Am 31.08.2018 wurde ebenfalls dieses Schreiben, gez. von 6 FEI-Veterinären, an die FN, mit Bitte um Weiterleitung an die FEI, versendet:
Open Letter to the FEI from 6 German FEI Endurance veterinarians
German FEI Endurance Veterinarians are very concerned about the way Endurance is globally developing.
1. For many rides the competition is no longer a competition, whereby the athlete’s ability to safely manage the stamina and fitness of the horse over an endurance course is measured against the clock, the distance, the terrain and weather conditions in a way that the welfare of the horse is not compromised (Art.800.1) The track (terrain) in many major competitions (UAE rides, WEG Tryon) is prepared, not left in its natural condition and tracks are straight and flat. This means that the ability of a rider to asses the track and ride tactically is not taken into account and that riders, can ride much faster. It was clearly shown at the FEI Forum in Vic 2017, that increased speed increases the risk of the horses being overpaced and that the number of horses that fail to qualify for not reaching gait or metabolic parameters rises considerably. Catastrophic Injuries are more common.
Is this what the FEI wants? The welfare of the horse is paramount!
This does not mean that dangerous parts of a course should not be corrected, this is important for the welfare of the horse and rider. However the tracks should fit into the ecology of the terrain. This is important and part of the sport of endurance otherwise endurance rides could be run round race tracks.
2. The organisers of big rides are mainly in the hands of Dubai through their sponsor Meydan. These rides are well organised and have all possible facilities for horse and rider but this means that they can:-
- 1. Influence the FEI as regards ride officials. Looking at the officials lists for Pisa, Euston Park and Tryon or for the ride in Estonia, nearly all the same officials are on the FEI Commission lists. Is this correct? At the WM in Samorin 2016 the officials used their influence to see that riders from the UAE had an advantage, in that horses, that could be seen from the outside as not to meet gait parameters, were passed! A blind eye was turned! In the Vet Gate, grooms pushed the line vet to prevent heart rates being measured. Vets that protest or do not conform are no longer asked to be on commissions at particular rides! Is this in the interests of horse welfare or fair play?
- 2. There is often no rotation of vets within a commission this is not according to FEI rules (VR.Art. 1121.1) Is this a development that should be supported?
- 3. Doping is still a problem. Here there should be much tougher sanctions for riders, trainers and owners of such horses not just a few months it should be years or in some cases for life!
A horse at the end of a ride should be fit to continue (this is often ignored) and should be able to compete in endurance sport for several seasons.
Several experienced FEI endurance vets such as Pierre Romantzoff have resigned from their function as a long-serving FEI vet., because, they are so frustrated by the present situation and feel endurance today is no longer the sport they support.
We are very worried about the present development in Endurance Sport.
Is this what the FEI wants? ?
Is this in the interests of fair play? No
Is this in the interests of horse welfare? No
Therefore we would like the FEI to do SOMETHING to remedy the situation
Dr Juliette Mallison