The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) has negotiated the final details in a motion designed to make clear the organization’s condemnation of abuses in international endurance riding competitions. Fatalities, drug violations, and fractures in international competition have been an increasing concern among riders worldwide, the group says.

Over the past several months, the AERC board has received input from members across the United States and Canada, who felt strongly that AERC should take a stand against horse abuses while supporting the American riders who wish to compete in international endurance events.

“The board received more than 600 comments from AERC members,” noted AERC vice president Lisa Schneider. “The directors spent quite a bit of time considering all aspects of this very complex issue, and worked very hard to find a solution that would communicate our strong commitment to horse welfare as well as support our AERC International riders. All the committees weighed in with their concerns and it was a true group effort to hammer out this solution.”

The board members gathered at AERC’s annual convention, held March 7-8 in Atlanta, Ga. The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), the U.S. governing body for international endurance riding, shared AERC’s concerns and has been working diligently with the Fédération Equestre International (FEI) to address those concerns, the group said.

USEF CEO John Long “provided helpful information to the board and forthrightly answered direct and blunt questions from the board members in an open and honest exchange,” said new