The Fédération Equestre Internationale is looking into allegations regarding fake events and the duplication of results at FEI endurance events in the United Arab Emirates.
Last week The Telegraph reported claims of two potential phony races held on Dec. 23 and Jan. 21. Since then another 10 races have been added to the list of suspicious results. The results—posted on the FEI website—were identical to data received from previous races. The races in question were late additions to the FEI calendar and saw higher than average completion rates.
By fabricating results, the affected parties could ensure qualification for bigger races and create the illusion that the horses were more experienced and competitive.
An FEI spokeswoman confirmed that the FEI has forwarded the information regarding the fake races and results to the Equestrian Community Integrity Unit for full investigation.
This allegation comes on the heels of horse switching, doping and horse cruelty scandals coming out of the Middle East region. New rules for endurance were implemented on Aug. 1 with these welfare transgressions in mind. However, the controversy surrounding the sport continues after the new FEI executive board met in late February and chose to remove the two remaining endurance rides of the 2014-2015 winter season in the UAE from the calendar as an “emergency measure” following ongoing horse welfare concerns.