UAE equestrian body welcomes the shortening of its Endurance suspension

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The United Arab Emirates Equestrian and Racing Federation has highlighted the shortening of its Endurance suspension in a recently released decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland.

The federation went to the court to challenge its September 24 suspension imposed by the FEI Board.

The board imposed the suspension after an investigation into the circumstances around two national Endurance events (CENs) in January and February 2020 — the Sheikh Mohammed Cup and the President’s Cup.

The FEI said they should have been held as International Endurance events (CEIs) as the number of foreign athletes far exceeded the quota permitted for national events.

The board imposed a full suspension of the UAE National Federation’s membership across all disciplines until December 31. The ban on Endurance events was to have run longer, until March 31 next year.

The UAE federation, in a press statement, noted that the appeals court ruled that all UAE equestrian disciplines can return to competition from January 1, 2020.

It characterized that decision as a significant reduction in the Endurance suspension.

The court, it said, also emphasized that the remainder of the suspension should in no way interfere with the organization of events to be staged from January 1, allowing preparations to be made now.

In effect, the administrative suspension had been brought to an immediate end, it said.

The UAE federation’s secretary-general, Dr Ghanem Al Hajri commented: “We note the significant reduction in the sanctions by the CAS. We considered the original sanctions to have been wholly disproportionate. We will review the full decision once we have received it before considering any further legal steps.

“For now, we are working hard to get riders, owners and organisers back on track from 1 January.”

The UAE federation also noted that the fines imposed in the case had been halved, and the FEI had been required to pay its own legal costs.

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