EQUESTRIAN Australia has welcomed the recent announcement from the FEI advising the removal of United Arab Emirates international endurance events from the official calendar.
The Australian equestrian world was horrified by the shocking pictures of Australian-bred endurance horse Splitters Creek Bundy staggering with two broken front legs at the Al Reef Cup, a 120km ride in Abu Dhabi.
The horse was owned by Sheik Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is well known as the principle of Godolphin racing.
An FEI meeting was held to discuss this and other recent deaths and the state of horse welfare in endurance globally.
The National Endurance Committee and EA will maintain a close discussion with the FEI and other national federations on the matter.
This must cast doubt over Dubai’s ability to host the 2016 Endurance World Championship, awarded to it last December despite the scandals.
Endurance is very popular among the wealthy residents of the UAE.
EA supports the FEI’s course of action in investigating this issue and will continue to push for swift action to ensure horse welfare remains a priority for all sectors of the equestrian community.
The FEI plans to change the endurance rules and will encourage all national federations to adopt stringent horse welfare protocols at all equestrian events.