Thursday, April 18, 2019

New Mind-Set at the Heart of Latest Endurance Reforms - Full Article

April 18, 2019
by: Pippa Cuckson

A complete change in mind-set is at the heart of the endurance reforms presented at the FEI Sports Forum earlier this week.

New measures will require horses and riders to upgrade by demonstrating consistency, with speeds capped at 18kph until they reach a 66% completion rate. This will force a radically new outlook on the younger generation, few of whom have experienced the slower-paced, classic form of endurance. If passed, the new rules will also seriously impact on the practice of racing “strange” horses at the upper levels – the norm in desert endurance.

This and other moves – notably curtailment of mobile crewing, breaking up “cliques” of officials, and emphasis on the horse-rider partnership – are likely to meet resistance from the FEI Group 7 countries (Middle East) in months to come.

The UAE owns or administers 5,403 (56.2%) of the global population of 9,612 endurance horses currently registered with the FEI. At the end of the debates, the Emirati federation’s secretary-general Dr Ghanem Alhajri made an impassioned speech about the likely economic impact of the changes, and their capacity to “punish” by default the owners who invest...

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