Monday 20 November - 16h44 | Lulu Kyriacou
Definitely Dead-Three Horses, 10 Days- Dubai Death Toll Mounts
The alteration of the official result of the CEN 120km Al Marmoom Endurance Cup could have been a computer glitch. It could have been a rookie technician hitting the wrong code button. But today, a check on the FEI data base confirmed Catswhisker Tiro Centauri and Kurrajong Unique are listed as dead, taking the total to three horses in just over a week in Dubai endurance and proving that the results of official score keepers Tawqeet were indeed altered after the race.
Listing a horse as FTC (Failed To Complete) can mean many things, the rider may have been taken ill or fallen off for example. But it is not supposed to be used in the case of serious, probably fatal injury, which specifically has the result code CI (Catastrophically Injured). FTC does have the advantage, if you wish to hide the injury figures, of being non-specific.
How many horses need to die though before certain nations are excluded permanently for all FEI competition? The world's ruling body for equestrian sport on other occasions has cited races being CEN's (national not international rides) and therefore outside their jurisdiction but all three dead horses and their riders are registered with the FEI and have competed internationally before. Of the riders who finished in the top ten in this particular race, there have been disqualifications and suspensions under FEI rules so when is the ruling body going to say enough is enough and stop taking their registration money?
As for the scorers, Tawqeet, they officiated at this year's Young Rider and Junior World Championships in Italy but with such a doubt over their integrity as this incident appears to indicate, surely the FEI must step in to prohibit any future engagements? It is worth noting that they also listed the Spanish bred ESTEL DE MONTFLUQ (FEI registration number 103MW80) as FTC when that horse was listed as dead ON THE SAME DAY on the FEI database.
Supporters of the discipline in Group 7 can cite other sports as being dangerous and causing equine deaths, eventing, for example, or horse racing but most of those are practised by far greater numbers and under much tighter scrutiny.
On this latest ride, four other horses were listed as FTC. At the time of writing, they are all still alive according to the FEI. They are (with FEI registration numbers) 104XL46 - ULTIMA DE MONTEGUT, 103BM66 - DUDLEY DICK TE, 104CP23 - STRADA EL KANDAAR and 103OV18 - VANARD. Only time will tell if these four will ever be heard of again.
You can see the video from which the main picture was taken here
Sunday 19 November - 17h52