The FEI Tribunal has dismissed a request from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) National Federation for an interim lifting of its suspension from the FEI. The Tribunal’s decision means that the suspension remains in force pending the final outcome of the formal appeal by the UAE National Federation against the suspension.
The FEI Bureau provisionally suspended the UAE National Federation on 12 March 2015 for an indeterminate period following an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in the discipline of Endurance.
The request for interim relief prior to a full hearing was considered by a three-member FEI Tribunal panel made up of Henrik Arle (FIN), who chaired the panel, Erik Elstad (NOR) and Pierre Ketterer (FRA). The full merits of the case will be heard by the same Tribunal panel at a later date.
In its decision, which has been published on the FEI website today, the FEI Tribunal stated that it had “taken note of the FEI’s argument that the FEI Bureau Decision had been taken primarily on horse welfare grounds, due to consistent rule breaching by the Appellant, the effects of which was jeopardising horse welfare . . . The Tribunal therefore finds that the Appellant’s interest in having the suspension lifted does not outweigh the FEI’s interest in protecting horse welfare.”
The FEI Tribunal also ruled that the FEI Headquarters should continue to issue passports for non-Endurance horses from the UAE. This followed a request from the UAE National Federation to be allowed to issue horse passports for non-Endurance horses.