Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Clean Endurance slams limited welfare progress in Middle East

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

April 11, 2018
Horsetalk.co.nz

Desert endurance racing in the Middle East continues to exact a heavy toll on horses, four years on from what should have been a watershed moment for the sport, according to the group Clean Endurance.

The group says it is dismayed that, four years after the Endurance Strategic Planning Group (ESPG) set out a blueprint for change, there have been no concrete signs of improvement in the FEI’s Group 7 region, in the Middle East.

The FEI formed the ESPG in 2013 amid growing concerns about horse welfare, doping and rule-breaking. Delegates included representatives from Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the European Equestrian Federation, the FEI Endurance Committee and FEI headquarters.

All had agreed, according to Clean Endurance, that, globally, all efforts had to be made to reduce the numbers of horses testing positive for prohibited substances and suffering injuries.

On November 6 that year, ESPG chairman Andrew Finding opened his presentation to the FEI General Assembly session on Endurance in Montreux, Switzerland, with the words: “President, ladies, gentlemen, friends: we have a serious problem to resolve for Endurance sport and thus for all equestrian sport. We may not like the nature of the media coverage, we may feel that it is not all correct, but we cannot deny the fact that the levels of doping and the incidence of catastrophic injury to horses are unacceptable.”

The ESPG, after months of consultation, presented 41 recommendations to the FEI Sports Forum in April 2014.

“The ESPG’s clear-cut approach gave campaigners cautious hope,” Clean Endurance said.

Four years later, Clean Endurance has revisited the recommendations. It believes that half of them were never adopted. Others, it says, have been only partially executed so far.

“In some respects, the situation has worsened in the desert rides since 2014,” it says...

Read more at https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2018/04/11/clean-endurance-limited-welfare-progress-middle-east/#fafcxTFuGmjTBj1k.99

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