Update from the FEI:
The FEI has received the official report from the Chief Steward at CEI2* Sakhir in Bahrain, which confirms that this incident was reported to the President of the Ground Jury. Once the facts had been verified, through the use of video evidence and witness statements, the Ground Jury issued a yellow warning card to the Person Responsible (the rider Sh. Mohammed Bin Mubarak (BRN)) and also imposed a fine of CHF 500. Additionally, the Bahraini National Federation has suspended both the rider and the groom involved in the incident until the end of the Endurance season.
Evidence of the Middle East’s failure so far to embrace change in endurance racing has emerged in shocking video of the closing stages of the King’s Cup CEI in Bahrain last Saturday, February 8.
Footage shows the winner, Tarabic Carl, slowing down towards the end of the 120km ride which took place over a flat, prepared track. The horse can be seen failing to respond to the vigorous encouragement of rider Sheikh Mohammed bin Mubarak al Khalifa. A groom then leaps from a moving vehicle and can clearly be seen striking the horse, before continuing to chase it on foot down the field of play, carrying a water bottle.
The multiple FEI rule-breaches caught on an official video include tracking of the horse by cars; unauthorised assistance by a third party; and crewing outside an official vet-gate. It is not known if the ground jury saw this footage.
The video was posted by the ride’s live-stream broadcaster, who were apparently unaware of its incriminating content. It was already provoking a storm on social media while delegates from the rest of the world were locked in debate in Lausanne, Switzerland about the erratic enforcement existing FEI endurance rules by a culture of officialdom that “turns a blind eye. ”
That was a long-planned FEI conference but member federations of Group 7 (Middle East) were all absent. Only one Group 7 country, Qatar, replied to the Endurance Strategic Planning Group’s earlier questionnaire which invited feedback about its proposals to clean up the sport.