Senior endurance figures in Australia will meet with board members from Equestrian Australia this week, as the fallout from the death of Splitters Creek Bundy from two broken front legs in an Abu Dhabi endurance race continues.
The Australian-bred horse suffered the fatal injuries late last month in the Al Reef Cup, with harrowing images of his plight before euthanasia causing outrage in the global endurance community.
The case has received wide publicity, including a report in the print edition of the Daily Telegraph, which ran a picture of the injured horse.
The event in which he suffered his injuries was a national event and was not run under the jurisdiction of the FEI.
The world governing body has been roundly criticised over its lack of early momentum in tackling the case. However, last week FEI President Ingmar De Vos wrote to national federations saying he was shocked by what he called the terrible images. He said an investigation had been launched by the FEI and he assured federations it was the organisation’s top priority.
Equestrian Australia, in a statement released yesterday, said it was shocked to see images of Splitters Creek Bundy and supported immediate action to prevent such incidents depicted in the pictures from occurring again.
The organisation’s National Endurance Committee will meet with Equestrian Australia board representatives this week to discuss the incident and the current state of horse welfare in endurance internationally.
“The FEI has advised national federations that it is investigating the horse welfare incidents at the Al Reef endurance event and Equestrian Australia supports the FEI’s attention to this matter.
“Horse welfare is of the utmost importance to Equestrian Australia and all events, regardless of discipline or classification, should hold the highest regard for horse health and welfare.”