27th of May 2013, Bern ~ The Swiss Equestrian Federation (SEF) has clearly expressed its dissatisfaction to the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) concerning, “the highly deplorable state of affairs in respect of animal welfare and unequal treatment of athletes at international endurance competitions.” They have stated in correspondence that they are now expecting the FEI to come up with concrete proposals for resolving the problems as well as an immediate action plan.
In a letter of 26 March 2013 to the FEI, the SEF refers to the large number of doped and injured horses at international endurance competitions and to infringements of the FEI code of conduct.
The SEF is basing its position on figures published by the FEI itself which substantiate the frequent use of medications and the high number of positive doping tests, thereby pinpointing endurance as the most prominent discipline in respect of the use of prohibited substances in equestrian sport. Swiss riders are not affected by this issue.
Moreover, the SEF criticizes the unequal treatment of athletes with regard to the infrastructure facilities offered by organizers: these facilities vary a great deal, depending on the financial means of the athletes’ federation or their sponsors. This in no way conforms to the principle of equal treatment of all athletes.
Finally, the SEF condemns, among other things, the inadequate rules regarding access to the show horses, inconsistent veterinary inspections and the deployment of officials with conflicts of interest.
The SEF has written another letter in which it is once again unambiguously demanding that the FEI produce a concrete action plan that should show how the deplorable state of affairs which has been prevalent for years are to be combated. In addition, it demands the publication of the doping and accident statistics for the last five years.
Charles F. Trolliet, President of the SEF, is looking for input.
Phone +41 79 205 32 91,
– Dominik Burger, Team Veterinary Surgeon Endurance SEF, Swiss Institute of Equine Medicine, Phone +41 79 237 07 35,
A recent article in the Chronicle of the Horse stated that the Swiss Equestrian Federation in their current correspondence with the FEI is calling the evolution of endurance “negative” and “unacceptable”.
The French, known for their adherence to the rules of fair play, are concerned about the image of the sport and will take a close look at changes before the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy.