The Royal Belgian Equestrian Federation (FRBSE) has released a statement to express their disappointment in the state of endurance racing in the UAE. In it, they urge their members not to participate in any events held in these countries, and note that they may not send a team to the 2016 World Endurance Championships.

To follow is a translated version of the FRBSE’s statement:

The Royal Belgian Equestrian Federation has, for years, worried about the evolution of endurance races (CEN and IEC), and especially in some countries in the Persian Gulf, and regrets the incidents that occurred on January 31st, in Abu Dhabi at the Al Reef Cup, where three horses were killed, including at least one in terrible conditions.

Because the FRBSE finds that it is not a one-off event, they can only conclude that the United Arab Emirates does not estimate correctly the situation, despite the efforts of the FEI, who are making extra efforts to find a positive solution to these abuses through the formation of the Endurance Strategic Planning Group, and Task Force, as well as by making changes to regulations and officials for example.

The FRBSE wishes to state its commitment to participating in a sport where animal welfare and respect for the rules are adhered to. Consequently, pending a complete reversal of the situation, the FRBSE strongly discourages its members from participating in any endurance race organized in one of the countries concerned. At the same time, they are considering whether or not to send a Belgian team to the next World Endurance Championships in 2016, which was awarded to Dubai.