That hell hole of the earth...for women, and horses.
Check out Chronicle of the Horse here. Welfare concerns indeed...when they break a leg running flat out for that 100 miles we can always just saw it off right there in the sand, and tape a stick to it, right?
And lest we forget, Splitter's Creek Bundy with both broken forelegs.
Splitter's Creek Bundy breaks down (front legs fracture) after racing at 17.7 mph average speed on the previous loop.
God help me...if this is where endurance riding will go in this country EVER I will join the most rabid animal welfare group I can find and campaign to SHUT IT ALL DOWN FOREVER.
So what has any of this got to do with any of us? Plenty. We as an endurance riding organization host these qualifying rides, and we support international USEF/FEI endurance. Does this mean our USA riders are culpable? Probably not. But then ...in the history of TEVIS who recalls horses pre-ride lined up with IV drips in their jugulars? It is a slippery slope and where there are big prizes, and big money, corruption isn't long following and animal abuse right along with it.
I feel sick inside that FEI has deemed it appropriate to now reinstate this region in the Middle East. Ask yourself---why? We all know the answer. M-O-N-E-Y.
More and more when you say you ride endurance, this is becoming the picture in the minds of others. For most of us here in the USA it is so far from the truth. Eventually animal rights activists will get their teeth into the bit, then what? We need to keep our sport clean, put our horse's welfare first (above winning & placement). Get back to the "Finish is to Win" principle of the sport.