Representatives of United Arab Emirates endurance riding will face their main critics, the Swiss Equestrian Federation, in a “round table” convened by International Equestrian Federation (FEI) president Princess Haya.
The move is the result of concern about high levels of doping in endurance riding in the Middle East, notably from stables owned by Princess Haya’s husband Sheikh Mohammed.
Swiss federation president Charles Troillet has demanded the FEI produce a “concrete action plan” to show how it would deal with the “deplorable state of affairs” in endurance.
Andrew Finding, chief executive of the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), will chair the closed session at FEI headquarters in Switzerland.
The FEI has so far declined to publicise accident statistics in endurance, as demanded by the Swiss. They allege that Middle Eastern practices result in a high incidence of stress fractures.
Representatives of the European Equestrian Federation (EEF) will also attend the meeting.
They have asked the FEI to reveal what other measures it is taking to deal with concerns.
The FEI told H&H that information would be provided to round table invitees only.
But Hanfried Haring, who is president of the EEF, said that he hoped more detail will be made public.
“As we know that the FEI is also very keen on correct governance of the matter, I am hoping to be in a position to share further information in future,” he said.
Sheikh Mohammed criminalised the use of steroids in all horse sport on 23 May in the wake of the doping scandals in his equestrian interests.
This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (20 June 2013)