The International Equestrian Federation’s judicial committee has cleared all parties from blame for the deaths of two endurance horses at last year’s World Equestrian Games in Jerez.

In a carefully worded statement, the FEI says that both horses, the French-owned Floyd and Spanish horse Sir Fire, died because of a multi-systemic failure.

Significantly, the statement stops short of saying that fatigue and exhaustion were definitely the cause of their deaths, as was stated in a press announcement in the immediate aftermath of the 160km ride.

Instead, after what is described as an “extensive investigation and an official enquiry”, the findings say only that the deaths “appear to have been associated with fatigue and exhaustion”.

The findings exonerate riders Anna Maxenchs Serra of Spain and Malaysian heart surgeon Dr Nik Isahak Wan Abdullah, who had leased Floyd from Michele Brac de la Perriere for the ride.

Both riders had been under investigation for “abuse of the horse” after the case was referred to the FEI judicial committee under regulation 143.

The full statement of the judicial committee is to be published shortly.

Read the full story in this week’s Horse & Hound (15 May), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.