THE revival of four international rides at Euston Park, long-time British base of Dubai stables associated with numerous scandals, is causing disquiet.
Senior figures have voiced concerns about the “inappropriateness” of cooperation by the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) in applying to the FEI for the late entry of the rides to the 2016 calendar.
Former Endurance GB (EGB) chairman Karen Collier told H&H: “I feel that the BEF has made the wrong — and a bad — decision in the current climate.”
Sponsorship was expected to be announced this week, rumoured to involve a UAE-related company.
The rides, on 28 May, 19 June, 16 July and 13 August, are under the new management of Windsor and Olympia supremos Horsepower International. At least nine officials for the 28 May ride have links with the UAE or previous rides at Euston, Suffolk.
Dubai Equestrian Club cancelled the 2013 Euston season after the doping scandal which led to the eight-year ban of trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni at Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin base , Newmarket, causing closer media scrutiny of Middle East endurance.
Attempts to restart Euston rides in 2015 under the Maktoum-owned Meydan banner collapsed just before the FEI suspended the UAE last March over rule-breaking and horse welfare concerns.
Last month the FEI removed the 2016 World Championship from Dubai and will not accept schedules from Dubai Equestrian Club until further notice.
- Top names suspended following ‘bogus’ endurance ride scandal *H&H VIP*
- New UAE endurance rules fail to slow down riders
- Tougher measures employed to clean up UAE endurance *H&H VIP*
Mrs Collier added: “You have to ask who these new rides are for; they are not promoted on the EGB website.”
In a joint statement, the BEF and EGB said they “fully support the FEI’s decision” on the World Championships. They added: “The rides offer an opportunity to build the profile and reputation of endurance and showcase the bestpracticeinhorsewelfare.
“This is a key driver in our decision to host the rides.”