World Number One Endurance Horse Tests Positive At British Ride

Euston Park is the UK's premier endurance venue
Credit : Lulu Kyriacou

Wednesday 15 August - 10h50 | Lulu Kyriacou

World Number One Endurance Horse Tests Positive At British Ride

An endurance horse, currently ranked number one in the world, has tested positive  for a banned substance at Euston Park,  the premier British endurance venue.

Shaddad (previously known as QUERSICK NIELLANS) is a 14 year old bay gelding  who was competing in the CEI3* 160km ride at Euston Park in Suffolk on July 13th where he finished second and was therefore routinely tested. Ridden by Saeed Mohd Khalifa AL MEHAIRI  who has already won on the horse this season at Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, over a similar distance, the horse is trained by Ismail Mohd  who has had the horse in his charge for several periods since 2015.   The rider and trainer are also suspended.

​The combination were likley to be selected for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) team for the coming World Equestrian Games (WEG) after a string of good places at endurance' highest level.

​Ismail Mohd was previously a competitor himself but has been training since 2014 and is responsible for a number of horses according to the FEI database including three recent registration in the UK, apparently  specifically to compete at the UK Endurance Festival.  

​The dope test fail was for testosterone, considered performance enhancing, and is a major blow for both UAE and Euston Park credibility. The ruling Maktoum family have significant endurance interests  and despite concerns over a potential conflict with the FEI after various other doping, welfare and rule breaking scandals within endurance, they are the title sponsors for  WEG endurance under their Meydan banner.

​Euston Park has also come under fire this week for some short notice changes to the schedule at the coming UK Endurance Festival which is sponsored by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum directly and runs this weekend. The changes have neccesitated last minute rearrangents of travel plans as well as scrambles for the new passports required for the re-classified CEIO 2*. The changes were made  in order to accomodate a gala dinner on Friday night and provoked a storm of social media criticism from disgruntled competitors. 

​However the doping positive test on Shadeed  does at least establish that despite the enormous UAE investment at Euston Park, the officials  have maintained their integrity and done their job.

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