German Endurance: The pursuit of qualifications
Al Samarraie is a well-known family of German endurance riders and Arabian horse breeders. The family’s patriarch is Ahmed Al Samarraie who has a huge amount of influence in Germany and in Europe. He is on the board of the German Federation in the breeder’s section and President of the ZSAA, the German Arabian breeders association. He is also on the executive board of the ALLIANCE of ENDURANCE ORGANISERS which is part of the IEOA: International Equestrian Organisers Alliance which is recognized by the FEI as the sole international umbrella organization representing the collective views of equestrian event organizers.
As people say, this family is the best of the bests and the crème de la crème of endurance riding in Germany.
And it was very awkward and completely unexpected to see the recent result of their horse on the FEI database.
Their horse SHADIIA AL SAMARRA was participated in her first FEI ride in Holzerode on 13 July 2019. The initial result was the elimination because of Irregular Gait after the second loop.
But then this horse was completely disqualified for a very rare reason – Horse not qualified.
So, what happened?
SHADIIA AL SAMARRA started the Novice Qualification Process in May 2018 when she completed her first 40 km ride in Rotenburg-Braach, organized by Samarrastud.
The next national ride for this horse occurred in Hockersdorf a year later, at the beginning of May 2019.
SHADIIA AL SAMARRA completed 4 rides during 4 days in a row:
81 km on 2 May 2019,
64 km on 3 May 2019,
65 km on 4 May 2019,
and 41 km on 5 May 2019.
How was this possible? Because actually there were not 4 separate rides. There was one multi-day ride for a total distance of 251 km.
How could such a prominent person as Ahmed Al Samarraie forget the Qualification Procedure outlined in Article 816 of the FEI Endurance Rules?
For those who don’t know, a horse has “to successfully complete 2 rides of distances between 40-79 km and 2 rides of between 80-90 km at speeds of 16 kph or under.”
Did Ahmed Al Samarraie really forget that according to Article 815.3.1, “after competing in a CEI or National Events a horse must be given a mandatory rest period… before it is again eligible to participate in a National of FEI competition.”
After EVERY ride – after 81 km ride on 2 May, after 64 km ride on 3 May, after 65 km ride on 4 May, SHADIIA AL SAMARRA must have had a rest for 12 days.
But sadly she did not have a rest, and welfare of the horse was completely forgotten.
So, it is obvious that a multi-day ride cannot be considered as a sum of several separate one-day rides in order to complete the Novice Qualification Process. But this was exactly what Ahmed Al Samarraie did.
After completing that 251 km ride, SHADIIA AL SAMARRA was entered the FEI ride.
Then eliminated for lameness, then completely disqualified for obvious ineligibility to participate in the FEI ride.