The FEI’s Equestrian Community Integrity Unit is to investigate allegations that the carcass of Ajayeb “disappeared” from the world endurance venue at Samorin before she finally ended up at a pathology lab.
The mare, competing for the UAE, was euthanized last Saturday after breaking her leg. But allegations have surfaced that she was found dumped near a pile of dead cows at a crematorium when FEI officials supposed she was en route to the veterinary faculty at Vienna university: under FEI rules, autopsies must now be staged whenever there is a fatality at an endurance ride.
Ajayeb, ridden by Sheikd Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum, broke her cannon bone on Saturday when up with the leaders. Horse Canada has heard that her body was first stored on site in an unfridgerated location, because the horse ambulance was needed for another casualty. However, suspicious vets traced her to the animal crematorium.
In a confusing scenario in the days following the event, the FEI has already revealed there had been a delay sending Ajayeb to the university of Vienna’s veterinary faculty for post mortem examination because of a cross border documentation issue. Eventually she was taken to the University of Veterinary Medicine in Košice, Slovakia, and the post mortem results are awaited.
However, as reports came in about her alleged discovery at the animal crematorium, on Friday afternoon the FEI said: “The FEI has asked the ECIU to conduct a full investigation into details of the transport of the mare Ajayeb to the pathology clinic for post mortem.”
Social media has carried a number of eye-witness accounts of the apparently bungled dispatch of Ajayeb, who incurred an open fracture of the cannon-bone near a crew point. Vets were on hand immediately. Horse Canada has learned no radio communications had been provided so vets were using mobile phones and when the network became overloaded, confusion arose about the location of the injured mare.
Connections of the UAE team tried to screen her from spectators using some sheets but she broke free and tried to follow the other UAE horses. A picture posted on Facebook by a respected German ride organizer shows spectators running from the scene as the mare ran loose among them on three legs, before being re-caught.
None of the UAE team completed. The UAE were stripped of the right to stage this championship themselves earlier this year, as the FEI felt horse welfare could not be guaranteed at the original venue, Sheikh Mohammed’s Dubai International Endurance City.