The FEI Tribunal has put an exclamation mark behind horse welfare by imposing record sanctions in a horse abuse and anti-doping violation case. The horse named Castlebar Contraband was ridden by Sh Abdul Aziz Bin Faisal Al Qasimi (UAE) at the CEI* in Fontainebleau (France) in October 2016, when it suffered a fatal fracture and had to be put down. The post mortem report revealed that the horse had been nerve blocked in training, before and during the competition. In addition signs of osteoarthritis were found, resulting in a stress fracture that turned out to be fatal.
The post mortem report of Castelbar Contraband proved that the rules of the equine controlled medication (ECM) had been violated. As a consequence the FEI Tribunal decided in favour of a clear statement and imposed a 20-year suspension for rider Sh Abdul Aziz Bin Faisal Al Qasimi. These are the strongest sanctions in FEI history. The athlete was suspended for 20 years in total – 18 years for the horse abuse and two years for the ECM Rule violation. The suspension commenced from the date of the Decision, 3 June 2020, and will run until 27 May 2040. In addition the rider has to pay a fine of CHF 17,500 as well as the costs of the proceedings.
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“This is a really great result for horse welfare and the fight against doping in equestrian sport”, FEI Legal Director Mikael Rentsch said. “We are very happy to see such a strong sanction handed down by the FEI Tribunal and it offers a stern warning to others that the Tribunal will not tolerate cases of horse abuse.”
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