The Fédération Equestre Internationale has suspended Bahrainian endurance rider Sheikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa beginning June 12 after he received his second yellow warning card in four months, this time during his ride at the Compiegne CEI** (France), May 23-25. He was charged with “abuse of horse.”
Compiegne marked Mubarak’s first ride back at an FEI competition since the Sakhir CEI** (Bahrain) on Feb. 8, where he received a yellow warning card and a fine of $560 after a video brought to light maltreatment of his horse by people on foot as they neared the finish line in the lead. They chased Tarabic Carl and even possibly hit him to encourage him to keep going. Mubarak was charged with “abuse of horse” and “non-compliance with applicable endurance rules” at Sakhir after the video went viral, causing an Internet uproar. At that point, the Bahrainian National Federation suspended both the rider and the groom involved in the incident until the end of the endurance season.
Because Mubarak’s two offenses took place within a 12-month period, he’s banned from FEI competition for two months. His suspension will end on Aug. 11.
Five riders in total received yellow cards at Compiegne. Three of those were horse-related abuses. In addition to Sheikh Mohammed, Faleh Nasser S.S. Bughenaim of Quatar and Sheikh Hasher bin Mhod Thani Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates received yellow cards for “maltreatment of a horse.”
Compiegne was also the event where an extremely thin horse was allowed to start the 160-kilometer CEI. Bahrainian rider Raed Mahmood rode Shakla’s Sudden Impact. The horse did vet out at the second gate for lameness. Another horse, L Emerita di Gallura, died after being vetted out for metabolic reasons at gate 2 in the CEI.