Newly Created International Horse Sports Confederation Scores USA Mistreatment of Race Horses

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The International Horse Sports Confederation has been newly created by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities and singled out as a target cruelty of some race horses in the United States as reported by PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

A news release from the confederation described the two organizations as sharing “the same core values of protecting horse welfare.”

The  FEI based in Lausanne, Switzerland is the governing body of international horse sports of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing jumping, reining, vaulting and para dressage. The IFHA deals with wagering, breeding, welfare of the horse and economics of the business for members around the world.

The FEI and the IFHA said they joined forces by creating the IHSC to work together “with the aim of ensuring the highest standards for welfare of the horse” by:

–Continued commitment to fight against doping and any abuse of horses;
–Cooperation to facilitate the international movement of horses through the adoption of the concept of the “High Health High Performance Horse”;
–Assist the industry by surveillance of and reporting of diseases, and
–Creation of a fund for joint initiatives to support the horse sports industry.

“Further to recent allegations in the United States of America raised by PETA and reported on 20 March 2014, the IHSC strongly declares that animal cruelty has no place in its sports and urges the US Authorities which are investigating these allegations to leave no stone unturned,” the release said.

“Moreover, the IHSC calls on PETA to immediately and as a matter of urgency share with the relevant regulatory bodies all the materials they may still hold with regard to horse welfare in order to allow them to undertake the necessary actions.”

Horse racing authorities in New York and Kentucky opened investigations last week into allegations of mistreatment of Thoroughbred racehorses by Steve Asmussen, America’s second-winningest horse trainer, and his assistant Scott Blasi. The investigations were prompted after complaints and evidence of suspected violations, gathered in an undercover investigation, were provided by PETA to the New York State Gaming Commission and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

The IHSC statement made no reference to the long-running controversy around the globe over the FEI-governed sport of endurance in the Middle East, particularly Dubai. The world’s most powerful racehorse owner Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, has been at the center of horse-doping and injury scandals. His wife is Princess Haya, president of the FEI.