UAE Endurance- Brand New Season, Same Old Story

Credit : Library image

Sunday 12 November - 18h08 | Lulu Kyriacou

UAE Endurance- Brand New Season, Same Old Story

The first endurance races of the new United Arab Emirates were completed in the last few days but despite plans for new rules to be considered at this week's FEI General Assembly and the sterling efforts of Sheik Sultan's Boudheib Initiative, another horse has ended up dead.

The Spanish bred ESTEL DE MONTFLUQ (UAE) FEI number 103MW80 was competing in the CEI1* ridden by Saqar Hilal al Marouqi was originally listed on 8th November on the offical Tawqeet scores as FTC (Failed to Complete) but the horse was listed as deceased on the FEI database the same day.  The horse's FEI record was subsequently updated by the FEI on November 10th to CI (Catastrophically Injured).

​On this occasion it does not look as if speed was the determining factor alone as the horse was recorded on the loops at speeds of between 14 and 16.7kph and finished at 20kph but at the second gate the gelding took 20 minutes for his heart rate to come down to acceptable parameters, indicating that there was already an issue and the horse should have been vetted out at that gate.

​However,  Horse- Canada's Pippa Cuckson has already pointed out in a recent article that speeds have increased on a verage by 5% over the 2016/17 season.  in the same period, the amount of horses registered to the United Arab Emirates for endurance  accounts for approximately 50% of the total registered worldwide just over 7000 horses so they will be plenty available to replace the lame or dead.

​This comes in a week when the FEI felt compelled to send out a reminder notice to their endurance officials about the use of 'yellow cards' in abuse cases. This came following the social media outcry after a horse, VALESKA DE KERPONT, ridden by Bahrain's Rashid Khalid Ahmed AL ROWAIE  and competing at a championship in Valeggio sul Mincio, Italy in August, was seen on video being stopped by officials when three legs lame, and was subsequently  discovered to have fractured a leg.  Despite forcing the horse to continue for sometime before being stopped the rider was only given a yellow card, when in fact he should have been eliminated for horse abuse, under the FEI guidelines.  The mare, who was allegedly saved by surgery on the injured leg, has had three different riders this season and was eliminated for gait abnormality in one of them.

​It is hoped that this week the FEI will accept recommendations to  extend the mandatory rest period between races, which should at least give the horses more time to recover,


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