Hugely successful FEI Endurance Courses attract almost 1,400 delegates in UAE
14 October 2015 Lausanne (SUI) ~ With an attendance of almost 1,400 people a series of FEI Endurance educational courses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (UAE) over the past four days were deemed a huge success. The series came in advance of this week’s Endurance season opener, a CEI1* 80-kilometre ride. The attendees, numbering 1,347 included athletes, trainers, grooms, Veterinarians, Judges, Technical Delegates and Stewards.
The courses were an important element in the legally binding agreement signed between the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) and the FEI prior to the lifting of the provisional suspension at the end of July. The FEI Bureau had suspended the EEF in March of this year following an investigation into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in the country.
Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee, Brian Sheahan, acted as Course Director alongside Dwight Hooton (USA) a member of the FEI Veterinary Committee and veterinary advisor to the EEF, and FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello. The EEF Assistant Secretary General Faisal al Ali attended the first session on 10 October, and Dr Ali Al Twessi from the EEF Endurance Department was also on hand to offer translation services.
The athletes, trainers and grooms’ sessions which attracted 1,065 attendees, 25% of which were female, covered FEI and national rules, mandatory rest periods, penalty points, the entry system, field of play and veterinary aspects, including Vet Gate procedures, anti-doping rules (human and equine) and medication procedures.
John Robertson, Deputy Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee, was in charge of the courses for FEI Judges (Levels 1, 2 and 4), Stewards and Technical Delegates. A total of 190 Stewards attended, including 160 from the police force who will be working at events, as the national rules are now fully compliant with FEI rules.
Brian Sheahan and Dwight Hooton also ran a course for Veterinarians with 68 attendees. Both the Veterinarians and Judges were then required to sit an exam, with a 100% pass rate.
The EEF’s new entry system, delivery of results to the FEI, horse welfare issues including cars in the field of play, video cameras in the stabling area and prevention of accidents in the vet gate area were discussed at two separate meetings, one with Adnan Sultan Saif Al Nuaimi, General Manager of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, and the other with Dubai Equestrian Club General Manager Mohammed Essa Al Adhad.
There was a general consensus that the courses and the individual meetings had all been extremely successful and effective.
“We have a fantastic sport in Endurance and it was wonderful to have had such successful courses in Group VII, particularly from an attendance perspective but also for the enthusiasm of all the delegates”, FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello said at the end of the four days. “The courses were really interactive and there was a huge thirst for knowledge and a desire to increase the depth of understanding of all aspects of the discipline from everyone who attended. There has been great team work here in Dubai, and everybody is fully committed to success.”