The focus of the forum is on injuries and bone fatigue; the science and the statistics; the new education system for Endurance Officials; proposed changes to Endurance rules; and the Future: how to modernize and promote the sport.
Sabrina Ibanez, FEI Secretary General said in a statement: “Endurance is the FEI’s second largest discipline after Jumping and for many years was also one of the FEI’s fastest growing disciplines. This growth coupled with the size and scope of the discipline requires the FEI and the Endurance Community to keep a very watchful eye on trends and developments so that we can address the challenges and plan for the future in order to safeguard the integrity of the sport and the welfare of the horses. The Endurance Forum 2017 aims to do just this.”
Javier Revuelta of the Spanish Federation said: “Endurance is facing big new challenges, and we are happy to host you. The next 5 to 10 years would be crucial for the development of our sport as it has happened in the last 20 years, with the big movements that make big steps towards professionalism and constantly growing worldwide.”
Three sessions were held on Tuesday, the opening day and the first on ‘Veterinary concerns and studies’. The focus was on current veterinary concerns in terms of injuries and bone fatigue and statistics and findings and studies from world renowned experts were presented.
The initial findings of the Global Injuries Endurance Study, conducted by Dr Tim Parkin and Dr Euan Bennet of Glasgow University, were presented. Dr Chris Whitton from the University of Melbourne made a presentation on bone fatigue while EquiRatings made a presentation on horses and athletes risk management.
The focus on session two was on ‘Education and responsibilities’ during which the new Endurance Education System for Endurance Officials was discussed at length.
The final session on day one was about Rule modification proposals. Many crucial aspects of the proposals were debated and discussed with regard to modifications to Endurance Rules before they were to be adopted by the National Federations in 2018.
The UAE delegation made few presentations and also informed the forum on the progress in various aspects of Endurance sport in the UAE.Dr. Ghanem Mohammed Al Hajri, Secretary General of the Emirates Equestrian Federation addressed the forum on the UAE experience.
The role of the Festival in promoting Endurance rides as directed by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood were highlighted and the Belgian delegation hailed the Festival.
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with and sponsored by Ayadi LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Dr Nader Saab Switzerland, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2017, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.