Enduring Abuse


Shakla's Sudden Impact










There’s yet more disturbing news coming out of the world of International Endurance.

On May 23, an emaciated horse was passed fit to compete at the initial vet check.

SHAKLA’S SUDDEN IMPACT, ridden by RAED MAHMOOD, was competing from the stables of the


This photo understandably began to go viral across the internet, including into the inbox of the

President of Compiegne endurance, Christian Depuille.

The Courrier Picard wrote an article, I’ve put the translation of his response here;

“This is the first time we’ve had to address this type of criticism ,” he says. « The photo is taken in backlight.
The light brings out the hips and the withers.
But if you look at an Ethiopian marathon runner, you will find them equally thin! The horse in question is
certainly not fat, but perhaps is naturally like that,
and it has been prepared for the competition. In any case, I was at the veterinary control and did not noticed it.”
And Depuille insisted:
“All the horses are inspected before, during and after endurance races.
If a veterinarian determines that an animal can no longer continue, he stops it.”


Perhaps he hadn’t at that point seen this photo of the same horse, at the same time, not backlit??!









So we can conclude the veterinary committee or ground jury saw no issue with this animal being asked to do a 160 km race

over a period of around 8 hours duration the next day?

Here’s the list of the Compiegne Ground Jury and vets, the attending officials for that particular competition.











The new FEI rules that came into play on 1st Jan 2014 are below.
The only relevant part to this horse seems to fit under this section about cruelty – and surely asking this horse to compete should be classed as abuse?

Article 811 – CRUELTY
811.1 Any act or series of actions which, in the opinion of the Ground Jury can clearly be defined as

cruelty or abuse shall be penalised by disqualification and as otherwise allowed under the GRs,

and the individual concerned shall be reported to the FEI.
811.2 Reports of such actions must be accompanied whenever possible by the signatures and addresses

of witnesses of the actions.

The reports must be given to the Ground Jury or the Secretary of the Organising Committee as soon as possible.


The Vetting procedures within Endurance are such that ALL vets watch ALL the horses during the primary vet check.
So are we to conclude that not a single vet monitoring the first vet check saw ANY problem with this horse’s participation?
Apparently it’s a bit more complex that that. If say only 2 of the 11 vets see an issue, then they are overruled.
Given the escalating welfare concerns for the horses from the Middle Eastern countries, then Endurance needs to do
something fast, as their current flagrant abuse of horses is unacceptable, and clearly their vets have a differing view of welfare.

This horse would have raised welfare concerns standing in a field. There is something desperately wrong when abuse of equines is brushed over because of money being brought into the sport.

The postscript for SHAKLA’S SUDDEN IMPACT is that he managed two of the phases, but was then eliminated.
Horses from the Middle Eastern stables haven’t been so lucky in the past, and have died during the competitions, yet still the FEI refuses to act.

There is a petition here to try and effect change, please share this blog far and wide and make as many people aware as possible.