Saturday 08 April - 08h40 | Lulu Kyriacou
Endurance- Are Injuries Being Covered Up?
Just when it seems the horse world is getting a break from disturbing stories in endurance and in the week when British endurance is too test a new set of protocols to ensure horse welfare, a disturbing video has emerged online of what appears to be a Catastrophic Injury (CI) during a CEI2* in Bahrain last month but even more disturbing is that there is no record of this injury in the official results.
The King's Cup was run at the Shakir Endurance Village in Bahrain on March 4th. According to the FEI database, in the 120km 2* class there were 37 initial entries with three of those being withdrawn at the first horse inspection. Although only 15 of the remainder completed with a qualifying score, it has only been this week that the Fair Endurance Group published an article which included a horrifying video of a horse on the ride suffering what appears to be a broken leg.
The video is very bad quality and seems to have been filmed from one of the accompanying vehicles but the grey horse can easily be seen stumbling and then trying to continue with the injured leg swinging . The rider was unseated during the incident. There is no time stamp on the footage so it could be any race at any time but although the bib number of the rider is impossible to make out and Fair Endurance have not named the source of the video, by comparing the footage with other images from the ride, Grand Prix has been able to establish that this is indeed the race it is claimed to be. The horses with bib numbers 2, 20 and 21 can be seen in both the footage and the ride photographs. The chestnut horse, 21, is very easy to compare in all versions of the media available.
At this point, there has been no confirmation of the injured horse's identity but by comparing film and photographs its appears to be horse No. 18, QALIPSO DE KERBREDEN, ridden by SAUD MEFARREH AL AJMI of Bahrain and listed as FTC (Failed To Complete) on the results. According to the scores, which can be found here, the horse did not finish the contest after the first loop having posted scores on the first one with an average speed of 25kph.
No CI on the score sheet
But shocking as the footage is, the real questions are why there appears to be no record of ANY horse suffering such an injury during the race, and why the officials at the race have apparently taken no action. Although the FEI have recently asked the EquiRatings group to use their data analysis software to help with finding the out the reasons for such injuries, if the data they are provided is not accurate why bother? It has been alleged for some time (often by Fair Endurance) that CI results are being hidden and or/omitted from official scores and this video appears to support these allegations.
The FEI are responsible for training the international officials and do have an independent panel who travel to various event s to make sure those officials are doing the job as per their training but they cannot be in all places at once. A FEI spokesperson has said that the issues raised by the publishing of the video are under investigation .
Readers should be warned the video is disturbing.
Wednesday 15 March - 21h00