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. It is now expecting the FEI to come up with concrete proposals for resolving the problems as well as an immediate action plan.
In its 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 criticises the unequal treatment of athletes with regard to the infrastructure facilities offered by organisers: 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.
In reply to the response by the FEI, which has not been satisfactory up to now, 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.