Lexington, Ky. - In an unprecedented move, the FEI has suspended the national federation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) following a thorough investigation into major horse welfare issues and rule non-compliance. UAE has been suspended for an "indeterminate period" from attending FEI meetings, organizing international events, and participating in international events. However, UAE athletes - in disciplines other than endurance - competing in international competitions outside of the UAE may participate under the FEI flag.
This decision to suspend the UAE was made after extensive efforts to curb catastrophic horse injuries and rule non-compliance failed. The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has and will continue to support fully the actions of the FEI and applauds their positive and aggressive action. As President Ingmar De Vos states, "Sadly, this is the only option left...Where horse welfare is concerned, the FEI has to show leadership and solve problems in a structural way without making any concessions." "Having spent many years addressing this issue within the FEI Bureau, the USEF is proud to stand with the international equestrian community in condemnation of horse abuse," stated Chris Welton, USEF CEO.