Wednesday, November 29, 2017

UAE: Boudheib Endurance Season Opener Puts the Welfare of the Horse First - Full Article

by Pamela Burton

The Boudheib Initiative - Driving the Future of Endurance

26 November 2017, Boudheib, UAE ~ The first event of the 2017-2018 endurance season incorporating the Boudheib Initiative got underway at the Boudheib International Endurance Village outside of Abu Dhabi from 23-24 November 2017 with over 101 horses starting in the day one, 120km Open CEI** Al Ain Endurance Cup.

The idea to take back endurance and guard the welfare of the horse by reducing speeds to limit injuries on the endurance tracks is called the Boudheib Initiative and is sponsored enthusiastically by His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nayhan. The Boudheib endurance track features stretches of natural desert that work best if taken at the speeds recommended.

The two-day November program also included: 40km CEN & 80km CEN qualifiers, 80km CEI*, 120km JYR** & a 120 CEI**, and an 10km special introductory ride for young riders on Friday 24th...

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Great Britain: National Awards celebrated at EGB's Gala Dinner

Saturday 25th November saw the annual EGB Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony take place at the Daventry Court Hotel, Daventry and was attended by nearly 250 people – a nearly 20% increase on last year! It’s a fantastic opportunity for our members to gather together and celebrate the achievements from the year and, as always, included an ‘Ode to the Horse’ – the most important partners in our sport.

A full list of award winners will be published on the website in the next couple of days, but in the meantime we wanted to highlight our Championship winners. 2017 was a hugely successful year for our Young Riders and we are extremely proud to share with you that this year, Endurance GB’s Overall Champion is Young Rider Emily Cooke, having achieved a fantastic points total of 2288 with her horse Lady’s Man.

In receiving her award Emily told attendees how proud she was of Lady’s Man and that it had taken some time for them to build the bond they now share. She attributes her success to their shared understanding and the time and dedication she puts in, alongside her Mum, Lise Cooke, to training and preparation. Winners of the other Championship Awards as follows:

Overall Championship - Lady’s Man (Emily Cooke) - 2288 Points

Senior Championship - Warrens Hill Rubyn (Sarah Rogerson) - 1194 Points

Young Rider Championship - Lady’s Man (Emily Cooke) - 2288 Points

Junior Championship - Redwings Milky Way (Ella Pomroy) - 1085 Points

Veteran Championship - Bizout (Hannah Lydon) - 1716 Points

Novice Championship - Mistletoe (Caitlin Birkitt) - 670 Points

2017 FEI General Assembly Meeting - Endurance Decisions

FEI held its General Assembly 2017 meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay on 21 November. Decisions in the sport of endurance are as follows:

The General Assembly approved changes to the Endurance Rules to be implemented on 1 January 2019.

The General Assembly voted separately on a proposal to reduce the minimum weight for CEI 3, 4 and 5* and Championships from 75kgs to 70kgs. This was approved.

The General Assembly also voted separately on raising the competition age of horses for 5*, CEIOs and Championships, where horses must now be at least nine years of age (previously eight years) and for Young Horse Championships and Championships under 130km, where the minimum age must now be eight years (previously seven). This was approved.

Other main amendments approved en bloc (also to be implemented as of 1 January 2019) include: Increases in mandatory rest periods, based on scientific presentations at the FEI Sports Forum last April and the FEI Endurance Forum last May. An additional rest period of seven days will apply for horses that reach average speeds of 20 km/hr or higher at completion. This rest period will also apply to horses which do not complete the competition whose average speed of completed phases is 20 km/hr or higher.

A new star system for Endurance events, CEI 4* and CEI 5*, will be introduced to have prime events and a higher standard of competition for horses and athletes. The new star system is not solely defined by prize money, but sets specific requirements for organisers to ensure compliance with FEI rules and high standards of horse welfare.

In order to avoid having minors registered as trainers, the minimum age of a registered trainer has been set at 18 years old.

Qualifying criteria established for new 4* and 5* events, proving the full experience of athletes and horses to guarantee a high standard of competition level, and clarification to novice qualifying criteria in relation to experienced horses and athletes. Plus a new set of rules to define qualifications of horses and athletes for Regional Championships.

New general requirements and test event rules for Championships.

These changes can be viewed here in due course. 

More information from the meeting can be seen here:

World Equestrian Games 2022 Open for Bids… Again - Full Article

November 22 2017

The FEI has announced that it will re-open the bidding process for the World Equestrian Games 2022.

The announcement was made during the FEI’s General Assembly that Samorin had recently decided not to sign the host agreement. Despite lengthy discussions with the FEI, the Samorin team has withdrawn its bid and the FEI Bureau has decided to re-open the bidding process.

Under a revised timeline, the FEI World Equestrian Games 2022 will be allocated at the in-person FEI Bureau meeting in November 2018...

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

All the Wild Horses Takes Top Honors at Equus Film Festival

November 22 2017

The documentary "All the Wild Horses" took top honors of Best Equestrian Feature Film, Best Director, and Best of Festival at the November 17-19 Equus Film Festival in New York City.

ALL THE WILD HORSES follows international riders from around the world as they compete in the Mongol Derby in Mongolia, the longest and toughest horse race on the planet.
In this race across one thousand kilometers of Mongolian steppe the riders are on their own, navigating from horse station to horse station where they change horses every forty kilometers. They battle dehydration, hypothermia, exhaustion, extreme weather, swollen rivers and wild dogs. 

They stay the nights out in the wild or with nomad families. One wrong horse and they can get bucked off, lose their mount or suffer serious injuries.

More about the movie at:

UAE: Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum finishes in style at Al Wathba Challenge - Full Article

by Admin
22 November 2017

Emirates International Endurance Village, Al Wathba, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 11 November 2017.

After a series of qualifying races and races for private stables we saw this Saturday with the Al Wathba Challenge the first ‘open race’ for the season in the United Arab Emirates.

The national race, CEN 120km, was divided into four loops of 40, 35, 25 and 20km.

According to UAE standards it was a rather small entry field with 148 participants, because the organiser only accepted up to 4 horses for each stable.

The Al Wathba Challenge gives enough resting time for the horses ahead of the National Day Cup and is considered for many stables as a try out for the bigger race.

“Absolutely correct” was the comment of one of the leading stables, “maybe today we did not see all the best horses in the country, but the field was very competitive and as you could notice after two loops they were flying...”

Read more here:

Monday, November 20, 2017

UAE: Latest Endurance Horse Deaths Raise Concerns About “Airbrushing” Results - Full Article

November 20, 2017
by: Pippa Cuckson

Concerns that endurance horse deaths are being airbrushed out of official results have been raised again following two deaths at the 120km Al Marmoom Cup in Dubai Saturday.

Catswhiskers Tiro Centauri and Kurrajong Unique were listed as Catastrophically Injured (CI) in the early stages, both travelling at about 25kph. At the end of the day Tawqeet, the Dubai-owned timings operator, amended their listings to show the pair as Failed to Complete (FTC) instead. Yet on Sunday both were shown as dead on the updated horse database held by the FEI.

The Al Marmoom Cup was a UAE national ride, though was staged under FEI rules under the terms of the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EFF) legal agreement with the FEI, signed when the EEF’s suspension for horse welfare issues was lifted in July 2015.

Four other horses were listed FTC at Al Marmoom. Only 32 of the 129 starters finished...

Read more here:

UAE: Dead or Alive? The Not So Strange Case of Altered Results

The CI notation was later removed and does not now show up on the race stats
Credit : Screen shot - Full Article

Sunday 19 November - 17h52 | Lulu Kyriacou

For the second weekend in a row, there have been fatalities in a United Arab Emirates endurance ride, this time in the AL MARMOOM ENDURANCE CUP – CEN 120 KM. But the two horses concerned here are particularly special. They rose from the dead when the results were altered an hour or two after being published on the official scorer's website, Tawqeet.


The ride was organised by the Dubai International Equestrian Club in association with the Emirates Equestrian Federation. Catswhisker Tiro Centauri, a ten-year-old chestnut gelding, and Kurrajong Unique a 16-year-old bay gelding were both listed on the original live scores as CI, Catastrophically Injured. Catswhisker Tiro Centauri apparently met his end on the second loop, and poor Kurrajong Unique did not even get as far as that, he was out the first gate. The horses are both registered in the UAE and both appear to come from the same training stable although Kurrajong Unique was ridden by a Bangladeshi national Nur Mohommod Ali Bablu. Catswhisker was ridden by a more experienced rider, Khalifa Mohammed Saeed Salem ALKHYELI.


An hour or so after the race finished a check on the results found that the CI had been changed to FTC (Failed To Complete)...

Read more here:

UAE Endurance - Brand New Season, Same Old Story - Full Article

Sunday 12 November - 18h08 | Lulu Kyriacou

The first endurance races of the new United Arab Emirates were completed in the last few days but despite plans for new rules to be considered at this week's FEI General Assembly and the sterling efforts of Sheik Sultan's Boudheib Initiative, another horse has ended up dead.
The Spanish bred ESTEL DE MONTFLUQ (UAE) FEI number 103MW80 was competing in the CEI1* ridden by Saqar Hilal al Marouqi was originally listed on 8th November on the offical Tawqeet scores as FTC (Failed to Complete) but the horse was listed as deceased on the FEI database the same day. The horse's FEI record was subsequently updated by the FEI on November 10th to CI (Catastrophically Injured).

​On this occasion it does not look as if speed was the determining factor alone as the horse was recorded on the loops at speeds of between 14 and 16.7kph and finished at 20kph but at the second gate the gelding took 20 minutes for his heart rate to come down to acceptable parameters, indicating that there was already an issue and the horse should have been vetted out at that gate...

Read more here:

FEI extends global equine injuries research agreement with Glasgow University for further two years

19 Nov 2017

The FEI has extended its highly successful global equine injuries research partnership with the University of Glasgow for another two years through to 2019, to further develop the Global Endurance Injuries Study (GEIS). The extension will maximise the impact of the GEIS across Endurance and also look at the potential development of similar methodology for other FEI disciplines.

Led by Professor Tim Parkin and Dr Euan Bennet from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow, the GEIS was set up in 2015 and is one of the largest studies of its kind. The initial aim of the study was to provide evidence-based information for regulatory changes to Endurance rides focussed on minimising the risk of equine injury.

Findings of the Endurance study to date were presented at the FEI Sports Forum 2017 and this year’s Endurance Forum, with the clear message that speed and insufficient rest periods are key risk factors, highlighting that an increase of seven days on the mandatory rest periods established in 2014 could potentially prevent up to 10% of the failed-to-qualify statistics.

This scientific insight has provided a crucial basis for proposed changes to the FEI Endurance Rules, which will be presented and voted on at the FEI General Assembly this Tuesday 21 November.

The extension of the study will look at the development of predictive models categorising the highest (and lowest) risk horse starts included in the FEI’s Endurance database. Predictive models look at the modelling of populations as a whole with potential application to event management, exploring the high-level science behind the impacts of changes in weather, terrain, speeds and other factors. The study will also seek to develop a risk calculator for use by veterinary delegates to risk-assess all horses before and during rides, utilising this scientific knowledge and learning.

Looking towards the future, the Glasgow team will establish the potential use and analysis of data processed by this methodology in other FEI disciplines, starting with Eventing. In collaboration with the FEI, Professor Parkin and Dr Bennet will look at data-gathering protocols and prepare for the early analysis of data when it becomes available by adapting code and analyses for discipline-specific risk factors and outcomes. Data collection parameters will be developed for injury recording both during and after events.

Dr Euan Bennet said: “We are very pleased to be able to extend this important work further. Initial findings have demonstrated the huge potential of using the data scientifically to inform and influence decisions and we are genuinely optimistic that this important collaboration with the FEI will have a significant positive impact on equine welfare”.

FEI Veterinary Director Göran Akerström commented: “Since the GEIS was commissioned in 2015 the results have shown the importance of the work. Scientific research is a crucial element of horse welfare and something that the FEI is very invested in across several projects, so we’re proud to announce the extension of this collaboration and the exploration of its application to other FEI disciplines.

“Using this kind of scientific evidence for the management of the sport, and the development of rules and regulations is an important ongoing development, which can only benefit the welfare of the horse and our understanding of injury reduction. A crucial element in this process is the invaluable reporting of data by FEI Officials and we have seen this research directly influence the FEI governance procedure with the proposed modifications to the FEI Endurance Rules at this year’s General Assembly.”

Professor Tim Parkin Biography

Tim Parkin is Head of the Division of Equine Clinical Sciences, Clinical Director of the Weipers Centre Equine Hospital and Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology at the School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow.

He qualified from the University of Bristol with degrees in Zoology (1992) and Veterinary Science (1998). He immediately took up a position at the University of Liverpool and completed his PhD on the epidemiology of fractures in racehorses in 2002. He has worked on numerous projects with several different racing jurisdictions around the world, including the UK, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, South America and the USA, and more recently worked closely with the FEI to maximise equine welfare at endurance events. He gained his Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Public Health in 2006 and has worked at the University of Glasgow since February 2007.

Dr Euan Bennet Biography

Euan Bennet is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Division of Equine Clinical Sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow.

He qualified from the University of Glasgow with an MSci in Astronomy and Physics (2008) and graduated with a PhD on plasma physics in the early Universe (2012). Following that he worked as a postdoc in the Astronomy and Astrophysics research group in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow, before being recruited for his current role. Since November 2015 he has been providing in-depth epidemiological analysis of Endurance riding utilising the Global Endurance Injuries Study for the FEI.

About the University of Glasgow’s School of Veterinary Medicine

The University of Glasgow’s School of Veterinary Medicine, founded in 1862, is renowned for teaching, research and clinical provision, and attracts students, researchers and clinicians from around the world. The internationally accredited school provides expert referral services via the Small Animal Hospital, the Weipers Centre Equine Hospital and the Scottish Centre for Production Animal Health & Welfare alongside a full range of Veterinary Diagnostic Services for animal owners and referring practitioners throughout the UK and beyond.

In the 2014 UK-wide Research Excellence Framework (REF2014), Glasgow’s veterinary and animal health research activity was ranked top amongst the UK veterinary schools for research quality with an outstanding contribution to societal impact globally. In the 2016 National Student Survey, the School of Veterinary Medicine was voted number one in the UK for Veterinary Science.

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
+41 78 750 61 42

Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
+41 79 314 24 38

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Great Britain: From endurance to racing to showing: one rider’s unusual career - Full Article

Sarah Radford
13:07 - 18 November, 2017

A riding club competitor who was looking for “a fresh challenge” has gone from endurance to race-riding to showing during her time in the saddle.

Dentist Jane Willett, 46, had a background riding Arabs in endurance and dressage but was inspired to push herself towards a new discipline by the story of Hannah Francis, the determined founder of Hannah’s Willbery Wonder Pony Charity.

“I wanted to do something really meaningful and be tested beyond belief and I decided I desperately wanted to ride in the Newmarket Town Plate, which is the longest flat race in Europe,” she said. “It involved nine months of training to pass the charity rider test but it turned out to be the most amazing experience of my life. I’ve also ended up with little racehorse who is the best thing I’ve ever owned...”


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

UAE: Staggered start debuts at DEC endurance ride - Full Article

Over 400 entries have been received for this FEI-CEI2* 120km ride

Published: 16:05 November 14, 2017 Gulf News
Staff Report

Dubai: The Dubai Equestrian Club will hold a unique FEI Endurance CEI2* 120km ride on Wednesday based on the concept of a staggered start.
This is the first of its kind for a CEI2* 120km event worldwide, and will be conducted at the purpose built – Dubai International Endurance City.

Usually FEI rides feature a mass start, where all participants leave together, and the first to finish is declared winner. In this case flexibility is key and the riders will be allowed to start within a broad window spanning across almost two hours, at their own convenience...

Read more here:

Rider suspended and fined over endurance horse’s failed drug test

A US-registered rider who rode in an endurance event in Qatar has been suspended for six months and fined 2000 Swiss francs after his mount tested positive for a prohibited substance.

The rider, Bilal Bassam Al Kharraz, had ridden Ia Aladdin in the CEI 1* event in Doha on March 25.

The horse tested positive for harpagoside, an anti-inflammatory drug with painkilling effects. It is classified as a Controlled Medication under the FEI Equine Prohibited Substances List.

No valid veterinary form exists for its use in horses.

Neither Al Kharraz, nor the owner of the horse, took up the option to have the B sample tested.

Al Kharraz wrote to the tribunal saying he did not know how harpagoside was given to the horse.

“I wasn’t at all involved with the horse’s preparation,” he said. “I know that from the FEI rules I am the Person Responsible and I should take all the sanctions concerning this positive case, but I just came to compete with this horse as requested by the trainer four days before the competition.

“I wasn’t worried about competing for Al Shaqab stable because they have a good reputation and the last time they had a positive case was on 22/02/2014 (3 years ago) with In Situ.

“I would like to cooperate but I prefer that the trainer Mr Khalid Sanad Al Nuaimi give you a complete explanation of what happened because he knows the full story and that’s why he cancelled the B-Sample analyses.

“I hope that you understand my situation and I am ready to cooperate.”

The FEI, in its submission, explained the rationale behind the FEI’s policy of making the rider the Person Responsible, citing a previous decision.

It believes that making the rider responsible is necessary to protect the welfare of the horse, and to ensure fair play. It incentivises riders to ensure compliance with the rules, whether by caring for the horse personally or by entrusting that task only to third parties who are up to the job. It requires the rider to be vigilant over their horse’s preparation for competition, including any treatments given.

In a further submission, Al Kharraz told the tribunal that his stabled horse had been healthy, with no signs of injury that would have required medication.

He said he inquired and found there were horses being spelled in the stable who were receiving a supplement called Arti-Gold, which lists on its label that it contains Harpagophytum procumbens (devil’s claw). It states that this is on the FEI doping list and recommends another product for horses in line to be drug-tested.

Al Kharraz said he believed that the horse somehow got access to the product in the days prior to him competing in the event.

He acknowledged his previous controlled medication case, which arose from a “lack of awareness”, and explained that he always tried to check as much as possible before riding.

The FEI said it was satisfied that Al Kharraz had shown how the substance had entered the horse’s system. It noted that he had been cooperative, and that neither Al Kharraz nor the FEI had managed to reach the trainer in order to be provided with further information.

It said a reduction in penalty might be applicable, given the precautions Al Kharraz had taken – checking with the national federation, assessing the fitness of the horse before the event, and checking with the stables, from which he had ridden several horses in the past.

Chris Hodson, QC, sitting as sole arbitrator in the case, said he was satisfied that Al Kharraz had shown how the substance entered the horse’s system.

He noted the checks undertaken by Al Kharraz ahead of the event and acknowledged the FEI’s view that a reduction might be warranted.

However, the expected duty of care is high. He said Al Kharraz had clearly failed to ensure that the horse’s diet was kept separate from the non-competing horses’ feed.

Even if the trainer or grooms had been careless in giving the horse feed containing harpagoside, it was still the responsibility of Al Kharraz to ensure that the horse did not ingest any prohibited substances, Hodson said.

The warning on the product had been very clear, he added.

He ruled that no reduction in suspension was warranted in the case.

Al Kharraz was suspended for six months, meaning he will be ineligible to compete through to April 24 next year. He was fined 2000 Swiss francs and ordered to pay 1000 Swiss francs towards the costs of the judicial procedure.

Full article at

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Successful racing in Buzet, Croatia - Full Article

12 November 2017
Race report made with the assistance of Bosko Milivojevic.

Equestrian Club Cadence, Buzet, Croatia. Saturday 21 October 2017. Thirty riders (from Austria, Croatia, Italy, Slovenia, and United Kingdom) entered the CEI1* and CEI2* races organized by the Equestrian Club Cadence (Konjički Klub “Kadenca”).

Most of them successfully completed their Saturday rides on the challenging course set in the valley of the longest Istrian river – Mirna river and surrounding hills.

This was the second ride organized by the EQ “Cadence” at the same location and with somewhat altered course and the first successful organized by one of the Croatian equestrian clubs. This event gathered the equestrian elite from Croatia and the region for riders and horses to measure their stamina and skill at the international FEI rides and the Croatian national finals. Also to join the successful event were riders from Slovenia who decided to organize their National Cup finals along with Croatia.

First competitors started arriving on Wednesday in order to prepare themselves and the horses and to familiarize with the area. Among the competitors that sent their entries were Katherine Mills from UK, Kim Hočevar from Slovenia, Karla Šebalj the Croatian national Endurance team member and Ema Lulic from EQ “Cadence” last year’s winner of the CEN 40km ride for Juniors...

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Endurance: So Much Wrong I Hardly Know Where to Start… - Full Article

Cuckson Report | November 7, 2017

More new rules that attempt to slow riders down in endurance will be presented to the FEI General Assembly in 10 days’ time, following “official” research which shows the bleedin’ obvious: go too fast for too long and you will break your horse’s leg.
One proposed rule will add a further seven days mandatory rest if the horse has exceeded 20kph. By a not very amazing coincidence, that is the top speed “window” adopted by the Boudhieb Initiative, which is quietly gaining support and reaping positive results in other parts of the world.

But does anyone seriously think an increased rest is going to give the Group 7 (Middle East) riders and their copyists around the world a moment’s thought when belting along at 37kph at the end of a 120km race? A slightly longer lay-off won’t matter one jot when you have hundreds more horses to drag out of the barn.

UAE current registrations have just topped 7,000 – 7015 to be precise – 48.92% of the global population of active FEI registered endurance horses (14,339), without including the hundreds of UAE-owned horses administered by other national federations. This has risen from 46.79% since I wrote about this alarming trend in September. Seriously, why bother to stage a world endurance championship? The other nations surely can’t have any competitive horses left.

Do Group 7 riders even know the 20kph/longer rest rule is coming in? If so, they are unfazed. In the first three weekends of this 2017-2018 desert season, the winners’ final loop speeds were on average 5kph faster than at the equivalent rides last year. It won’t be long till 40kph is the norm. The global sport is merely a conveyor belt producing horses for destruction in the desert...

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Horse welfare and endurance: Is a 75kg minimum weight sensible?
November 7, 2017 David Marlin

As the FEI prepares to vote on imposing a minimum weight of 75kg for senior championship endurance events, equine exercise physiologist Dr David Marlin questions the sport’s weight requirements.

The FEI’s Endurance Technical Committee has outlined a series of changes around rider weights that will be considered by delegates at the 2017 General Assembly in Montevideo, Uruguay, on November 21.

But does it make sense to have a 75kg minimum weight in endurance?

Minimum weight carriage was an important feature of both showjumping and the speed and endurance phase of eventing competitions in the early days of the sports. For a long time both disciplines used a weight of 165lb (75kg), which seems to have its origins in the average weight of a Cavalry soldier with kit.

Australian light horsemen riding waler horses. The soldiers are of the original contingent of the Australian Imperial Force and the photo was taken prior to their departure from Australia in November 1914. The soldier on the right is Trooper William Harry Rankin Woods, 1st Light Horse Regiment, who died of wounds on 15 May 1915, one of the first light horsemen to die during the Battle of Gallipoli."

The 165lb or 75kg minimum weight in horse sports seems to have its origins in the average weight of a Cavalry soldier with kit. Pictured are Australian light horsemen riding Waler horses.

The minimum weight requirement was first dropped from show-jumping and in eventing was reduced from 75kg to 70kg for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and then abolished for eventing in 1998.

As of January 1, 2016, there are a variety of FEI endurance rules relating to the minimum weight (tack + rider but excluding bridle):

Article 812 – Weights
812.1 At all senior CEI4* Championship, the minimum riding weight for Athletes must be 75kg to include all riding equipment.
812.2 At senior CEI3* the minimum riding weight is 75kg – details to be clearly shown on the approved ride schedule.
812.3 At CEI 1* and 2* alternative weight divisions or gender divisions may be allowed, subject to prior approval by the FEI, and must be clearly specified in the FEI schedule.
812.4 There shall be no minimum weight in Young Rider and/or Junior Competitions.

The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) has a different system with classes according to the weight of the rider and their tack (heavyweight > 211lbs (100kg); middleweight 186-210lbs (86-100kg), lightweight 161-185lbs (73-86kg) and featherweight < 160lbs (73kg). This system relies to some extent on the premise that riders will select an appropriate size of horse, ie, heavier riders will select larger horses to compete on. Of course, smaller riders could choose to compete on smaller horses but they could also choose to compete on large horses, which would give them a distinct advantage.


Sunday, November 05, 2017

Endurance rider weight likely to be a hot-button issue at upcoming FEI General Assembly - Full Article

November 5, 2017

A proposal by Endurance officials to impose a 75-kilogram minimum weight limit for riders and their equipment in a bid to reduce speeds in the discipline has drawn fire from some nations.

The FEI’s Endurance Technical Committee has outlined a series of changes around rider weights that will be considered by delegates at this year’s General Assembly in Montevideo, Uruguay, on November 21.

Committee chairman Dr Brian Sheahan, in a report released ahead of the General Assembly, said research was presented at the annual Endurance Forum in May indicating that small speed reductions combined with appropriate rest periods had the potential to reduce bone fatigue...


Applications Open for 2018 Mongol Derby

Plans for the 2018 race are well underway and as the event continues to evolve and flourish, we know it's going to be the most magnificent one yet.

Applications are open now, but spaces are filling up faster than ever. The event is already well over half full and there's already quite a list of people to interview.

If you want to get your name in the hat, with a chance to win - or simply be a part of - the world's longest and toughest horse race, then get in touch. We're available in HQ between the normal office hours Mon-Fri and love a good chinwag.


The Adventurists

+44 (0) 117 963 5513

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Prohibited substance case under FEI anti-doping rules; RESPONSE

On October 30 Endurance.Net forwarded an FEI press notification of a banned substance offense and resulting suspension,

We apologize for any personal distress over the publication, and sincerely hope that the resolution is favorable.

Steph Teeter


The following is a personal response to the finding, forwarded at Ms Meuten’s request:

By now you may have heard that I, Nicki Meuten, have been suspended from endurance riding due to a positive drug test for the commonly used anti-depressant medication found in trace quantities in our horse Dutch’s post competition urine sample. This happened after the Coats Creek ride in Canada on July 3, 2017. We were just informed of the positive urine test result on October 16, 2017 and have been suspended pending the testing of the split sample and the FEI hearing on the matter.

Our horse tested positive for the metabolite of the human anti-depressant medication Effexor, o-desmethyl venlafaxine. Prior to being informed of Dutch’s test result I had never heard of this medication. We did not administer this substance to our horse nor do we give any banned medications to our horses at or prior to competition. Neither Don nor I take this medication. We have absolutely no idea how our horse could have ingested this substance.

I am devastated as this goes against everything I believe in. In our investigations so far we have found that this is a medication that can be found in waste water, sludge used for fertilizer on fields, and is one of the most common anti-depressant medications prescribed to people (17 million prescriptions in 2007). He could have easily been exposed to this medication in the competition environment prior to or at the event. His urine contained just small trace amounts of this substance (nanograms/parts per billion per milliliter of urine). It is a banned substance however, and according to FEI rules, no amount is permissible.

Laboratory testing methods are now so sensitive and environmental contamination by pharmaceutical products so common that situations like ours will occur regardless of the level of vigilance of the owner/trainer. We are working with multiple people to try to determine how this happened. We will then present this to FEI for their consideration at a hearing of the matter to be scheduled if the split sample results confirm the original lab results. If the split sample confirms the presence, a hearing will be conducted and the FEI will render a decision. Until then I cannot compete or attend an endurance ride even as a support person. If you think this could not happen to you, you are wrong. I will not be responding to anything on Facebook. If you want further information or facts about this please contact Don at

US Equestrian Announces Team for 2024 FEI Endurance World Championship for Seniors Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce the athlete-and-horse combinations that will represent the U.S. at the 2024...