The world’s top-ranked endurance horse Shaddad will be unavailable for the UAE’s WEG squad after testing positive to the banned substance testosterone at a UK ride last month.
Shaddad, who is owned by Sheikh Mohammed’s premier MRM barn, was sampled after placing second in a 160km race at Euston Park – the Dubai squad’s summer competition venue – on July 13th.
Shaddad’s 21-year-old rider Saeed Mohd Khalifa Al Mehairi is also provisionally suspended till FEI Tribunal renders its decision, as is the veteran Maktoum barn trainer Ismail Mohammed. The horse is suspended for the standard two months, meaning he must miss Tryon.
Shaddad, a 14-year-old Anglo Arab, was imported by Dubai from France in 2011 and has an incredible record, including a win and a fourth in consecutive years in the gruelling 160km Presidents Cup, Abu Dhabi. He has enjoyed 11 top three placings in his last 18 FEI starts with Al Mehairi and other riders and was a member of the UAE world championship team in 2016.
Al Mehairi participated in the WEG test ride at Tryon with another horse in April.
The FEI has not given a reason for joining the trainer in sanctions, though Ismail Mohammed has been suspended before for doping offences.
He was one of three trainers caught up in multiple controlled medication offences in the UAE’s winter 2016-2017 season. In an agreed settlement with the FEI last summer, he accepted a two-month suspension, after a feed manufacturer admitted to accidentally contaminating a supplement, and because caffeine was set to be reclassified as a specified substance.
In 2005, Ismail Mohammed was the trainer of Haramata de Lozere, loaned to British rider Alice Beet for a youth ride in Bahrain where the horse tested positive to a corticosteroid. Miss Beet was suspended for three months. Mr Mohammed was not joined as a person responsible on that occasion, and in its decision notice FEI Tribunal noted the growing problem of offences involving riders who were not the horse’s regular trainer.
In 2006, though, Mr Mohammed was sanctioned as the person responsible when Orkara tested positive to guanabenz and hydroxyl-guanabenz – substances associated with reducing the heart-rate – because the rider was a minor. Orkara was sampled at the European “open” in Compiegne, France.
Mr Mohammed was suspended for 12 months, reduced to eight months on appeal by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. In its decision, the CAS panel highlighted the difficulties involved in designating persons responsible when the rider was a minor, and recommended changes to the relevant FEI rules.