FEI SECRETARY GENERAL PROVIDES OVERVIEW OF MEASURES TO ADDRESS HORSE WELFARE ISSUES IN ENDURANCE
The FEI Secretary General has today provided an overview of a series of measures to be implemented by both the FEI and the United Arab Emirates Equestrian Federation to address serious horse welfare issues in UAE Endurance.
In view of the deaths of seven horses in the UAE in the last four weeks, six at national Endurance competitions and one at an FEI event, and today’s news of seven adverse analytical findings, the FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez requested immediate action from the UAE National Federation (NF).
In response to the demand for action from the FEI, the UAE NF has outlined measures that have now been put in place to reduce equine fatalities. These include:
- Requirement for stables involved in equine fatalities to provide full medical history for each horse and any medication administered; details of the horses’ nutritional programmes and training schedules, including the methods used, the hours of training and distances covered, the timing and venue conditions
- A study of each Endurance course in the region, including a detailed assessment of track conditions
- Inspections at all remaining Endurance events in the 2017 UAE season conducted by an expert panel of Endurance course specialists and experienced veterinarians, including the FEI Veterinary Director
- Working directly with local organising committees to investigate equine injuries at their venue
- Increased sanctions for those responsible for injury to horses, including imposing maximum permissible fines (€15,000 per offence) and penalty points
- Expanded scope of individuals that can be held accountable, in addition to trainers and veterinarians
NEW PROHIBITED SUBSTANCES CASES UNDER FEI ANTI-DOPING RULES
The FEI has announced seven adverse analytical findings involving prohibited substances in UAE Endurance events. The horses were tested at four different events at the Al Wathba venue in Abu Dhabi.
The seven athletes and the trainers Ismail Mohd, Khalifa Ghanim Al Marri and Mohd Ahmed Ali Al Subose have all been provisionally suspended from the date of notification (30 January 2017). The seven horses are also suspended for a two-month period from the date of notification.
“We take all breaches of the FEI anti-doping regulations extremely seriously and these latest positives demonstrate clearly that those using prohibited substances will be caught”, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said.
“This is the first time that we have suspended the trainers at the same time as the athletes, but when there are multiple breaches by one trainer, it is clear that there is something wrong with the stable management. Suspending the trainers immediately, rather than waiting until the athlete has been prosecuted, confirms that the FEI will not tolerate any attempts to enhance the performance of the horse.”