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“No Rules Fighting” – Endurance Temporary Committee & Clean Endurance


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Something is rotten in the Endurance Temporary Committee.

Instead of the expected consensus within the committee, recent public discussions have revealed the existence of serious contradictions between two ETC members: Tarek Taher and Valerie Kanavy.

Photo FEI

Clean Endurance published a post regarding the recent collapse of horse in Euston Park:

This post with nearly 900 comments revealed verbal skirmish between some ETC members and other prominent persons.

We highlighted the most interesting comments.

Valerie Kanavy. Photo Credit: Cristina Mutis

There is much resistance to the new proposals from those who wish to have no speed restrictions in our sport. Tarek speaks for those riders. I hope you will speak for the horses.

– Valerie Kanavy, ETC member

Harry Ingram. Photo Facebook

Valerie Kanavy, highly unprofessional for someone in your position to be so openly critical of another member of the ETC and to utilise such an emotive topic to push your rule changes through

– Harry Ingram, Endurance rider from UK

I thought it strange and a little bit unprofessional, that, as a member of the ETC, [Tarek Taher] was publicly proposing something different to what the ETC had put forward at the Sports Forum before the rules had even been voted on by the General Assembly. What on earth is going on?

– Lyn Bates

Tarek Taher claims to have completion rate of 100% between 2011 and 2019 – which is not true.

Since 2011, Tarek Taher participated in 26 FEI Endurance rides.
Only 16 rides (61.5%) were successfully completed.

Tarek Taher. Photo Credit: Fenne Koppenol

Someone called Lyn Bates was very active in attacking Tarek Taher and his proposals:

Tarek Taher – you can’t have it both ways. Your proposals for changes to the qualifications procedure is different to the one proposed by the ETC. How is that not disagreeing with the ETC?
If you are serving on a committee you speak as one voice which you are not doing.
If you didn’t/don’t agree with what the ETC propose then you should step down from the committee.

– Lyn Bates

Marianne Ironside (also known as Carol Hayter) who is member of so-called Clean Endurance group, currently works for Tarek Taher as Marketing manager for his organization TEIRA.

The qualification proposal as is has been unpopular from the start. It was not well received at the sports forum. It was tweaked and represented in the 1st rule draft. The NFs and riders dont like it still.
The fact that Valerie has chosen to insinuate Tarek represents the riders who want to go fast and injure their horses, is more than ridiculous.

– Carol Hayter (alias of Marianne Ironside, TEIRA marketing manager)

Pauline van Drumpt, the Clean Endurance community administrator, entered into a discussion, verbally attacking her fellow member Marianne Ironside (a.k.a. Carol Hayter).

Carol Hayter, I understand you feel the need to defend your boss Tarek, but I get the impression that like Harry Ingram, yours is an emotional response and that you are misinterpreting Valerie Kanavy’s comment.
Is it not now also part of Tarek’s job to ‘speak for the horse’ and unite as many riders as he can behind the ETC proposals, no matter how unpopular?

– Pauline van Drumpt

I also do not understand how Carol says some of the rules you propose are not possible today, but may be in the future. So how could those proposed rules (like the 5 year clean doping record for championships) be included for the 2020 rules?
And my biggest question is the following: given that we know that today the existing rules are not being (rigidly) applied everywhere – what do you propose to ensure that the new rules you favour will be strictly adhered to, no cheating?

– Pauline van Drumpt, Clean Endurance administrator

Tarek Taher, how does your proposal fit into this FEI statutory procedure for adopting new rules? … You must know that the FEI can’t just swap your proposal for theirs for voting on at the GA.
My worry is that riders, who do not understand the statutory procedures of the FEI, will see you promoting your proposal on social media and lobby their NF’s to vote down the FEI/ETC proposal in Moscow, with the false expectation that once voted down your proposal will be put forward at the GA for voting on instead.

– Lyn Bates

Valerie Kanavy continues to criticize the Tarek’s proposal.

Valerie Kanavy. Photo Facebook

[Tarek Taher,] your proposal does not address the core welfare issue in our sport which is speed.

– Valerie Kanavy, ETC member

Now it is Pippa Cuckson’s turn to say something.

Pippa Cuckson. Photo Facebook

The problem for Tarek is that he will have to persuade the other members of the ETC why he thinks they should change the qualifying criteria, and then try to persuade the board of the FEI, which is firmly pledged to speed reduction.
The problem for the ETC is to produce a package of reforms that has a chance of getting a simple majority vote of the NFs.

– Pippa Cuckson, equestrian journalist

Pauline van Drumpt from Clean Endurance revealed her reproach to Tarek Taher for his promoting of his own proposal.

Tarek Taher, you mean you supported your proposals with the surveys you did, I assume? Not that you supported the ETC with your surveys?

– Pauline van Drumpt, Clean Endurance administrator

Unfortunately, even ETC members, as well as Clean Endurance fellow members, do not have consensus among themselves.

How can we be sure that Endurance rules are “in good hands”, if members of Endurance Committee sort things out among themselves in public at a time when the whole world expects the unity from them?