The Horse & Hound is reporting that there is growing opposition to Princess Haya seeking a third term as president of the FEI. As the most prominent wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, certain countries sense a conflict of interest regarding the Sheikh’s history of drug violations in the sport of Endurance [including unauthorized drugs seized last week]. Charles Trolliet, head of the Swiss Equestrian Federation spoke with H&H about the situation.
Mr Trolliet told H&H that the Swiss and Dutch federations will now oppose changes to the FEI Statutes that would allow Princess Haya to stand for another four-years when her second term ends in 2014.
Mr Trolliet’s announcement follows the growing disquiet and controversy over the FEI’s endurance strategic planning group, which was established to tackle high incidences of doping and injuries in Middle Eastern endurance.
He is upset that, at some point, the “clean-up” operation appears to have morphed into something else. “The purpose seems to be more of a strategy to develop the sport, rather than solve the problems we described,” he told H&H.
Mr. Trolliet has a point: with over 20 positive doping tests since 2005 involving horses from the Maktoum family, having Princess Haya in charge of the FEI is a bit like the fox guarding the hen house. In the last eight years, we’ve seen dramatic changes in the sport of eventing as well– namely, the complete loss of the long format. Perhaps it is time for someone else to take charge of the FEI…though I doubt the overall senselessness of the organization will ever improve dramatically.