Monday 19 August - 09h18 | Lulu Kyriacou
Horse Dies During British Endurance Ride
A horse has been confirmed to have died during the Euston Park Al Maktoum Endurance Festival held on Sunday 18th August near Thetford in England. A covertly filmed video of the horse's collapse was shared by endurance watchdogs Clean Endurance and has been shared over 300 times and viewed over 38'000 times since it was posted.
Ulla De Luc, ridden by Ghanim Said Salim Al Owaisi (UAE), was an eleven year old chestnut mare. It was her fifth appearance at Euston Park since 2016 and she has had seven different riders at internationals in that period, before the latest one. Her last international was also at Euston Park in July where she is recorded as FTQ (failed to qualify).
Euston Park had hosted the 2019 European Endurance Championships the previous day without significant incident and it is sadly notable that this one occured once the rides were open to riders more used to the desert style of endurance racing were able to compete. The rider of this horse, Ghanim Said Salim Al Owaisi, has competed internationally almost 150 times, several of which have been at Euston or the very close by Kings Forest so he should have been very used to both the weather and the terrain. His record does contain a significant amount of non completions for various reason however.
The horse, bib 35, did the last loop at a recorded speed of up to 28kmph and arrived at the finish in 2nd place at 13:48:32 local time. Ulla collapsed at the finish line and despite immediate veterinary attention was confirmed dead in a statement from the organisers shortly afterwards.
Although there has been significant hot weather in the UK recently, on this occasion the weather was almost ideal for endurance racing with a strong breeze and mild temperatures. Some significant rain fell during the morning but did not last longer than about half an hour, so weather cannot have been a contributing factor. The new rules proposed the Temporary Endurance Committee would have restricted the speed the horse was ridden at and possibly prevented this tragedy.
"Statement from HPower about the equine fatality during the CEI 120 at Euston Park Al Maktoum Endurance Festival today.
It is with great sadness that we announce that Ulla De Luc, ridden by Ghanim Said Salim Al Owaisi (UAE) and owned by F3 Stables died while competing at Euston Park at 13.50pm on 18th August. A post-mortem will be carried out to ascertain the cause of death.
At every FEI event, the maximum consideration is given to the safety and welfare of horses and competitors."
The video of the incident can be seen here but some readers may find it disturbing.