Doubts raised over ‘bogus’ endurance race

  • Allegations that a qualification race held in Dubai last month (21 January) was bogus has led to questions on how the FEI verifies the authenticity of competition results.

    Sources in the UAE have told H&H that a 120km CEI listed ride did not take place. It was a late addition to the FEI calendar, and records a completion rate of 91% (41 horses out of 45), which surpasses any ride in Europe during 2014 and is nearly three times the normal completion rate in a Middle East CEI.

    No overseas riders or officials were listed as participating, despite the large winter presence of visiting riders. No pictures can be traced and it is not mentioned on the UAE federation or Dubai Equestrian Club websites.

    A FEI spokesman told H&H: “The CEI2* Dubai, which took place on 21 January 2015, was run as a qualifier for the President’s Cup (CEI3* Abu Dhabi, Al Wathba). The event was properly entered in the FEI calendar and, as per FEI requirements, a draft schedule was submitted and approved by the FEI headquarters. The results, officials’ reports, and vet cards were received on time and validated by the FEI headquarters.

    “There was certainly a high completion rate at this particular event, but the efficacy of any
    set of rules in any discipline cannot be judged on the basis of a single event.

    “The FEI is constantly assessing its rules to ensure that they remain relevant.”

    The facility for national federations to enter false information on the FEI database was exposed by the Marmoog “ringer” enquiry.

    In December, the FEI announced a major review into its systems because of the loopholes exposed.

    Officials were recently informed of a new process for reporting incorrect, suspicious or erroneous information about horses and riders on the FEI database.

    Ref: Horse & Hound; 5 March 2015

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