Endurance damaging Equestrianism in the Olympics

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The FEI have imposed bans on the UAE with strict instructions for that region to clean up its act in Endurance.

One of the sanctions is no cars on tracks with the horses. Clearly that’s being ignored as seen by the above photograph.

The awful sights of horses wearing blinkers, their eyes covered with duct tape, their mouths being hauled on with American gags (and bear in mind these are not big bruising horses, but small Arabian horses) and their poor body condition continues in their version of ‘Endurance’ at National level where the FEI has little actual jurisdiction, but is watching to look for improvements..

The following video must be watched, even if Endurance isn’t your sport. Even if it’s hard to watch. It has to be watched, because what is happening here will impact on ALL equestrian sport.

The IOC are changing tack, and rather than discard certain sports, the possible option would be to allow the host city to decide which official sports (or sections of) they wish to choose. There is a general negativity towards equestrianism within the IOC from those countries not horse-orientated.  This could have a massive impact on equestrian sports ongoing inclusion in the Olympics, especially eventing. Dressage and Show Jumping are not as much of a money pit as Eventing, so it could be that the latter is discarded for financial reasons. There has been no apparent clarity on this change of directions, so media coverage has been very limited. 

There is a very real danger that the uproar and negativity surrounding endurance will impact on the other equestrian disciplines, so there needs to be a clear public stance from all the equestrian sports currently with Olympic status that what is happening in the Group 7 countries must be stopped. Show jumping, Dressage, Eventing and all the other need to publicly decry what is happening.

The men behind this are the very same Sheiks that are lauded and applauded in International Thoroughbred racing.

Marmoog (in both incarnations) was owned by a Maktoum stable and ridden by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

Splitters Creek Bundy, who broke both front legs and was left suffering horribly for 20 minutes before a vet attended to him, was owned by Seeh Al Salam Endurance Stable, belonging to SH Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’ who is better known as the owner of Shadwell Stud in the UK. He was present at the event.

These horses are being pushed way beyond acceptable limits. The expectations by these countries of these horses’ capacities is both shocking and incomprehensible. The below photo is typical of what they believe.

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41km/h for 80 km + rides and apparently doesn’t have great recovery rates?

Please share this blog before the damage becomes greater, if not for these horses, for your own sports’ longevity.




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  1. Rainbow Ribbon Ride | Pilgrim on Horseback - […] and sickened by what is going on in the UAE in the name of the sport of Endurance Riding.…

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