The U.S. Equestrian Federation and American Endurance Ride Conference released a joint statement today, March 17, regarding the treatment of some endurance horses in the United Arab Emirates and other Group VII countries. The statement reads:
“The [USEF] and [AERC] join other countries around the world in expressing increasing alarm over continued disproportionate equine deaths, equine doping and catastrophic injuries in national and international events held in Group VII.
“The Fédération Equestre Internationale has previously sanctioned the United Arab Emirates with suspensions, rule changes and educational measures. Clearly, further intervention is required, and therefore, the USEF and AERC were very pleased to learn that the FEI is working with new leadership at the United Arab Emirate Equestrian & Racing Federation to put in place and ensure compliance with safeguards to protect horses and when warranted, impose tougher and more severe sanctions.
“USEF and AERC share strong beliefs and concerns regarding horse welfare and fairness in competition, and we recognize that not all Group VII endurance venues are tainted by the lack of respect for horse welfare. Innovations in other regions of the UAE are to be commended.
“The USEF and AERC are committed to working together and with the FEI and national federations worldwide to ensure that the welfare of our horses and fairness in competition in the sport of Endurance is given the highest priority.”