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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

February 16, 2014

The Motion Before the BOD

The motion as proposed by the Sponsorship Committee:
Person to contact for or against: Direcector, Kathleen Henkel at THE MOTION AERC Board of Directors
Proposing Committee: SPONSORSHIP
Date of Motion: JANUARY, 2014 BOD CC MEETING

Proposed Motion:
"In order to address the growing alarm among AERC members that mounting drug violations and fatalities and fractures in international endurance riding conducted by the FEI are injuring the reputation of our sport worldwide, the AERC shall immediately notify the FEI in writing of:

1) The AERC’s grave concerns that drug violations and horse fatalities and fractures are excessive in FEI endurance events, that the flat courses and high speeds characteristic of FEI international rides contribute to horse injuries increasingly similar in severity and frequency to those occurring in flat track racing, that FEI officials inadequately enforce the FEI’s own rules, and that the administration of FEI events favors certain competitors and member countries over others.

2) The AERC’s intention to consider no longer co-sanctioning endurance rides in the United States with the FEI and to join the exploration with like minded endurance groups in other countries of the formation of a new international organization to conduct international endurance riding events if the FEI does not demonstrate measurable progress towards addressing the AERC’s concerns by January 1, 2015. Measurable progress would include, but not be limited to, greater transparency in public reporting of fatalities and fractures occurring at or associated with FEI endurance rides.

The AERC’s International Committee is directed to monitor and evaluate the FEI’s progress towards meeting the AERC’s concerns. The AERC’s International Committee is also directed to prepare periodic reports to the AERC Board who will determine yearly if meaningful and measurable progress is being made. The AERC shall continue to support the efforts of the USEF to improve the FEI’s conduct of international endurance riding and shall remain affiliated with USEF.

Background, analysis and benefit:
FEI has jeopardized the sport of endurance riding in the United States and Canada as practiced and governed by AERC because of the lack of equal, fair, and transparent enforcement of its own FEI endurance rules and policies related to equine welfare, drug violations, cheating, and other violations. The international publicity generated by FEI’s conduct has the potential to damage relationships with land managers with the potential for loss of trails on federal and state managed lands thus causing irreparable harm to AERC. The public relations damage may have a negative impact on Sponsorships and the good will and influence AERC has worked hard to develop over the years. This motion will encourage FEI to consider the seriousness of AERC’s concern with the above issues. It will also document that AERC is taking a strong stand in favor of welfare, fairness, enforcement of rules, and the promotion and encouragement of the “sport and pastime of endurance riding” as outlined in the AERC ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION (1972).

Budget effect/impact:
There may be a minor impact on AERC with the possible loss of some rides. At the same time, the positive impact with our AERC Membership, by the BOD taking a concrete action that supports our welfare concerns, may help increase membership growth. This action may help attract more Sponsors who support our concern for equine welfare and the value of fairness. This action will help counter potential arguments and actions by animal rights groups who may try to compare FEI Endurance Racing to AERC Endurance Riding. This motion strengthens the AERC argument that we are different than FEI and counters negative publicity resulting from FEI’s conduct. In all aspects this Motion puts AERC in the position of taking a strong stand in the support of equine welfare.
Impact on AERC Office (Work load, budget): There will be no impact on the AERC Office. There will be no impact on our Insurance or Drug Testing because AERC will not terminate its membership in USEF."

Supporting materials:

See the following articles as a start

Read Pippa Cuckson's Guest Blog here

Watch the video for yourself here. This is endurance riding in the Middle East.

Just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy about endurance doesn't it?   That is what the regular Joe who knows nothing about AERC will end up believing we do to our horses, when in reality if I were there, if I were on that horse, I'd have stopped and reckoned all kinds of bloody hell on those ignorant imbeciles.  Nobody that would strike my horse would get the second shot, to hell with the race!   It is said that an endurance horse's career in the Middle East is 12-24 months.  MONTHS.  Run them until they are broken.  The principles that the amateur sport here were built on is LONGEVITY.   The question being not how I can win, but how well can I do this sport, building an equine athlete that will endure. Am I horseman or woman enough to do this this thing successfully with a sound horse at the end of the day.  That is the prize.  In fact it is the holy grail of endurance riding.

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