The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has met with representatives of the United Arab Emirates National Olympic Committee and Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) at its headquarters in Lausanne to discuss the actions that need to be undertaken before the country's suspension can be lifted.
The EEF was provisionally suspended in March following an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with its rules and regulations in the discipline of endurance.
The FEI made it clear to the UAE delegation that only its ruling Bureau can lift the suspension and confirmed that it will remain in force until the Bureau has agreed that all necessary processes have been put in place by the EEF to ensure horse welfare at all times, and that FEI Rules and Regulations will be fully implemented and enforced.
This follows the UAE's withdrawal of an appeal against the suspension.
“This was a very constructive meeting, during which we informed the National Federation exactly what they need to do before there can be any possibility of the suspension being lifted," said FEI secretary general Sabrina Zeender, who chaired the meeting.
“We are now writing to them to explain all the elements they need to fulfil and requesting a detailed plan on how they will deliver on this and the timelines involved.
"The meeting, which we hope was the first in a series, was only possible following the withdrawal of the UAE’s appeal against the suspension.”
The EEF has recently launched a new committee to oversee a review into endurance racing in the UAE
The Endurance Committee, which is to be under direct observation of the UAE’s National Olympic Committee, will seek to work closely with the FEI to “ensure that the world governing body’s rules and regulations are applied in all endurance races in the UAE”.
The FEI was also represented at the meeting by Brian Sheahan, chairman of the FEI Endurance Committee, as well as Manuel Bandeira de Mello, FEI endurance director, and Mikael Rentsch, FEI legal director.
The UAE delegation was made up of Taleb Daher Al Muhairi, secretary general of the EEF, Faisal Al Ali, assistant secretary general, and Abdullaziz Sheikh, head of the endurance department.
Prior to the meeting, FEI President Ingmar De Vos had welcomed Mohammad Al Kamali, secretary general of the UAE National Olympic Committee to the governing body's headquarters.
May 2015: UAE withdraws appeal against equestrian suspension
March 2015: UAE welcome back when they follow rules, says FEI vice-president
March 2015: United Arab Emirates suspended by FEI following alleged horse welfare abuses
March 2015: International Equestrian Federation strips UAE of two endurance events to protect horse welfare