One day later than expected a press conference concerning the canceled endurance competition took place – in order to provide more facts. As yet unclear is why so many riders where sent to the wrong direction directly at the start. An investigation is under way.
FEI president Ingmar De Vos emphasized that the decision to cancel the race had been a tough one since they knew how strenuous and extensive the riders’ preparations and their journey to the event had been. At the same time the decision had been an easy one because it had been a decision for the horse welfare. “We can understand the riders’ frustration,” so De Vos. “But the officials have saved our sport. We often have been criticised for not putting the wellbeing of our horses first.”
The objection of the Spanish team was refused. They had wanted to distribute medals according to the result at the time the race was canceled. According to De Vos this will not happen because nobody rode the whole distance.
The facts that were delivered at the conference: 15 horses did not pass the first vet check before the race, an additional four riders withdrew from the competition. 95 horses took part in the race. During the race 53 horses (!) had to undergo treatment in a clinic, 32 of them needed intravenous treatment with 20 to 40 litres. Two horses had slight colics and one more horse problems with its kidneys. One horse had to be euthanised; the reason for the euthanisation will be given in an official statement.
The reason for the cancellation was emphasised: the harsh climatic conditions compared to the conditions over the last three years. The temperatures were 10 percent higher than those of the last years. The question if any more WEG would take place in the future, was answered by the president with the statement that it was a good question but it was too early to comment on this. They were discussing if further WEG could take place and if so in which form. After Caen everyone had agreed on continuing and there were still parties interested in hosting the games.”