Wednesday, November 08, 2017

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

Horse-canada.com - 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:
https://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/endurance-much-wrong-hardly-know-start/