Last week’s announcement of the Dutch endurance team for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games has provoked a row in its national federation. Three Dutch horses have been provided by the UAE, prompting technical committee chairman Marc van der Dungen to resign in protest.
He said the trio each competed in two tough race rides at Compiègne, France, and Numana, Italy, within three weeks — the minimum “rest period” allowable until FEI endurance rules change on 1 August, but which he considered welfare averse.
UAE stables have been at the centre of welfare scandals for the past year, with the Dutch federation among the most active lobbyists for change. “But when it comes to success at WEG, horse welfare does not seem the first priority,” said van der Dungen.
First published in Horse & Hound magazine on 24 July 2014