The FEI, the Princess, the Sheikh and the Problematic Dead Horses: A Round Up Of Recent Articles And Sources

I’m holed up in the library working on book two, far from 2013, so here’s a round up of some recent pieces on how the FEI Endurance scandal is trotting along. We’re in the middle of the FEI’s General Assembly, and it seems the FEI would rather the horse welfare issue just went away.

  • Pippa Cuckson continues to write up a storm at the Telegraph: pro journalist doing a great job. She reports on rumours that Princess Haya has been asked to resign as president by one national federation. The FEI denies outright that this is the case.
  • HOWEVER

  • Belgian Endurance have posted a copy of such a letter, here. Their site is another useful source for tracing the unfolding story. Dive in to sample the many messages of support demanding a clean up in the sport from all over the world, including individuals deeply involved at a high level. Apparently the FEI has applied the “we didn’t get the letter” explanation for many years’ worth of reports on welfare concerns.
  • Meanwhile, the FEI’s official page for endurance is leading with the story that a track-and-field Olympic medal winner will host the gala that ends the assembly. Swiss luxury goods brand Longines are the sponsor. Everything will be very shiny. For only 11.99EUR per month you can be eligible to watch a livescreening of the General Assembly itself, or at least the FEI TV site says it’s “stream testing”, whatever that may be. Their Twitter feed has zero commentary; their Facebook page features some nice photos of delegates, plus some old complaints about rollkur which they apparently forgot to remove. The last press release is about a vaulting championship, and their last newsletter update was on 1st October. This’ll be why Julie at Epona TV was laughing too hard to answer when I asked her how accountable the FEI were. At least Ms Cuckson is reporting from the spot and asking the questions that need to be answered.
  • Meanwhile, a Canadian equestrian journalist very belatedly received an email telling her that a General Assembly session she planned to attend was now closed. She has some choice things to say about that here.
  • I’ll leave you with some of Pippa’s questions for the FEI (here’s another link to the full piece):

    How “official” must a concern be before the FEI investigates?
    Why did FEI regional chairs propose that Princess Haya should stand a third term?
    Has the FEI ever discussed disciplinary tribunal findings directly with Princess Haya or Sheikh Mohammed?

    UPDATE: The FEI assembly concluded by picking up on punitive measures suggested months ago and also by hoping Princess Haya would stand for a third term.

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