Clean Endurance acknowledges a significant FEI Tribunal decision concerning former Belgian National Endurance Coach Pierre Arnould (FEI ID 10021954).
Mr Arnould has been suspended for 20 months, fined 5 000 Swiss Francs and ordered to pay 7 000 Swiss Francs in costs, for falsifying vaccination records in 4 endurance horses under his care.
This is, we believe, the first time the Tribunal has considered the offence of bringing the sport into disrepute in such a case, and the first time a FEI suspension has extended to forbidding the party from being a spectator at FEI and National events.
Clean Endurance agrees with the FEI that this was a "top-end" offence according to article 164.14 of the FEI General Regulations. We are relieved that the FEI Tribunal has applied a severe and exemplary sanction.
Mr Arnould, 61, has been involved in endurance for 35 years. He served as Team Leader of the Belgian national endurance team for many years, organised 2 FEI Endurance European Championships and 1 FEI Endurance World Championship and is an active trainer.
He was a member of the FEI Endurance Committee from 2011 to 2014 and recently acted as a representative of the Equestrian Organisers on the FEI Endurance Calendar Task Force established to deal with the impact of Covid-19 on events.
In 2020, with the support of his National Federation, Mr Arnould put himself forward to be a member or to chair the FEI Endurance Committee.. These positions were appointed at the FEI General Assembly in November 2020 when Mr Arnould was already provisionally suspended.
The FEI Tribunal found that:
• Mr Arnould falsified the FEI passports of 4 endurance horses by forging vaccination entries, forging the signature of a veterinarian and using an old stamp from the veterinarian who was no longer practising in Belgium.
• the Respondent’s conduct involved the maltreatment of horses by exposing them and horses they came into contact with to infection is likely correct.
• Mr Arnould, as someone of high profile who has assumed positions of leadership should be held to a high standard of behaviour, therefore going to the issue of bringing the sport into disrepute. Behaviour which is both fraudulent and undermines confidence in the systems established by the FEI to keep horses safe is serious.
The full decision notice can be found here: