Clean Endurance has uncovered three hidden equine fatalities in a single ride, the Commemoration Day National 100km ride in Dubai held on the 29th November 2017.
Three horses died at the ride, as confirmed on the horse registrations database of the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), despite the deaths not being recorded on the official ride timing and results system.
Patrolons Moonstruck, originally from the USA, and Azzam Al Khamis origin UAE did not finish loop 1 whilst Syferpan Usain, originally from South Africa, did not finish loop 3.
Clean Endurance has recently identified 26 hidden horse fatalities at rides staged since 2014, in addition to the 22 horses that were officially declared CI (Catastrophically Injured) in the final result sheets over the same period. The majority of the hidden fatalities are disguised by the elimination code FTC (Failed to Complete), despite the FEI introducing the official CI code in 2014 with the aim of providing greater transparency about fatalities. It is highly likely that the number of hidden deaths will rise as Clean Endurance continues to monitor ride results globally.
In 2016 the FEI introduced a rider penalty point system for serious field-of-play offences including CIs in endurance, which can lead to suspension of the rider. This and the rising global awareness of horse welfare issues may be possible deterrents to the correct reporting of these deaths. There is ever-growing dissent within the global endurance community about the true number of fatalities at rides in the UAE.
Despite the FEI’s best efforts to curb horse abuse, the officially recorded death toll at UAE rides also continues to increase. To date, this season there have been seven officially recorded CIs compared to four at this time last season.
A number of historic results have only been corrected to CI on the Emirates Equestrian Federation in the past few days, after the large number of “hidden” fatalities was drawn to the FEI’s attention.