On 16 January the article was published about current endurance season in UAE on website grandprix-replay.com.
There is one paragraph in this article that highlighted the ugly truth of endurance sport as well as any kind of professional sport:
Unfortunately, the FEI can do little to stop large amounts of foreign riders accepting invitations to compete, many of whom are no doubt lured by the €25’000 guaranteed prize money just for completing. This amount seems to be enough to draw support from all over the world (including the UK) which unfortunately lends some credibility to endurance racing in public perception.
You can continue to post infinite number of articles about “shame on UAE” but the money talks.
Sixth finished rider of World Championship got the prize money 500 EUR which is less than entry fee 650 EUR. This is ridiculous.
The UAE is the only country that spends millions for promoting this sport.
It is about 2,300,000 EUR – it is 100 times more than prize money for World Championship.
There were 134 riders from 45 countries participated in last World Championship in Samorin.
And there were twice more riders participated in HH Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum Endurance Cup. There were 263 riders also from 45 countries.
So, HH Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum Endurance Cup is the biggest Endurance Event in the world.
Imagine that next World Championship and next edition of Al Maktoum Cup will be held the same date. Let’s look what the real FEI riders will choose.
Right now many of famous FEI riders are happy to start in UAE.
Even the current World Champion said that this is really amazing place (see the video):
— YAS SPORTS/قناة ياس (@yassportsTV) 7 января 2017 г.
Do you want to say that the World Champion is telling the untruth?
Any sport should at least cover the costs, and the big prize money is a good thing because it attracts more and more athletes and promotes the sport.
Like any equestrian discipline, Endurance is not a cheap sport, and it’s really great that there is such person as Sheikh Mohammed who supports athletes and spends a lot of money on the development of the sport.