It is a sad fact that greed and cynicism are all too evident in the horse world these days. For example, a rider from the Emirates was stripped of his championship after his horse tested positive for a banned substance. Even more shocking was the disclosure that the entire German national equestrian team had been disbanded due to violations.
In the meantime, with a projected growth of 480% since the year 2000, endurance riding continues to be the worldís fastest growing equestrian sport. Yet despite this phenomenal growth, the FEI website reports that during this time ďthe welfare of the horse has plagued the industry.Ē
What could be worse for the emerging sport of endurance riding than to have its fundamental rules destroyed and nearly one thousand horses facing the risk of being ridden to death by callous amateurs with no endurance racing experience?
Because it is designed to be 1,000 kilometres long, and as it flaunts such basic rules as providing water for the horses and a marked course for the competitors, the upcoming Mongolian race is the largest unethical equestrian event of its kind ever undertaken. That dastardly fact is confirmed by the organizersí own attempts to enter their activities into the Guinness Book of Records.
Given the unprecedented nature of this global equestrian emergency, it was disheartening when Ian Williams, the FEI Endurance Director, refused to respond to repeated requests for help and assistance regarding the wickedest endurance race in history.
Such silence is ironic, as the FEI recently announced the formation of an ethics panel to investigate wrong doing on the part of the German national equestrian team. Yet the crimes of an entire national team pale in comparison to what Morganís Mongolian race will do to the sport of endurance racing.
If allowed to proceed, this massive violation of the publicís trust will effectively destroy the integrity of more than a hundred years of collective endurance racing effort and encourage illegal endurance races to be held in outlaw nations around the world.
Though the FEI is supposed to be motivated by morality, and its ethical standards are touted as being a benchmark which all horsemen should strive to emulate, in the case of this notorious Mongolian violation, there was apparently a cold-blooded bureaucratic decision to do nothing.
If it is true that a lie becomes almost true in print, then the employment of nearly one thousand Mongolian horses in a race with no rules will certainly appear to confirm that the FEI is turning a blind eye to the staging of this tragic event. As the international body entrusted to protect the welfare of the horse, and ensure the integrity of the riders, the FEI cannot condone that type of cruel message to be spread world-wide, as to do so will destroy the reputation of all principled endurance riders.
When pressed to explain what can and should be done, FEI spokeswoman, Olivia Robinson, said, "The FEI does and will continue to support all global organisations committed to protecting the welfare of the horse.
With Robinsonís words in mind, the equestrian explorers residing in thirty-nine countries who belong to the international Long Ridersí Guild are calling upon FEI President, HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, to uphold that organizationís commitment to protect the basic welfare of the endurance horse.
Given the wilful ethical violations of endurance racing rules, The Guild is petitioning the FEI president to issue an immediate public condemnation of this event and to announce a life long ban against any rider from the Mongolian race being allowed to participate in any future FEI event.
Only by punishing those riders who
engage in a premeditated participation in this unethical equestrian event can
the FEI be seen to be maintaining the publicís trust.
If the FEI will do nothing to condemn this
event, then the organisation has abdicated all responsibility as an
international police force in the equestrian world.
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