Wednesday, December 18, 2019

FEI Tribunal sanctions rider in new Abuse Protest lodged by Clean Endurance

18 December 2019
Immediate Release

Clean Endurance is satisfied that the FEI Tribunal sanctioned Mr al Marzouqi (UAE) with a 12-month immediate suspension in the 4th of a series of Abuse Protests they have brought forward this year.

Mr Marzouqi rode the horse Romeo at the CEI 1* 100 KM event in Al Wathba on December 8th 2018. The Tribubal took note that video evidence submitted by Clean Endurance showed that “ Marzouqi was kicking the horse as hard as he could, to the point that daylight can be seen between the entire length of the rider’s legs and the saddle. He struck the horse repeatedly with the reins and threatened to strike it with his left arm. The horse was visibly exhausted and unable to accelerate its canter despite Mr. al Marzouqi’s actions”. The FEI stated that that it counted the excessive kicking to 27 timewhipping with the reins to 19 times.

Mr al Marzouqi stated in his defense that he wanted to assure the Tribunal that he looked after his horse during the whole ride. He said that because he is a tall rider with long legs it may have looked like he was hurting his horse by kicking it, but that he encouraged it to move forward without abusing or beating it. He also mentioned that the Ground Jury members and Stewards present and watching at the finish line did not notice nor sanction any horse abuse, but that they congratulated him and recognised his position (5th) in the competition.

Ms Rosemary Sloan from Clean Endurance who lodged the protest said “Someone has to speak up for our gentle partner, the horse. We know from anecdotal evidence that this behaviour is but the tip of the iceberg, and we are only able to lodge abuse protests and obtain sanctions because of our diligent monitoring of video footage provided by the official broadcasting companies of these events. I hope the rider in question learns from the sanctions imposed on him for the brutal treatment of a horse in his care.”

The Tribunal mentioned, as it did in 3 previous abuse protests brought forward by Clean Endurance this year, that it encourages the FEI to investigate and open disciplinary proceedings against FEI Officials present if they did not act on the present horse abuse case during the event. To Clean Endurance’s knowledge, the FEI has not acted (yet) on this recommendation by the Tribunal.

Until the FEI does, Clean Endurance regrets that it is apparently up to them to lodge abuse protests with the Tribunal in order to avoid that abusive riders continue to escape the sanctions they so well deserve, and which Officials fail to apply.

In addition to the 12-month suspension, Mr al Marzouqi was disqualified from the event thus forfeiting medals, points and prizes, fined 4 thousand Swiss Francs and required to contribute 1 thousand Swiss Francs towards the cost of proceedings.

The video footage used as evidence before the Tribunal can be found here:

The full FEI Tribunal decision notice is published here:

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