The United Arab Emirates (UAE) are finally beginning to feel the heat of the spotlight as they are taken to task for horse welfare violations in the sport of endurance.

The Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) has announced that five endurance rides scheduled to take place over the next few days have been postponed. And, according to Horse & Hound, who stated they are waiting for official confirmation from the FEI, all remaining rides in Dubai for the rest of the season have been removed from the calendar on the Dubai Equestrian Club.

The news came from the EEF just one day after FEI endurance director Manuel Bandeira de Mello attended an emergency meeting in Abu Dhabi, and one week after the organization met with the FEI at its headquarters in Lausanne.

“Following meetings between the FEI and the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF), the EEF has postponed four endurance events so that agreement can be reached on proposed measures to urgently address a number of serious issues in endurance in the region,” said Bandeira de Mello. “The CEI1* in Dubai on February 8th has been postponed, along with national events on February 4th, 5th and 6th. The FEI has set a deadline of February 11th for the EEF to come back with an agreement on the proposed measures.”

According to the Horse & Hound, though the FEI has yet to give reason, speculation is that the EEF faces further suspension and that the prestigious Presidents Cup race, slated for February 13th, may also be at risk.

The postponed rides include two CEIs and three CENs. Four were to run at Sheikh Mohammed’s Dubai International Endurance City (DIEC) – the intended host to the 2016 world endurance championships, in December. The fifth was to take place at Al Wathba in Abu Dhabi. Bou Thib, the other Abu Dhabi venue where HH Sheikh Sultan Al Nahyan has enforced reform measures, is unaffected.

When the FEI lifted the UAE’s suspension last year, it was stated in a legal agreement between the FEI and EEF that the DIEC would no longer be allowed to host the world endurance championships, if horse abuse continued.

So far this season, 10 horses have been listed as Catastrophically Injured, seven of which are now confirmed as dead. Record speeds have been recorded, and vehicles are still being permitted to chase horses on the track. All of this has been revealed on the official livestream, YAS.

Learn more about this situation at the Cuckson Report, and get details on a ride that took place last weekend, where five riders were disqualified from a junior/young riders 120km ride at Al Wathba for beating their exhausted horses.