Dhabi.

It all seems rather hasty. The Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) has forwarded its list of proposed changes, and the FEI seems happy enough at this stage.

It will be a busy day. On a day when one of biggest rides of the season in the United Arab Emirates unfolds, its endurance people will be meeting with FEI officials to finalise the exact details of the measures.

So, understandably, details are still a little sketchy...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/02/13/final-roll-dice-uae-endurance/#ixzz404V6ZzCe

UAE: Strong overseas challenge in HH The President Cup

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

Over 125 riders to compete over championship distance of 160-kms at the Emirates International Endurance Village

Published: 14:18 February 12, 2016 Gulf News
Staff Report

Abu Dhabi Over 125 top riders and 25 overseas horses will vie for honours in the HH The President of the UAE Endurance Cup which will be run over the championship distance of 160-kms at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Saturday.

The ride is being held under the directives of the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and under the supervision of the Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club...

“Besides the hosts. riders from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Slovakia, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Australia, USA and UK will battle for honours,” said Adnan Sultan, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.

“The winner of this FEI Three-star ride will drive away with a Mercedes-Benz 4WD while the second-placed rider will win a Range Rover Sport 4WD. The eight other riders in the top ten will all be awarded a Nissan Patrol 4WD each making it ten cars for this event alone.

“Apart from this, Dh60,000 will be distributed to all those who complete the 160-km ride,” he added.

Read more here:
http://gulfnews.com/sport/horse-racing/strong-overseas-challenge-in-hh-the-president-cup-1.1670927

Friday, February 12, 2016

UAE endurance rides to resume under new measures

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
12 February, 2016

Endurance rides in the UAE have been allowed to resume in time for the prestigious 160km President’s Cup tomorrow (Saturday, 13 February), on th condition that new measures are applied that bear close resemblance to the “Bou Thib initiative”.

Sport was halted last week after a further escalation of horse welfare issues. The Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) was given until Thursday 11 February to propose new controls and gain agreement from the FEI.

The FEI has tightened its own endurance rules twice in 18 months to try to curtail the doping, horse fatality and cheating scandals that have blighted the sport in the UAE. However, they have proved largely ineffective during the current season...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/uae-endurance-rides-to-resume-under-new-measures-526675#6pXJlMPYi6LuadZG.99

Emirates Equestrian Federation lifts temporary ban from rides

Khaleejtimes.com - Full Article

Filed on February 12, 2016

At least five trainers who were overseeing the horses and riders have been banned, while the grooms of the five horses had forfeited their licences.

The Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) has announced the lifting of the temporary ban on endurance rides in the UAE starting today.

Mohammed Al Kamali, Chairman of the Executive Board of the EEF reiterated that the executive board has taken stock of the situation and found the conditions favourable to re-start the endurance rides with immediate effect.

Last week, the EEF had handed out a temporary ban valid till Feb.11 on all activities related to horse endurance based on short-comings noted during the UAE Youth Endurance Ride (120 kms) held on Jan. 30. As many as 55 horses had participated in this ride, and five riders and their mounts were eliminated after some offences had been discovered.

At least five trainers who were overseeing the horses and riders have been banned, while the grooms of the five horses had forfeited their licences. Each of the five stables involved in the violations had also been slapped with fines of $100,000 (Dhs 365,000) each.

After imposing the ban, the EEF conducted its own internal enquiry to ensure the sport does not come into further disrepute in the eyes on the world. "We will never compromise on the safety of the horses or the riders, and compliance with all rules and regulations is of utmost importance to the integrity of our sport. We owe it to the future generations that our remains authentic and welfare of the sport," Mohammed Al Kamali said at the conclusion of a meeting late on Wednesday...

Read more here:
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/sport/horse-racing/emirates-equestrian-federation-lifts-temporary-ban-from-rides

UAE: The Bouthieb initiative: The new way ahead for endurance?

Horsetalk.co.nz - 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 François 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?...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/02/11/bouthieb-initiative-new-way-ahead-endurance/#ixzz3zyrVppS0

Olympic riders among top names to campaign against endurance scandals

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
10 February, 2016

An online petition demanding the FEI removes the December 2016 world endurance championship from Dubai reached 4,000 signatures over night (Tuesday 9 – Wednesday 10 February).

It has also attracted high-profile support from outside endurance, with British Olympic rider Jennie Loriston-Clarke among signatories from all over the world.

The petition was launched by the continental-based “clean endurance” community last Friday afternoon (5 February). The group says it will advise FEI president Ingmar de Vos of the interim results before the FEI meets the Emirates Equestrian Federation tomorrow (11 February) to discuss solutions to the latest welfare scandals that brought UAE endurance to a halt on 4 February.

However, the petition will remain open...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/olympic-riders-among-top-names-to-campaign-against-endurance-scandals-526455#WL7cd5jcy4ddTQxI.99

Swiss Demand New Venue for 2016 Endurance Championships

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

February 10, 2016
by: Swiss Equestrian Federation

Following further incidents during the endurance season in Group VII of the FEI in the Middle East, the Swiss Equestrian Federation (SEF) is strongly opposed to the intended venue for the Elite Endurance World Championships in December 2016, namely Dubai (UAE).

Since the beginning of the season in October 2015, 10 Catastrophic Injuries have been reported to the FEI, with seven horses confirmed dead.

After persistent criticism from around the globe, the FEI amended the regulations for endurance competitions in 2014, with the protection and welfare of horses as well as equal treatment for all competitors as the main objectives...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/horse-news/swiss-demand-new-venue-for-2016-endurance-championships/

Monday, February 08, 2016

Qatar: GCC Women's Endurance Cup: Omani Women riders take bronze

Muscatdaily.com - Full Article

February 07, 2016
Omani riders claimed the team bronze at the GCC Women's Endurance Cup in Doha, Qatar on Friday.

The Omani women competed in the 90km race, which was won by UAE, while hosts Qatar took the silver. UAE's Alyazah al Rumaithi won the individual honours...

Read more: http://www.muscatdaily.com/Archive/Sports/GCC-Women-s-Endurance-Cup-Omani-Women-riders-take-bronze-4lef#ixzz3zas1t2Y5

Pressure mounts to strip Sheikh Mohammed's Dubai venue of 2016 world championship endurance event

Telegraph.co.uk - Full Article

American Endurance Ride Conference – pioneers of the “classic” sport since 1972 – is demanding that the FEI relocate over cruelty to horses

By Pippa Cuckson, Equestrian Correspondent
8:39PM GMT 07 Feb 2016

The International Equestrian Federation is under pressure to strip Sheikh Mohammed’s Dubai International Endurance City of the 2016 world championship event, as the horse welfare crisis in the United Arab Emirates sport escalates.

The FEI and Emirates Equestrian Federation halted all UAE long-­istance race-rides last Wednesday until at least Feb 11 while further solutions were sought. The flogging of five exhausted horses by riders and their grooms during in a 120-kilometre youth ride at Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi on Jan 30 was witnessed by thousands of horrified viewers on the event’s live-stream.

Now, the American Endurance Ride Conference – pioneers of the “classic” sport since 1972 – is demanding that the FEI relocate the 2016 world title event, and imposes a new, minimum one-year suspension on the EEF.

The Swiss federation has suggested a boycott, while the Dutch announced on Friday that if the FEI could not wrest back control, it would consider its own measures...

Read more here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/12145562/Pressure-mounts-to-strip-Sheikh-Mohammeds-Dubai-venue-of-2016-world-championship-endurance-event.html

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Kuwait wins Gulf popular heritage title for endurance riding

GDOnline.com - Full Article

Kuwait: Kuwait's jockey Meshari Al­Sour, of Al­Mutrega team, won the popular heritage championship for 120­kms endurance riding race for elite horses on Saturday at Sabah Al­Ahmad Heritage Village, part of the Sixth Gulf Popular Heritage Festival.

Meanwhile, Kuwaiti jockey Mohammad Al­Lezam, of Nasis team, came second in the race, followed by Talal Al­Rashdan, of Asayel team, in the third place, and Ali Sultan, of Al­Hazm team, in the fourth place to be awarded cars for each one of them...

Read more here:
http://www.gdnonline.com/Details/64782/Kuwait-wins-Gulf-popular-heritage-title-for-endurance-riding

US endurance officials baulk at world champs in Dubai

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 7 February 2016

The United States is unlikely to be represented at this year’s World Endurance Championships should it go ahead in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) president Michael Campbell, writing to the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) on behalf of its membership and board of directors, said it wanted the world championships to be removed from the UAE to a “more suitable location”.

Campbell said the AERC was of the view that, should the FEI resist moving the venue from Dubai, the US Equestrian Federation should forego plans to send an endurance team to the championships...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/02/07/us-endurance-officials-baulk-world-champs-dubai/#ixzz3zV2cf28H

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Endurance Day of Reckoning

Equinerescuefrance.org - Full Article

Posted by ERF on Feb 6, 2016

Apologies for this being a blog of links. There is so much information currently flying about that it’s easier to collate in one place.

The EEF have cancelled all races until the 11th February 2016 as a result external pressures from the rest of the world having viewed the appalling scenes and news of abused, exhausted and vanished horses coming from the Dubai ride at the weekend. Unsurprisingly, the restrictions just stop short of the high profile President’s Cup, due to be held on the 13th of February 2016.

More info below:
http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/02/04/fei-uae-eadline-serious-endurance-issues/#axzz3zNZ12D7I

The initial purpose of this blog is to share the petition far and wide about stopping the UAE and other Group VII countries from the ongoing extreme abuse to horses, and taking the privilege of hosting the WEC away from them.

Primarily, please sign and share the below link:

https://www.change.org/p/ingmar-de-vos-president-fédération-equestre-internationale-say-no-to-2016-world-endurance-championships-in-horse-hell

Read more here:
http://www.equinerescuefrance.org/2016/02/5759/

Dutch KNHS has Contact with FEI on Recent Endurance Events

KNHS.nl

[google translate]

February 5, 2016

The KNHS once again in the international equestrian federation FEI expressed its concern to the FEI to take action against the recent controversial practices during endurance races in the UAE.

The KNHS noted improvements in recent months, but is nevertheless shocked by the [Young Rider] race in Al Wathba, UAE. The FEI worked last year, imposing all new regulations to improve the welfare of the horses in the Middle East. In that process should, according to the KNHS, more stringent steps to be put.

KNHS will support any upcoming FEI measures. If these, in the opinion of the KNHS, prove ineffective, the KNHS will take its own measures.

Source: KNHS

New study into health of British endurance horses

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Amy Mathieson
6 February, 2016

A study to investigate the health of endurance horses in Britain has been launched by the Animal Health Trust and Endurance GB (EGB).

In 2015, 1,209 horses were registered with EGB, however, no objective information is available on the general health status or specific veterinary problems of British endurance horses.

The study, led by Dr Annamaria Nagy, a senior orthopaedic clinician at the AHT, was set up to “establish the prevalence of veterinary problems and to investigate whether horse, rider or management-related risk factors are associated with specific problems”.

EGB members are urged to complete a questionnaire for their horse...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/british-endurance-horse-health-study-525926#VPQE88S2jvTbglZb.99

Friday, February 05, 2016

‘We are deeply concerned and shocked’: Endurance GB calls for further action in UAE welfare case

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Amy Mathieson
5 February, 2016

Endurance GB (EGB) has responded to scandals in the sport in the UAE, saying the organisation is “deeply concerned and shocked” by recent footage that has emerged.

On 30 January five riders — including the first three over the line — were disqualified from a junior/young riders 120km ride at Al Wathba for beating their exhausted horses.

A video clip of the final stages of the race went viral, leading for many calls on social media for the UAE to be resuspended immediately (news, 4 February).

“The board has been closely following with interest the progress of the FEI in improving horse welfare in the UAE, in accordance with the agreement put in place with the Emirates Equestrian Federation [EEF],” read a statement.

“While there have been reports of numerous improvements, especially at the Bou Thib venue, we are deeply concerned and shocked by the video that has emerged from a CEN [national] event at Al Wathba on the 30 January...”

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/we-are-deeply-concerned-and-shocked-endurance-gb-calls-for-further-action-in-uae-welfare-case-526017#hr4x8EIQw2XRrTRG.99

UAE: Five endurance riders, trainers suspended

Gulfnews.com

EEF chairman Al Kamali says compliance with all rules and regulations of utmost importance


Staff Report
February 5, 2016

Dubai The head of the Emirates Endurance Federation (EFF) has emphasised that a zero tolerance policy in the sport will be implemented after the suspension of at least five endurance riders that has led to a temporary suspension of all endurance related activities in the UAE.

Mohammad Al Kamali, Chairman of the Executive Board of the EEF and General Secretary of the UAE National Olympic Committee (UAE NOC) told Gulf News that any violation of rules and regulations laid out by the sport’s governing, the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), would not be tolerated.

“The safety of horses and compliance with all rules and regulations is of utmost importance to the integrity of any sport. Endurance riding is comparatively new and it is essential and crucial that we maintain its authenticity to ensure a bright and healthy future for the sport,” Al Kamali told Gulf News following a closed-door meeting of the EEF Executive Board on Wednesday.

“The EEF is closely monitoring the situation of our riders, horses and stables and we will show zero tolerance towards any breach of rules and regulations.”

The swift action was initiated following lapses and violation of rules and regulations during the 120km UAE Youth Endurance Ride held on January 30.

As many as 55 horses participated in the ride, and five riders and their horses were eliminated due to the contravention of FEI rules wherein they were deemed to have excessively whipped their horses in the final stages of the ride.

On Thursday, the EEF suspended the five endurance riders and temporarily suspended all endurances rides and allied activities in the UAE till February 11.

Additionally, at least five trainers who were overseeing the horses and riders have been temporarily banned, while the grooms of the five horses have forfeited their licences.

Each of the five stables involved in the violations have also been handed fines of Dh100,000 each.

The Executive Board also asserted that all Endurance Villages, Endurance Riding Clubs and Stables must adhere to a uniform process of registering all personnel, including service crew associated with the sport.

All personnel will be issued permits which must be displayed during the course of the rides in the future.

“What has happened is unfortunate, not just for the riders, the horses and the stables. But the rules and regulations are clear and as sportsmen it is the obligation of everyone involved to simply adhere to the rules,” Al Kamali said.

“The ultimate objective of this exercise is to protect the sport of endurance riding, and one of the ways to do so is to ensure that all rules and regulations are followed by one and all.”

$100,000 fines for stables involved in endurance horse-beating incidents

Horseandhound.co.uk

Five endurance stables involved in the horse-beating incidents at Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, last weekend (30 January) have been locally fined $100,000 dollars each, with their trainers suspended, as the horse welfare crisis in the United Arab Emirates escalates.

The FEI is also under growing public pressure to reallocate the 2016 world championships from Dubai.

Today, a petition calling for a new venue was launched on Change.org.

The Swiss Equestrian Federation has publicly suggested a boycott, while the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) also wants the venue moved.

In a letter to the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), AERC president Michael Campbell said: “The suspension imposed on UAE by FEI last year has not made a lasting impression, with the exception of Dr Sheikh Sultan in Bou Thib.

“As the endurance affiliate in the US, AERC requests that USEF register strenuous objections with the FEI regarding the over-riding and equine abuse that continues in the UAE.

“This continued abuse is a blight on the sport of endurance riding throughout the world. The desert-style racing of UAE is not endurance riding as most other countries define it. Endurance communities in many other countries are expressing the same feelings to their national governing bodies.”

Five riders, including the first three past the post, were disqualified on Saturday from a 120km youth event, where a horse also died. Shocking footage showed the youngsters, abetted by numerous grooms illegally on the field of play, bullying and shoving exhausted horses to the finish.


[Read More ...]

Petition to Stop 2016 World Endurance Championships in Dubai Circulates



READ THE PETITION

Owing to the most recent endurance debacles in Dubai, UAE, a petition has sprung up and circulated on the internet to remove the 2016 World Endurance Championships from Dubai, and have them "staged in a country which upholds the values of Clean Endurance."

The controversy involving the UAE over endurance horse welfare, cheating, horse swapping in mid-race, and more, has continued for 3 years and outraged people from around the world.

FEI suspended the UAE at the end of last year's endurance racing season, warning them to clean up the abuses. UAE was reinstated at the beginning of this year's racing season, yet the abuses and horse deaths continue, with the latest debacle coming from the finish of a Junior/Young Rider Endurance Cup where 3 of the first finishers were disqualified for overriding and beating their exhausted horses, and grooms ran onto the track to haze them. All was caught on the live video stream of the race.

The FEI has taken rather quick action to suspend races in the UAE for the next few days, but it is not enough action for the endurance world outside Group VII, since this same action last season proved to have little effect in ultimately protecting horse welfare in endurance races in Dubai. This petition, started by Clean Endurance, targets the World Endurance Championship in Dubai in December 2016.

"The 2016 World Endurance Championships have been awarded to Dubai despite the fact that horses continue to suffer or die at every endurance competition there. Despite the UAE's previous suspension for abuse and cheating, horse welfare has not been improved. Please sign if you agree the World Endurance Championships, scheduled for December 2016, should be removed from Dubai and staged in a country which upholds the values of Clean Endurance."

To read or sign the petition, see
https://www.change.org/p/ingmar-de-vos-president-f%C3%A9d%C3%A9ration-equestre-internationale-say-no-to-2016-world-endurance-championships-in-horse-hell?recruiter=482965402&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink


American Endurance Ride Conference Responds to Latest UAE Controversy

Letter from AERC to Will Connell, USEF International Disciplines Council Liaison

Dear Mr. Connell,



On behalf of the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) membership and Board of Directors, I am writing to request that the United States Equestrian Federation register the outrage of the endurance community in the United States over the appalling mistreatment of horses at the Al Wathba endurance ride in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last weekend, January 30, 2016. Evidence of this equine abuse has been widely circulated on social media around the world.

The suspension imposed on UAE by FEI last year has not made a lasting impression on most of the venues in the UAE, with the exception of Dr. Sheik Sultan in Bouthieb. As the endurance affiliate in the U.S., AERC requests that USEF register strenuous objections with FEI regarding the overriding and equine abuse that continues in UAE.

This continued abuse is a blight on the sport of endurance riding throughout the world. The desert style racing of UAE is not endurance riding as most other countries define it. I know that endurance communities in many other countries are expressing the same feelings to their national governing bodies.

AERC further requests that stricter sanctions be imposed on UAE to drive home the lesson that mistreatment of horses in endurance rides is intolerable to the United States and the rest of the endurance world. At this point, a one year suspension would be reasonable.

Finally, AERC requests that the venue for the World Endurance Championship be removed from the UAE to a more suitable location. Should FEI resist moving the venue, AERC requests that USEF forego plans to send an endurance team to the WEC.

Sincerely,

Michael Campbell, Ph.D.
President
American Endurance Ride Conference

Endurance Great Britain weighs in on UAE controversy

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Horsetalk.co.nz | 5 February 2016

The board which oversees endurance in Britain has voiced its concerns over the controversy unfolding in the United Arab Emirates, saying the FEI has a duty to address a culture of riding horses beyond their means in the discipline.

The board, in a post on the endurancegb.co.uk website, said it had been closely following the progress of the FEI in improving horse welfare in the UAE under an agreement between the world governing body and the Emirates Equestrian Federation.

The board said that while there had been reports of many improvements, especially so at the endurance venue in Bouthieb, where local “house” rules are in place to effectively safeguard the welfare of horses, it was deeply concerned and shocked by the video that emerged from a CEN event at Al Wathba on January 30...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/02/05/endurance-great-britain-uae-controversy/#ixzz3zJGrOSKz

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

Telegraph.co.uk - 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...

Read more here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/horseracing/12140747/Endurance-racing-in-UAE-brought-to-halt-as-FEI-seeks-assurances-about-horse-protection.html

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Letter from Endurance Great Britain regarding UAE

Endurancegb.co.uk

04 February 2016

The Board has been closely following with interest the progress of the FEI in improving horse welfare in the UAE, in accordance with the agreement put in place with the EEF (Emirates Equestrian Federation). Whilst there have been reports of numerous improvements, especially at the Bou Thib venue, we are deeply concerned and shocked by the video that has emerged from a CEN event at Al Wathba on the 30th of January.

We have today written to the BEF [British Equestrian Foundation] to share our concerns and have asked that they are passed to the FEI. We have requested that further action be taken and that this is made public as soon as possible. The FEI have a duty to address a culture of riding horses beyond their means in the sport of endurance.

The Board fully support the FEI to intervene and implement new measures that protect horses and the sport worldwide.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

FEI gives UAE a deadline to remedy “serious” endurance issues

Horsetalk.co.nz

The FEI has given the United Arab Emirates (UAE) until February 11 to come up with an agreement that will remedy what the world governing body calls serious issues in endurance in the region.

The FEI issued a statement early today from its endurance director, Manuel Bandeira de Mello, who is understood to be in the UAE.

It said the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) had postponed four endurance events in coming days “so that agreement can be reached on proposed measures to urgently address a number of serious issues in endurance in the region”.

The EEF’s calendar shows it has also postponed a fifth ride, a 100km ride restricted to private stables and individuals, set to be run in Dubai.

The four postponed events are the Rashidiyya Ladies Cup, which was to be run today; the Jumairah Endurance Cup for private owners, set for tomorrow; the Emirates Championship, scheduled for February 6; and the AlBarsha CEI 1* endurance ride on February 8.

[Read more ...]

Next five endurance rides on UAE calendar postponed

Horsetalk.co.nz

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.

[More ...]

UAE endurance rides ‘postponed’ with no explanation

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
3 February, 2016

Five endurance rides in the UAE due to be staged in the next few days were announced as “postponed” last night (Tuesday 2 February), as worldwide outrage over the horse welfare crisis continues to escalate.

And while H&H was waiting for official confirmation from the FEI this morning (Wednesday 3 February), in another surprise move all remaining rides in Dubai for the rest of the season have disappeared from the calendar of the Dubai Equestrian Club.

The Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) emailed the postponements to its members overnight on Wednesday, without giving a reason.

However, earlier that day FEI endurance director Manuel Bandeira de Mello flew into Abu Dhabi for an emergency meeting. The week before, the EEF was summoned to FEI headquarters in Lausanne.

The FEI has yet to provide reason, though speculation is growing on social media that the season’s most prestigious ride, the 160km Presidents Cup, the following weekend, must also now be at the risk and that a further suspension is imminent...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/uae-endurance-rides-postponed-with-no-explanation-525745#ZEqhOmeEHBdFs7bm.99

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

FEI endurance boss understood to be in the UAE

Horsetalk.co.nz

The FEI’s endurance director, Manuel Bandeira de Mello, is understood to be in Abu Dhabi as the world governing body pushes for endurance reforms in the United Arab Emirates (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.

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.

The results have been stunning, with only a handful of horses requiring moderate veterinary assistance among more than 1000 which have competed under the rules so far.

Bandeira de Mello, in a statement last month, acknowledged the six fatalities that had occurred in UAE endurance up to that point.

“It is abundantly clear,” he said, “that speed is a major factor in these incidents and that it is necessary to introduce measures to slow down the horses in order to reduce the number of catastrophic injuries.

“The FEI is in urgent discussions with the Emirates Equestrian Federation and individual event organisers to introduce similar protocols to those used so successfully at the recent event in Bouthieb to reduce the speed.

[More ...]

UAE endurance: Come on FEI, you’ve got to be kidding me

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 2 February 2016

Normally, when my colleague calls me over to her computer to watch a video, it’s going to show a fluffy kitten doing something insanely cute, a horse unlatching his stable door, or a dog proving that he’s smarter than his master.

But yesterday I was instead subjected to 7 minutes and 53 seconds of endurance from the United Arab Emirates. More specifically, the Sheikh Zayed Bin Mansoor Al Nahyan Junior & Young Riders Endurance Cup, raced over 120 kilometres on Saturday at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi.

I wrote about this particular race the day after the event, having read the results.

The results, I felt, spoke for themselves in terms of the issues with UAE endurance. There were 55 starters, only 18 of whom successfully completed the four-loop race. Of the 37 eliminations, 19 were recorded as going out because of an irregular gait (including one before the race even started); another because of an irregular gait and metabolic issues; three were listed as failing to complete; five were retired by the rider; one was disqualified for departing 10 minutes early; one was listed as being out of time; and six were disqualified for beating their horse. A horse named Ainhoa Catharissime, a grey Arab mare, went out on loop three after suffering a catastrophic injury.

Now, having watched the video, which shows the closing stages of the race, I find myself almost lost for words. There is no point in me providing a forensic analysis of the video – you can watch it for yourself – but it is not pretty. In fact, it’s appalling...

Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2016/02/02/uae-endurance-fei-kidding-me/#ixzz3z1kAvPXY

Monday, February 01, 2016

France: Rambouillet Challenge Amateurs in May

The Rambouillet Challenge Amateurs will take place May 21 and 22, 2016, at Chateau de Neuville.

Taking the place of the Raid Yvelines this year, Rambouillet Challenge Amateurs is an event for licensed amateurs and club, and the course will use some of the trails of Raid Yvelines.

Ten races are scheduled on Saturday and Sunday.

In the programme of amateurs: Cen *** (140 km), Cen ** (120 km), Cen ** (2 x70km on two days), Cen * (80 km).
In the programme of clubs: Elite GP (60 km), Elite (40 m), Club 2 Special (30 km), Club 2 (20 km), Club 3 (20 km), Club 4 (10 km).

Opening date for entries will be announced soon.

More information at http://endurocheval.com/
or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EnduroCheval/

UAE: Endure or Disappear

Equinerescuefrance.org - Full Article

Posted by ERF on Jan 31, 2016

In the video in this article, it shows the end of the 120 km Endurance ‘competition’ at Al Wathba in Dubai. FIVE riders were disqualified for beating horses. One rider/crew wasn’t reported in time for beating his horse, so wasn’t disqualified. There is no further punishment. This is difficult viewing, but it must be seen. One horse is reported as having sustained a CI (catastrophic injury) the end result for which should necessarily be euthanasia. Several horses just ‘vanished’ mid ride. No vet saw them, they didn’t return to the gates.

Here are some stills from the video – all these people chasing individual horses that are so tired they are close to collapse. Imagine if this happened in eventing or racing in the UK? Or even anywhere else in Europe. The ariel view has ONE horse in it. ONE.

The FEI have to act – how can they entertain the Endurance World Championships being held in Dubai with these levels of abuse, never mind the blatant rule breaking that is going on?

Below is a take on why this is happening, from Rachel Marty, a Dutch Endurance rider. Although a fascinating read, it doesn’t offer much hope for the horses in the Group VII countries. A huge thanks to Rachel for taking the time to write this.


Norm Change and UAE Endurance

This video shows exactly what the problem is with UAE endurance: the horse is solely seen as a means to an end. A machine carrying riders/trainers/owners to a desirable result. A thing that is used until it breaks. Nobody of the visible spectators seems to care about the fate of these animals. There is a mass of people that simply chooses to ignore that these horses are simply too tired to go on. Mass of people that even participates to their destruction.

Personally, I find this video more disturbing to see than the pictures of poor Bundy who was photographed stranded in the UAE sand during the Al Reef Cup last year with his two broken forelegs. Yes, of course I also found that disturbing, don’t get me wrong. But this video shows even more clearly the lack of any kind of humanity, decency or empathy towards the horses. And then I ask myself: is it even possible to change such characteristics and turn them around into the norm we would so much like to see employed: the endurance horse as a partner, companion and priority to its rider/trainer/owner? Is the step from one to the other not simply too big?...

Read more here:
http://www.equinerescuefrance.org/2016/01/endure-or-disappear/

UAE: They Are Not Worthy

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

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...

Read more here:
http://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/they-are-not-worthy/