FEI vice president publicly slams decision to allow bute in sport

  • The vice president of the FEI has publicly slammed the decision taken today to re-introduce bute into horse sport.

    Sven Holmberg addressed the 102 national federations gathered in Copenhagen for the FEI’s general assembly just before he was voted to remain chair of the show jumping committee.

    “I support 100% the clean sport programme but the progressive list cuts the legs off that,” he said to a quietened room.

    “It allows treatment of horses in competition, and it will be rejected by the social media.”

    Mr Holmberg, who is number two to Princess Haya, FEI president, added: “If you thought recent media reaction against rollkur has been tough, just wait to see what happens with this.

    “I still wish to stand for election, but understand if you don’t want me know I have made my position known.”

    Mr Holmberg was re-elected as chair of the jumping committee, and Frank Kempermann — another very vocal detractor — was elected chair of the dressage committee.

    As the general assembly broke for lunch, talk around the buffet table centred on a possible challenge to the decision.

    Although the FEI maintains it released details of both lists to the national federations on 13 November, many say today the plans came as a complete surprise.

    Where moves for the “progressive list” came from is not yet understood.

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