November 29 - Princess Haya (pictured), the President of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), has defended the controversial vote earlier this month for the reintroduction into the sport of some non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, including bute, to treat horses.


The decision, taken by 53 votes to 48 at the FEI's General Assembly in Copenhagen, has caused huge controversy and protests have been led by the sport's leading federations, including Germany and Britain.


The Princess has now written to Professor Leo Jeffcott, the former chairman of the FEI veterinary committee, who last week wrote to her to call the decision "premature, ill-considered and seriously retrograde".


She claimed the levels were in line with those applied for non-steroidal anti inflammatory (NSAID) use in humans by the World Anti-Doping Agency and had been advised by "experienced national team veterinarians".


But criticism of the decision has continued to grow with endurance racing joining those opposing the decision.


Their spokesman, Fred Barrelet, a partner in a leading Newmarket practice, said there was already an "alarmingly rising incidence of fractures and other career terminating injuries" in endurance riding, which is a growing sport in the United Arab Emirates, North America and parts of Europe.


Breido Graf zu Rantzau, the head of the German federation, has warned the Princess that she has underestimated Europe's anger on the decision.


He said: "We [Europe] cannot help but be united...all the tournament organisers are behind us."



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